Aegopodium podagraria 'Variegatum' - How agressive?

I have an area at the edge of a woodland where I am having difficulty getting anything to grow. The area gets dappled sunlight, especially the late afternoon. The area is mostly covered in wild strawberry and weeds like persicaria. I have tried oenothera (evening primrose), lamb's ear, Lysimachia punctata, English ivy,and ferns without much luck. The area tends to be very dry and there are lots of tree roots.
A neighbor has offered me some variegated aegopodium (bishop's weed). It looks like it might be a good solution, however all the information says it is very aggressive and hard to get rid of if you change your mind. Some sites recommend using a root barrier. It hasn't been that aggressive in her garden, but I can see that you can't plant it in a mixed bed because it intermingles with everything around it.
Should I try it or am I asking for trouble?
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forget your garden, you should be more worried about it escaping into the woods.
toad
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I'd restrict it to a pot. I've seen it making very large patches in the UK, so YMMV. A root barrier is unlikely to contain it imho, because it's such a shallow rooter and will just creep over the top.
The green form is an invasive weed here and spreads like wildfire by seed as well as roots.The roots break very easily and every tiny fragment grows. I'm not sure if the variegated one sets viable seed, or if they come up green or variegated. I suppose like many variegated plants, odd shoots could revert to green. I'd be worried about seeds or reversion turning a pretty thing back into the ugly thug.
Janet
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how badly do you want to cover that patch? if it is really dry it will not spread as much as some of the other posters say. In my case, it spreads mildly in a 2-hr sun location (it took 3 years to cover an area of 4X6 sqft, starting from five trasnplants), but other ground covers I have (like vinca minor, lilyof the valley, and mint) spread much faster with less sun. It spreads about as fast as sweet woodruff, slower than ivy and slightly slower than lamium. As you say, it is best planted in a situation where it is the only cover, with perennials coming out of it. If even ivy did not take, it may be your only choice. It is almost certain that it will not spread much. Maybe place a barrier only in the direction of the woodland. Your mower will make the edge towards the house.
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I have tried lamium and it died. Lily of the Valley is growing, but not spreading much after three years. Since the area is covered with wild strawberry, I thought that Fragaria Lipstick might work, but it is dying, and the surviving plants look like hell. planted some common orange daylilies and they are surviving but not spreading. Since it is bone dry and pretty shady, almost nothing grows well. Since the roots are rather shallow, it seems like a root barrier might be successful if you monitored it for roots trying to escape over the top. The information I have read say that the variegated form is not as invasive as the solid green. Some sites say the seeds are not viable and other say it spread by self-sowing. I am inclined to try it since nothing else is working but I don't want to release something invasive into the woods. That said, the neighbor also lives adjacent to the same woodland and hers hasn't escaped.
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I would give it a try. Aegopodium has a reputation for surviving in dry shade, and if even the daylilies are not spreading, you can be sure aegopodium will not spread either.
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No, no, a thousand times no! My neighbor put some near the property line, I love her to death, but it's crawling all over my backyard now, it's a constant battle. Don't plant it (but of course that's just my humble opinion, it's your garden........).
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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if things keep dying because the area is "really dry", you might consider watering your plants in the hope that they will survive?
Toad
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I have a large area under irrigation with both sprayers and a drip system. There is a limit to how much one can (or will) keep meticulously groomed and irrigated. The area that I am working on is a woodland area. I want to make it a very informal, low maintenance area - a shady retreat from the more formal area of the yard. Of course watering is one option, but not one that meets my goals for this area. There is a creek that runs behind the property but it is on the common area for the development. While no one really uses it, I'm sure that the moment I tried to pump water from it for my garden, all hell would break loose! There are probably all sorts of laws precluding that option. My deed prohibits the installation of a well or cistern, so I can't collect rain water or dig a well. I just want to clean up the area and put in some plants that will survive with minimal care. I have removed dead trees and cleaned up fallen trees and brush. I have defined some paths and now I want to plant some low maintenance ground covers, under shrubs, and woodland perennials. I see this as multi-year project.
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Well, then, how 'bout some natives? It would seem they wouldn't be a no brainer, you know, the right plant for the right place. If you don't know of any, call you County Extension office and ask them for help.
Suzy O

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Definitely asking for trouble down the road the first time you don't keep it confined.
Suzy O

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Just had another thought -- gadzooks, 2 in 1 day. Anyhoot, how 'bout doing a google search for "dry shade groundcover" and see what comes up?
Suzy O

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Personally, I wouldn't touch it with someone else's 10-foot pole! I have yet to hear of anyone who has planted it and hasn't eventually asked how to get rid of it.
On the edge of a wooded area -- at least here in zone 5 there are many natives that will grow quite nicely and not "eat" the area.
BTW, what zone are you in?
Suzy O

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