I think that Dead Nettle is one of my favorite ground covers for shady areas, grown largely for its foliage and colorful flowers.
About This Plant
Dead Nettle thrives in shade but will grow in sun when provided with moist soil conditions. It is hardy in zones 3 to 8. Different varieties offer a range of flower colors in white, purple and pink and silver variegated leaves. All have a low-growing, creeping habit that make them widely adapted as ground cover or for mass plantings.
- Lamium maculatum ‘Beacon Silver’ Foliage, edged dark green with hooded, whorled, mauve-pink flowers in late spring to early summer, and again with the return of the cooler weather of fall.
- Lamium maculatum ‘Orchid Frost’ Scalloped blue-green margins and shimmering silvery centers brighten shady gardens and create a dramatic backdrop for the masses of small, tubular orchid-pink flowers. Much more resistant to foliar diseases than other types.
- Lamium maculatum ‘Purple Dragon’ An exceptional new variety of Lamium. Largest deep purple snapdragon-like flowers stand out over the variegated leaves that are primarily silver.
- Lamium maculatum ‘White Nancy’ In summer, white flowers bloom over dense, silver foliage. The bright foliage and flowers brighten shady areas, while its dense habit chokes out any weeds.
- Lamium maculatum ‘Wootton Pink’ bears pale pink flowers in late spring to early summer above striped variegated leaves.
Dead Nettle grows best in shade to part shade in moist, well-drained soils. It spreads vigorously, but is not invasive.
Prepare the planting area by tilling or forking or tiller to loosen the soil to a depth of 12 to 15 inches, then mix in a 4-inch layer of compost. Dig a hole twice the size of the pot the plant is in. Carefully remove the plant from its container and place it in the hole so the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Carefully fill in around the root ball and firm the soil gently. Water thoroughly.
Cut back after flowering to maintain form and appearance. You can propagate and divide spreading runners that begin to take root in spring. Cut back after the first flush of bloom to maintain a compact growth habit.Regular watering is a necessity for them, especially during hot summers.