cascading plants for the sun and part sun

ann brot

I live in Maryland, zone 7, and we just had a retaining wall put up, but the landscaper used the wrong stones. So, some people on the landscaping forum gave me the idea of cascading plants to kind of hide the wall. The walls range from 1 to 3 feet high. I never looked at any native cascading plants before, I do a lot of native plants for butterflies. I was hoping some people here knew of any nice plants that cascade, but not too long that I could use. I have sun and part sun areas. Thanks!

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Jay 6a n.c. IL.

Hi Ann.Nasturiums will Cascade nicely if planted close to the edge.The flowers are loved by pollinators and cabbage whites will use it as a host plant.There is a verbena. Verbena teniscuata. That Cascades very well and has purple flowers that butterflies flock to. I don't know whether zone 7 is warm enough for growing trailing rosemary.Convolvulus is a cascading morning glory the plant with nice flowers.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Cynanchum laeve is a vine in the milkweed family.The flowers attract butterflies and Monarch caterpillars feed on the leaves.it usually climbs,but can cascade as well.

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WoodsTea 6a MO(6a)

I've got purple poppy mallow (Callirhoe involucrata) at the top of a short wall at the back of my property. It gets shade earlier in the day but strong western sun in the afternoons.


Also I have a goldenrod, Solidago riddelli, which flowers later in the year. It's not as low-growing, but when in flower the stems bend over in a cascade above the wall:

It's a somewhat wilder look than I'd want in a more visible part of the yard, admittedly. I do very little pruning or shaping back there, and it's one of the last areas to get weeded. I've appreciated that both plants are reasonably aggressive, filling bare spots quickly. The goldenrod blooms at a good time of year for butterflies, especially monarchs.

Neither of these plants is native to Maryland, but there are some other goldenrods that are. A cultivar of one that might be useful in this situation is Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks'.

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Jay 6a n.c. IL.

Very nice garden!

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ann brot

Thank you so much for names of plants. I kept googling this, but came up empty handed every time! Now I'm ready to research and plant not just for the summer, but also the fall!

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Jay 6a n.c. IL.

You are very welcome.Hope you get a lot of butterflies to complete the picture. I think it's going to look fantastic!

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(Jay/Jax FL/Zone 9a)

Creeping Phlox (Phlox subulata & Phlox stolonifera are both Eastern US natives, at least as far north as PA) would probably work if the site isn't full sun/isn't too dry, pretty easy to find too and would be a good spring-blooming companion to something like summer-fall goldenrod.


(source: Tulsa Landscape)

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I have phlox subulata in full sun and it does pretty well. Its not picky about my soil either, which is on the heavy side and causes problems for some plants. The only problem I had is I planted them too far from the wall for them to cascade over it. Next year I think I will dig some of them up and divide them so they are closer to the stone.

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cearbhaill (zone 6b Eastern Kentucky)

Aside from all the flowering creepers that work, don't forget Blue Rug junipers if you have a spot where you need something solid green and 100% care free.



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