Can You Grow Herniaria As A Ground Cover: Expert Tell You

Herniaria ground cover is a versatile option for any garden. Discover how to choose the right location, prepare the soil, and care for this plant.

The Versatility of Herniaria as a Ground Cover

Herniaria makes for an excellent option as a ground cover due to its hardiness, adaptability, and versatility. It spreads easily through rhizomes and stolons to form a dense mat. It comes in different varieties with colors ranging from green to silver to purple.
More comprehensive information and care guidelines can be read here.

herniaria, plants, green leaf plant
Photo by Tanalee Youngblood / Unsplash

Choosing the Ideal Location for Your Herniaria

Herniaria prefers sunny to partially shaded spots with well-drained soil. It can tolerate a range of soil pH levels from acidic to alkaline. The best locations for herniaria ground cover are:

  • South or southwest facing areas that receive full sun for at least 6 hours per day. This ensures herniaria receives sufficient light for optimal growth.
  • Gravel or pebble gardens. Herniaria’s drought tolerance and small stature make it suitable for stone gardens.
  • Patios, walkways and driveway cracks. The low growing habit of herniaria allows it to thrive in these confined spaces.
  • Borders and beds. Herniaria can be used as an edging plant or to fill in gaps between other perennials and ornamental grasses.

Some conditions to avoid when choosing a location for herniaria include:

  • Shady spots with less than 6 hours of sunlight. Herniaria requires full sun for best results.
  • Wet or poorly drained soil. Herniaria prefers average to dry, well-drained soil conditions.
  • Areas with invasive weeds. Herniaria spreads slowly, making it difficult to outcompete faster growing weeds.

In summary, sunny, well-drained locations with average soil provide optimal growing conditions for herniaria ground cover. Check soil drainage and light exposure before planting to ensure success.

herniaria, plants, green leaf plant in white background
Photo by Michaela Zákopčaníková / Unsplash

Preparing the Soil for Optimal Herniaria Growth

Work some organic matter like compost into the top 6 to 8 inches of soil before planting. This will improve the soil structure and aeration to promote strong root growth. The steps for properly preparing soil for herniaria are:

  1. Add organic matter:
  2. Compost is the best option. Apply 2-3 inches and work it into the top layer of soil.
  3. Peat moss and well-rotted manure can also help improve soil structure.
  4. Loosen the soil:
  5. Use a garden fork or shovel to loosen the top 6-8 inches of soil. This will help aerate the soil and remove any compaction.
  6. Break up any large clumps to ensure a fine, porous soil texture.
  7. Remove weeds and debris:
  8. Hand-pull any existing weeds and debris from the planting area.
  9. Use a garden rake to level the soil surface and remove rocks or roots.
  10. Adjust soil pH if necessary:
  11. Herniaria grows best in neutral to slightly alkaline soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5.
  12. If your soil pH is too low, add lime as directed based on your soil test results.
  13. Water thoroughly:
  14. Water the soil until it is moist 6 to 8 inches deep. This will help settle and compact the soil.

Once the soil is properly prepared, rake the surface smooth and you’re ready to plant herniaria rhizomes or cuttings. Follow these steps to ensure successful establishment and growth of your herniaria ground cover.

herniaria, plants, green cacti
Photo by Thomas Verbruggen / Unsplash

Planting and Caring for Your Herniaria Ground Cover

Plant rhizomes or rooted cuttings of herniaria 6 to 12 inches apart. The ideal spacing allows the plants to form a continuous mat while still allowing ample room for growth. Follow these steps for successful planting and care:

  1. Plant in spring or fall:
  2. Spring and autumn are the best times to plant herniaria when temperatures are cool.
  3. Avoid very hot or cold weather when the plants are most vulnerable.
  4. Space plants 6 to 12 inches apart:
  5. Closer spacing (6 to 8 inches) results in a thicker ground cover more quickly.
  6. Wider spacing (10 to 12 inches) allows for better air circulation and less competition.
  7. Water newly planted herniaria regularly:
  8. Water thoroughly after planting and continue weekly if no rainfall for 1 to 2 inches of water.
  9. Gradually decrease watering frequency as the plants become established.

4.Fertilize once or twice a year:

  • Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring and again in late summer.
  • Too much nitrogen can promote excess leaf growth at the expense of spreading.
  • Cut back in late winter or early spring:
  • Trim dead foliage and remove excess growth to keep herniaria neat and encourage new growth.
  • Do not cut below 4 inches to avoid damaging crown and rhizomes.

Once established, herniaria is drought tolerant and requires little ongoing care. Occasional watering during periods of extreme drought and an annual trim can help maintain a thick, lush appearance for years.
Proper planting and minimal maintenance are the keys to success with herniaria ground cover.

herniaria, plants, brown wooden table with chairs
Photo by Spacejoy / Unsplash

More Helpful Guide

Frequently Asked Question

Is herniaria considered an invasive plant species?

No, herniaria is not considered an invasive plant. It spreads but is not aggressive.

How often should you water herniaria?

Water herniaria when the top inch of soil is dry. Avoid overwatering.

Are any herniaria species threatened or endangered?

No herniaria species are considered threatened or endangered.

Should you cut back herniaria after flowering?

No, do not cut back herniaria after flowering. It can be trimmed as needed to control spread.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top