Tackle a Tough Spot with Jeepers Creepers

Jeepers Creepers are an amazing collection of easy-to-grow groundcovers that will fill in those areas you just don't know what to do with. Offering fragrance, beauty and an accelerated growth habit, these plants can provide superb groundcover, act as a lawn subsitute or finish off patios or walkways with a flourish.

When deciding which Jeepers Creepers groundcovers to use, we recommend taking into consideration how you're going to use them and where they will be growing. Follow these helpful tips when making your selection:

Foot Traffic

If you plan to walk on your Jeepers Creepers plants, choose varieties suggested for traffic tolerance. We recommend that plants not be walked on until established, or whenever the soil is soggy wet.

You'll find the following traffic classifications on each Jeepers Creepers tag:

  • No Foot Traffic: Plants are either too tall to walk on, or too delicate to withstand it.
  • Light: Walking directly on these once or twice a week will not cause serious damage.
  • Moderate: Withstands being walked on once a day or so, and are generally fine between paving stones.
  • Heavy: Nearly as durable as a regular lawn! The low mat habit allows for easy travel.

Light Conditions

Like all plant selections, careful appraisal of light conditions will increase your success. Scout your area and use this guide to help you determine how much (or little) sunlight it gets.

  • Full Sun: Think full, all day sun, with at most only a few hours of shade in the early morning or late afternoon.
  • Part Shade: Direct sun hits the area for only about half the day such as morning sun followed by afternoon shade, or vice versa. This also includes dappled shade caused by a tall canopy of small-leaved deciduous trees that offers filtered light with occasionally beams of direct light.
  • Full Shade: A common condition under large-leaved trees, evergreens or on the north side of buildings. Note that under dense evergreens and large deciduous trees conditions of extreme dry shade can make it difficult to grow anything without regular deep, weekly watering all season long.

Soil Conditions

The most critical thing to know about your soil is what it's like during the heat of summer. If your soil generally dries out in July and August and you can't supply extra water, choose drought-tolerant selections. If you can supply deep regular weekly watering during dry spells, select plants for normal (average) moisture conditions. If the area remains constantly moist through the growing season, select moisture-loving varieties.

Growing anything in the extreme conditions of dry shade under shallow-rooted large trees such as maples, willows, pines, spruce or cedars is difficult. A tiny little groundcover finds it very hard to compete with the thirsty root system of a huge tree, so look for plants that are rated as both drought tolerant and suitable for partial or full shade.

Plants rated for average to moist conditions will grow fine if you are willing to commit to watering them weekly throughout the growing season. If you go away for extended periods during the summer, bark mulch or other decorative material might be a better choice for those extremely dry and shady parts of the garden.