The Seven Samurai of Weed Control

Researchers from Cornell University found these perennials to be super weed suppressors.

December 9, 2010

Researchers from Cornell University found these perennials to be super weed suppressors. Meet the seven samurai of weed control:

1. 'Emerald Blue' moss phlox
(Phlox subulata)

Advertisement

Free Newsletter

  • Full sun
  • Mat-forming habit
  • 4 to 6 inches tall; 24 inches wide
  • Hardy in Zones 3 through 9
  • Good spring and summer coverage; declines slightly in fall
  • Lavender-blue flowers in April and May
  • Native; evergreen
     

Photo: (cc) Ajari/Flickr

 

 

2. 'Thriller' lady's mantle
(Alchemilla mollis)
  • Full sun to shade
  • Clumping habit
  • 12 to 18 inches tall; 24 inches wide
  • Hardy in Zones 4 through 7
  • Dense canopy of broad, scalloped leaves
  • Pale yellow flowers from late spring to early fall
     

Photo: (cc) Leonora Enking/Flickr

 

3. 'Walker's Low' Catmint
(Nepeta x faassenii)
  • Full sun to light shade
  • Upright habit
  • 18 to 24 inches tall; 18 inches wide
  • Hardy in Zones 3 through 9
  • Rapidly growing foliage produces dense cover by late spring
  • Light blue flowers from late June to mid-September
     

Photo: (cc) Andrea/Flickr

 

 

4. 'Golden Fleece' Dwarf Goldenrod
(Solidago sphacelata)

  • Full sun to light shade
  • Upright habit
  • 18 inches tall; 24 inches wide
  • Hardy in Zones 3 through 8
  • Dark green foliage
  • Bright yellow flowers throughout summer, into early fall
  • Exceptionally stress-tolerant; native
  • Attracts butterflies
     

Photo: (cc) Susi von Oettingen/USFWS

 

 

5. 'Albiflorus' Creeping Thyme
(Thymus praecox)
  • Full sun to light shade
  • Mat-forming habit
  • 2 inches tall; 18 inches wide
  • Hardy in Zones 5 through 7
  • Vigorous spreader; thickens again in early fall after floweringv Needs to be weeded during first year because of low growth habit
  • Tiny white blooms in late spring and early summer
  • Pleasant-smelling, evergreen
  • Good for relatively dry conditions or on well-drained slopes, not for wet areas
     

Dig Deeper: How to Grow Thyme

Photo: Photo(cc) Margot Here/Flickr

 

 

6. 'Herman's Pride' False Lamium
(Lamiastrum galeobdolon)
  • Light shade to full shade
  • Clumping, or restrained spreading, habit
  • 12 to 18 inches tall; 18 to 24 inches wide
  • Hardy in Zones 4 through 9
  • Fast-growing dense canopy spreads by stolons, particularly in second year
  • Maintains mottled yellow-green foliage throughout growing season
  • Pale yellow flowers from late spring through midsummer
     

Photo: (cc) Dean Morley/Flickr

 

 

7. 'Majestic' Lilyturf
(Liriope)
  • Light shade
  • Clumping habit
  • 8 to 12 inches tall; 6 to 12 inches wide
  • Hardy in Zones 4 through 10
  • Dark green grasslike foliage emerges in late spring
  • Violet-blue flower spikes in July and August
  • Flowers followed by blue-black berry clusters
  • Evergreen
     

Photo: (cc) Leonora Enking/Flickr

Continue Reading: 8 Weeds You Can Eat