Wintergreen Overview

Description Wintergreen has caught the eye of plant scientists and landscape designers. It is a hardworking landscape problem solver in cool, shaded planting sites. Wintergreen has evergreen leaves paired with white flowers in summer and bright red berries in fall. Standing just 6 inches tall, it hugs the ground, choking out weeds while creating a dense mat of glossy foliage.
Genus Name Gaultheria procumbens
Common Name Wintergreen
Plant Type Shrub
Light Part Sun, Shade
Height 6 to 6 inches
Width null to 36 inches
Flower Color White
Season Features Summer Bloom, Winter Interest
Special Features Attracts Birds, Fragrance
Zones 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Propagation Division, Seed
Problem Solvers Groundcover

Easy-growing Companions

Grow wintergreen as a rich, colorful groundcover around shade-loving shrubs for a low-maintenance garden that overflows with interest year-round. Thriving in cool, northern gardens, the following plants provide flowers and spectacular foliage throughout the growing season. Plant wintergreen with snowberry (Symphoricarpos), Ivory Halo dogwood (Cornus alba), Ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris), Oregon grape holly (Mahonia), rhododendron (Rhododendron), and arrowwwood viburnum (Viburnum dentatum).

Site Requirements

Carefully consider your planting site before adding wintergreen to the landscape. Wintergreen has specific site requirements, but if your site fits the bill, it is a great plant. Choose a part- to full-shade site that has loose, sandy soil. In its native environment wintergreen thrives in cool, damp woodland settings, especially under evergreen trees.

Wintergreen Care Must-Knows

Plant wintergreen in spring or early summer. Water plants thoroughly and frequently through the first growing season after planting. Reduce watering during the second season, but water generously during prolonged periods of drought. Blanket the ground around plants with a 2-inch-thick layer of shredded-bark mulch to slow soil moisture loss. Wintergreen spreads moderately by underground rhizomes to form a dense mat. Prune plants as needed in winter.

See more flowering shrubs you should plant.

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