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Creeping Wintergreen

A member of the Heath family that forms large mats of glossy green groundcover in the woods. White flowers in late spring followed by red berries in the fall. (Gaultheria procumbens)

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Details:

Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Plant Size: 2-4" tall, 12-16" wide
Light: Half Sun / Half Shade, Full Shade
Bloom Time: Late spring to early summer
Shipping: Shipping begins in late March based on ground temperatures, warmest zones first.

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Details
SKU 2GAUG
Common Name Creeping Wintergreen or Checkerberry
Botanical Name Gaultheria procumbens
Zones 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Light Requirements Half Sun / Half Shade, Full Shade
Flower Color White
Mature Height 2-4" tall
Estimated Mature Spread 12-16" wide
Bloom Time Late spring to early summer
Planting Depth Plant so that the top of the root is 1" below the soil line.
Ships As Potted Plant
Foliage Evergreen foliage. Bright holly red berries.
Native Yes
Planting Season Spring / Summer
Soil Type Loamy Soil
Soil Moisture Average
Advantages Groundcover, Native, Evergreen, Winter Interest
Neonicotinoid-Free Yes - Learn More
Ships to Canada No
Our Master Gardeners Suggest Pairing With:
Description
This famous evergreen creeper with its brilliant red holly-like berries is a favorite groundcover for deeply shaded woodland gardens. When established, it can cover large areas with its deep green oval leaves on ground-hugging stems. A member of the Heath family, Wintergreen brings woodland gardens small bell-like waxy flowers in addition to its famous red berries. This plant is the source of wintergreen oil, long used in toothpastes and other products. Also called Checkerberry, this lovely plant is quite common in woods from Canada south through the wooded mountains.
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Reviews

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
American MeadowsCreeping Wintergreen
 
2.4

(based on 9 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (5)

33%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

No Pros

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

No Best Uses
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (5)

Reviewed by 9 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-9

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1.0

Didn't Creep.

By 

from Tunkhannock, Pa.

Verified Reviewer

Pros

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about American Meadows Creeping Wintergreen:

        I was hoping that these plants would thrive and cover an open hillside. Instead, they virtually disappeared under natural weed growth, except for one which lived but didn't spread.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        It died shortly after planting.

        By 

        from st.james, mo

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

          Cons

          • It died

          Best Uses

          • None

          Comments about American Meadows Creeping Wintergreen:

          I planted it in a woody area of my yard. It died

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          A pleasant surprise after doubting it!

          By 

          from Fishersville, VA

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Very easy to plant

          Cons

          • Grows Slowly

          Best Uses

          • Evergreen Groundcover

          Comments about American Meadows Creeping Wintergreen:

          When this product arrived Spring 2013, I had little hope that it would live. The bag contained a few short sprigs of green vine with hair like roots in a dry packaging material that appeared to be loose peat moss. I thought it would turn out to be a waste of time and money. I phoned American Meadows to ask for specific directions because I had read the mixed reviews prepared by other buyers. The A.M. representative felt confident that it would do okay without any special treatment. So, I planted it at the rear of my house where I have woods, steep slope (with erosion concerns), and so much shade that I am limited on things to plant there. I purposely seek evergreen shade groundcovers that I can pair with periwinkle, ivy, Christmas ferns, pachysandra, etc for variety, texture, and winter interest when the native woodland plants and deciduous trees are dormant. Fortunately, we had a summer of frequent rains, and I did not need to water these wintergreen sprigs very often. They have thrived. One even bloomed. So far, the squirrels have not dug them up! My only complaint is that they grow slowly, which is a test of my patience, and this is more my own problem than it is a problem with the plant. But, to address my impatience, and since American Meadows does not sell the seeds, I found a supplier from whom I could buy seeds to start my own plants. Online research told me that germination is difficult, but I suppose I had beginners luck; the seeds germinated nicely and are growing, albeit VERY SLOWLY in grower pots. So, regardless whether buying sprigs from A.M., or buying seeds to start plants, I think consumers should be prepared for slow growth, unless creeping wintergreen behaves like Ivy that, according to the adage, "The first year it sleeps; the second year it creeps, and the third year it leaps". I am in my first year with creeping wintergreen 2013, and this fabulous groundcover purchased from A.M. lives happily, but it seems most contented to sleep this year.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          Did not survive when planted as directed

          By 

          from Brooklyn NY

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about American Meadows Creeping Wintergreen:

                Similar to another customer, our plants were tiny, and were delivered in spring. I'm now reading they should be fall planted. We puddled them in and watered regularly, but not a single plant survived. I definitely expected viable plants to place in the garden, not something I had to pot up for a year before setting out.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                2.0

                Beware, cannot be planted as shipped

                By 

                from State College, PA

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Inexpensive

                Cons

                • Requires Special Care
                • Teeny Tiny Plants

                Best Uses

                  Comments about American Meadows Creeping Wintergreen:

                  I have been looking for a source for this great woodland native, and was SO excited to find it here. I am very happy that I waited until the plant was on clearance however, or else I would have been very disappointed with what arrived. Teeny tiny wispy little "plants" (I use that term very loosely here, little more than just threads of roots), barely more than cuttings were shipped in plastic bags.

                  Though I trust that these will eventually become hardy specimens after much care, there's not a chance they would survive if planted directly. Instead I sifted through the soil they shipped in and teased out the tiny hairs of roots and potted them up. I'll try up potting them later and holding them over a year before planting them.

                  These should NOT be purchased if you are not an accomplished gardener, or are expecting something that can be planted right away. I would never sell something like this to the general public in this fashion.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Pretty, semi-evergreen ground cover.

                  By 

                  from Westchester, NY

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Attractive Fruit
                  • Bronze Fall Color
                  • Deer resistant
                  • Low-growing

                  Cons

                  • Not Treadable

                  Best Uses

                  • Good Container Plant
                  • Great Grass Alternative
                  • Keeps Leaves Through Wint

                  Comments about American Meadows Creeping Wintergreen:

                  Gaultheria procumbans is very hardy. It was planted in pots in the fall and still looks great mid-winter. Bright red berries display against bronzed leaves. Plant greens up in spring and eventually spreads to create a dense mat that is deer resistant.

                  Purchase at least 1 gal pots to help them get established with less stress.

                  (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Even my Geese couldn't kill them!

                  By 

                  from Hazel Green, AL

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Easy
                  • Hardy

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Grows Where Others Die

                    Comments about American Meadows Creeping Wintergreen:

                    I planted these in pots because the area I wanted to grow them in wasn't ready. One year later they were finally planted. In the meantime, they got sun burned, dryed out, pulled out of the pots and chewed on by my geese, repotted, and grew so vigorously that they came out the bottoms of the pots and rooted into the ground! My kind of plant!

                    (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    1.0

                    Did not survive

                    By 

                    from Stafford, VA

                    Verified Reviewer

                    Comments about American Meadows Creeping Wintergreen:

                    I planted these along a hillside, all of my other plants have survived, but these died off very quickly.

                    (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    1.0

                    Difficult to acclimate

                    By 

                    from Chicago

                    Comments about American Meadows Creeping Wintergreen:

                    I'm an accomplished gardener, but even with care and planning, I have only 2 of the 6 plants surviving after four months (and the rest of my garden flourishing.) Plants arrived TINY and in retrospect I should have cared for them for another year before planting. I don't expect to have to do that when purchasing plants from an informed source, though. Do you?

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                    How-To Guides
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                    Shipping

                    Shipping begins in late March based on ground temperatures, warmest zones first.

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                    As soon as your order is placed you will receive a confirmation email. You will receive a second email the day your order ships telling you how it has been sent. Some perennials are shipped as potted plants, some as perennial roots packed in peat.  The ‘Details’ tab describes how that item will ship. All perennials and spring-planted bulbs are packaged to withstand shipping and are fully-guaranteed. Please open upon receipt and follow the instructions included.

                    Perennials and spring-planted bulbs are shipped at the proper planting time for your hardiness zone. Perennial and spring-planted bulb orders will arrive separately from seeds. If your order requires more than one shipment, there is no additional shipping charge. See our Shipping Information page for approximate ship dates and more detailed information. If you need express shipping or have any questions, please call Customer Service toll-free at (877) 309-7333 or Contact Us by email.

                    Our Master Gardeners Suggest Pairing With: