The deer-resistant Grace Ward lithodora (Lithodora diffusa “Grace Ward”) is an evergreen ground cover. Hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 6 to 8, the plant begins to bloom in spring and continues to produce a profusion of blue flowers until later summer to early fall. Grace Ward grows 6 to 12 inches and spreads 6 feet across the ground, forming a blue-dotted green mat attractive to butterflies. Grace Ward lithodora requires just a few actions on your part for it to grow and thrive.
Grow Grace Ward in full or partial sun, spacing multiple plants 5 feet apart.
Weed the plant’s surroundings regularly. Apply a 1- to 2-inch layer of mulch around the lithodora to suppress weeds. Use wood chips, shredded bark, compost or other mulching material. Remove the mulch gradually as the ground cover expands its territory, leaving no room for weeds.
Water the plant to the depth of its root system to keep the ground moist during the first growing season. From the second year on, irrigate established lithodora weekly.
Feed Grace Ward lithodora a complete slow-release fertilizer once every spring. A complete formula, such as a 10-10-10 formula, contains equal percentages of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Apply the nutrient according to the rates listed on the manufacturer’s label.
Prune the plants back to the ground whenever the stems in the center begin to die. The hard pruning rejuvenates the lithodora, which responds by putting out fresh, new growth.
Things You Will Need
- Complete slow-release fertilizer