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Thread: Land plant experts: Which plant(s) to choose for a dry shady spot?

  1. #1
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    Default Land plant experts: Which plant(s) to choose for a dry shady spot?

    Hey Guys

    I have a small area (4-5 m squared) under two trees right behind my front fence, on a slight slope, that is prone to erosion when it rains. I want to plant something in this area to help mitigate the erosion and stop silt building up on my drive way and sliding gate every time it rains. This is a SHADY spot that is DRY most of the year. I'm willing to add mulch/compost/fertiliser and water periodically but for the most part I want it to be as little maintenance as possible.

    Looking for something that is hardy, easily maintained, wont grow too tall, wont spread like a weed and suitable for the south-east QLD climate. Some type of ground cover or low growing plant would be ideal. Any suggestions?

    This plant below seems to do really well in the location. Looking to get more of it but have no idea what it is. Anybody know?



    cheers
    Last edited by khemo; 08-03-18 at 11:08 PM.

  2. #2
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    Your mystery plants look like some young palms to me.

    Types of Lomandra are good for all locations in my experience and are very hardy. The regular native one can get to a little over 1m by 1m but if you go to Bunnings they should have some dwarf ones and different colour varieties. In full sun they can sometimes look a bit bleached and unhealthy, so shade works best for them to have nice, lush growth. A lot of native groundcovers can also tolerate shaded conditions and neglect when it comes to watering.
    Rainbowfish, Cryptocoryne, Echinodorus

  3. #3

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    I agree with Cryptocorynus about the plants in the picture resembling young palms. Do you have any palm trees nearby or were there any palm trees in the garden a few years ago? Most palm seeds take years before they germinate and pop up. We had a group of palms in the back yard that got removed and 20 years later we still have the odd baby palm appear in spring, just from left over seed.
    Maybe dig some of the palms out and put them in pots and keep them for a rainy day.

    Native plants like ground covering varieties of Banksia or Dryandra might be ok.
    Hemiandra pungens (aka snakebush) would do but has real sharp pointy leaves and if you get stabbed by it, you get a couple of puncture marks on the skin like a snake bite. Not the best if near a path or you have kids. Looks nice but don't touch
    Hibbertia aspera is nice.
    Kennedia species would do well but you would need to plant a few and tip prune them regularly to encourage branching and better coverage.
    Prostanthera denticulate
    Junipers would work and are related to conifers but get the ground cover varieties.
    You could put raspberry or thornless blackberries there, but they like water during summer. Let them spread like a ground cover.

    edited to add. what about spinifex? There is desert and coastal spinifex. They are low growing, tolerate low water and harsh conditions, and are different.
    Last edited by Colin_T; 09-03-18 at 04:11 PM.

  4. #4
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    How about something like rosemary or thyme which could survive harsher weather?
    Last edited by Rebel; 09-03-18 at 12:39 PM.

  5. #5
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    You could also look into Mondo grass and clivea miniata hybrids (belgium) or yellow of white versions (pricey for these colours)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cryptocorynus View Post
    Your mystery plants look like some young palms to me.
    I just googled some images and I think you're right. Looks like I will be ripping them out as i don't want big palm trees in my yard. It's too bad though as they are growing really well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cryptocorynus View Post
    Types of Lomandra are good for all locations in my experience and are very hardy.
    I remember those from primary school. Was not a fan of the spiky bits that grew out of them. Thanks for the suggestion though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin_T View Post
    I agree with Cryptocorynus about the plants in the picture resembling young palms. Do you have any palm trees nearby or were there any palm trees in the garden a few years ago? Most palm seeds take years before they germinate and pop up. We had a group of palms in the back yard that got removed and 20 years later we still have the odd baby palm appear in spring, just from left over seed.
    Now that you mentioned it there was a palm there about 10 plus years ago. I can't believe that mini palms are still sprouting! Now that's resilience! Thanks for the suggestions. I will look them up.

    Quote Originally Posted by davidscane View Post
    You could also look into Mondo grass and clivea miniata hybrids (belgium) or yellow of white versions (pricey for these colours)
    Yeah right now from my research clivea seem to be a really good candidate. Thinking about just filling the whole space with different clivea varieties and be done with it. At least I'll have a nice flower display every spring.

  7. #7
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    what about Ajuga aka bugleweed? I like the look of it; thinking about using it as a ground cover. Yah or nay?

  8. #8

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    if Ajuga/ bungle weed is allowed in your state or this country, it sounds fine. However, it might be considered a noxious species. Check out some of the nurseries in your area and see if it's available. Certainly has colour and variety

  9. #9
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    Your mystery plants not actually a palm, it's Molineria capitulata, or palm grass.

    Will only grow about a metre tall and will fill out a shady area nicely, with no care.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arden View Post
    Your mystery plants not actually a palm, it's Molineria capitulata, or palm grass.

    Will only grow about a metre tall and will fill out a shady area nicely, with no care.
    Nice one Arden....I was just about to say that.Let them spread!

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the verification guys! I'm glad it's not a palm as I did really like the plant and it grows really well under shade. Will let it do it's thing.

  12. #12
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    I at first thought the plant pictured could be Aspidistra sp.

    http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s4197018.htm

  13. #13
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    Molineria is one of those plants that used to drive me crazy.
    Years ago, I was often consulted when people wanted to renovate an old garden.
    This plant stood out because it seemed to be thriving where other plants showed neglect.
    But I never saw it for sale in nurseries....lol.
    Fashions change

  14. #14
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    Looks like a nice plant indeed. Wonder whether it would survive in Canberra winter....

    https://antzplants.com.au/shop/molineria-capitulata/

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