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Pigeonberry

Rivina humilis

pow pigeonberry

Pigeonberry is one of my absolute favorite groundcovers for shade. This lovely little Central Texas native has many attractive qualities, not the least of which is that it flowers and fruits almost continuously throughout the growing season, a quality which is quite rare. Very few plants flower and produce fruit at the same time, or even produce fruit for extended periods, and pigeonberry fruit are a great food source for many different species of birds.  Deer resistance is moderate but we’ve seen it in deer browsed gardens.

Each pigeonberry plant will grow to only about 12 to 18 inches tall and equally as wide, so in order to cover a large area in your garden, it might be best to start pigeonberry from seed directly in your yard. A typical seed packet is listed to cover about 20 square feet, making this plant a very economical choice if you need to fill in a lot of shady space.

Pigeonberry can take full shade, partial shade, and dappled sun, but shouldn’t be planted in super bright or full sun areas. It needs very little care or maintenance once established.

During its first year, you should water pigeonberry once a week or so if we’re not getting any rainfall, but once established, you’ll only need to water sparingly, if at all. During times of heavy drought, even if you don’t water pigeonberry at all, it will simply go dormant and reemerge once rain comes or water is given.

Listed as hardy to zone 7 and hardy well below freezing, pigeonberry will be deciduous in light winters, and reliably perennial after even the harshest Central Texas cold snaps. Pigeonberry makes a great addition to both formal garden beds and to wilder, more natural areas of the landscape.

We have two great viewer pictures this week!  Not only will Hutto gardeners Jessica and Lance Romigh get luscious peaches this year, they fed the bees on emerging flowers.

AND, Jackie Dye’s poignant story about her miracle Christmas-blooming brugmansia, a passalong from her beloved Aunt Jean who passed in April.

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