Published on 05/26/00

Growing New Ground-cover Plants Is Easy

Besides rooting cuttings and sowing seeds, there are other ways to increase ground-cover plants, says a University of Georgia expert.

First, it helps to know how your ground cover spreads, says Bob Westerfield, an Extension Service horticulturist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Ground-cover plants spread by stolons (aboveground runners) or rhizomes (underground stems), Westerfield says.

Plants With Stolons

To propagate plants from stolons, such as flowering strawberry or ajuga, peg runners into contact with the soil or composted leaf mulch.

Keep the area moist, and the stems should root within one to two months. Separate new little plants from the parent in late summer or early fall.

Plants With Rhizomes

Plants with rhizomes, such as lily of the valley, are easy to propagate, too. In early spring or early fall, use a spade to slice through the lateral stems that connect a parent plant with a newly developing plantlet.

Make sure each plant has at least one bud, Westerfield says. Replant them at the same depth.

For more information on ground covers, see the UGA Extension Service publication on the Web at c d/L121.htm.

Dan Rahn is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.