The low-growing, narrow-shaped leaves of Pennsylvania Sedge form a beautiful green carpet. This well-known sedge makes an excellent grass substitute or ground cover. It spreads slowly through rhizomes and thrives when planted in large groups.
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Carex pensylvanica grows in loose leaf tufts. Long subterranean rhizomes and stolons rapidly grow into massive colonies, forming thick mats.
The foliage is delicately textured and a vibrant green color. Blades can be up to 12 inches long and 1/8 inch thick. The slender, glossy leaves are semi-evergreen.
Pennsylvania Sedge is best suited to shady areas or woodland gardening. It doesn’t mind being planted in the sun in cooler climates as long as it gets proper moisture. Small eight-inch flowers bloom in May.
It attracts pollinators, including caterpillars of several species. It provides a safe haven and nesting material for wild birds. It is semi-evergreen and drought tolerant once established.
It can tolerate heavy shade and wet soil but prefers dry to moist shade. This plant is a great grass substitute in shaded areas, but it will not withstand a lot of foot traffic.
It only needs to be mowed once or twice a season to maintain a 2″ height.
Because it is pest-resistant, deer and other herbivores dislike it.
Like other groundcover plants, this sedge should be cut to the ground in late winter.
Carex pensylvanica is a great shade garden grass substitute, groundcover, or edging plant. This sedge looks lovely when grown in a calm group or mass. Plants aid in erosion control and are appropriate for deer-resistant plantings, low-maintenance landscaping, waterwise landscaping, and wildlife gardens.
It’s an excellent natural substitute for the popular Asian groundcovers Liriope muscari and Ophiopogon japonicus.
Try pairing it with any of the recommended companion plants below.
Field pussytoes, also known as Antennaria neglecta, are stoloniferous, mat-forming, herbaceous perennials of the composite family. This plant has the potential to grow to a height of 1 foot, although it is more likely to be less than 12 inches. It forms a rosette of base leaves in the spring and occasionally grows an inflorescence on a short stalk. The basal leaves are oblanceolate in shape with smooth margins and can grow to be 2″ long and 12″ wide.
Chrysogonum, often known as Green and Gold, is a low-growing rhizomatous perennial with a leaf mat that grows 1 to 2 inches tall and 18 inches wide or more. It’s found in the woodlands from Pennsylvania through Florida and Louisiana.
Use in the garden as a shady ground cover, as well as in woodland gardens, native plant gardens, and naturalized areas. It is suitable for use as a walkway edging, as well as in shady areas of border fronts and rock gardens.
This iris’ clusters of narrow, pointed leaves are just 4 to 16 inches tall. The sepals of its blue-violet blossoms have a center yellow or white, purple striped band that runs across them.
Wild Blue Phlox blooms for more than a month in late spring and early summer, making it an excellent choice for shaded areas. The scented blossoms are available in various colors, including lavender, blue, pastel pink, and white. The five-petaled tubular flowers attract butterflies, clearwing moths, and hummingbirds.