Ice Dance SedgeCarex morrowii ‘Ice Dance’
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Carex morrowii ‘Ice Dance’
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun, Shade
Ice Dance Sedge is a beautiful, low-growing groundcover plant, similar to an ornamental grass. It has slender green leaves that are edged with a sparkling band of white, and it grows just 12 inches tall, spreading from clumps that gradually fill in between to form a continuous carpet of leaves. Flowering is insignificant. This plant is evergreen in warmer areas, dying back over winter in colder zones. It grows mostly in spring and fall, and it makes a beautiful carpet beneath your trees and shrubs, edging paths, beneath trees in woodland and in any shady location. It will even grow in full sun if the soil is moist.
The Ice Dance Sedge grows in full sun to full shade, growing well in sunless areas where most plants fail. It is hardy but deciduous in zone 5, and evergreen in warmer zones. It grows best in moist, rich, acidic soils, but tolerates most garden soils with ease, if they are not too dry. Water regularly for the best results. Trim back in late winter – new leaves will soon grow up – and that is the only maintenance needed. Pests and diseases are normally never a problem, and deer ignore it.
You can build wonderful landscapes with shrubs – it’s what we specialize in – but adding a little more can make a big difference. Filling in the low spaces around the edges of your beds, beneath trees and along your pathways, adds a whole extra dimension to the look of your garden, and a richness and sense of completeness. You could do it with annual flowers, but just think of the work! Instead, do it with low-growing, evergreen perennial plants. The ones that grow in full shade are especially useful, and that is where you can find the Ice Dance Sedge bringing its brightness to lighten the darkest corners with its slender green and white leaves. It will do the same in partial shade and full sun too, spreading slowly without taking over, and making a sparking carpet of white and green that always looks great.
The Ice Dance Sedge is a clump forming grassy plant that spreads slowly to create a carpet of leaves across the ground. It grows no more than 12 inches tall, and individual clumps can be 1 or 2 feet across. The slender leaves rise up and arch over, creating a fascinating interplay of light and shade. Each leaf is about ½ inch wide, a medium green color, with a band of white along each edge. The white edging really does make it look like a hoar-frost has grown along the leaf, and as the leaves sway in a breeze they seem to dance for us. The foliage is evergreen in warmer zones, and mostly deciduous in zone 5 and sometimes in zone 6. New shoots quickly sprout up during the cooler days of spring. This plant does most of its growing in cooler weather, in spring and fall, and very little growth occurs during the hot summer months.
This plant is similar to a grass, and it produces short flowering stems over summer that rarely rise up above the leaves, with a few flowers that have no petals and are beige colored. These are not significant to the overall look of the plant.
Because it is tolerant of shade, the Ice Dance Sedge is perfect for filling those shady spaces below trees and shrubs. Use it to edge a bed where it meets a path or lawn. Plant it around water or along a stream, Grow it in planters as a groundcover beneath flowering trees and bushes. Plant it in woodland areas and shade gardens.
Wherever you have bare and boring gaps in your garden, that is where this plant is a perfect choice.
To create a continuous carpet of leaves, plant 12 inches apart. In a while the clump will spread outwards, sending up new shoots into the spaces between, until a beautiful uniform carpet is made. Although the stems spread, this plant is not invasive, and any excess spreading is easily controlled, and usually not necessary.
The Ice Dance Sedge is hardy, but deciduous, in zone 5, and it grows well in all warmer zones, usually keeping its leaves through the winter months.
The Ice Dance Sedge grows in a wide range of light conditions. If the soil is moist it will grow in full sun, and otherwise it grows in partial to full shade very well. Plants in shade have whiter bands and look more striking – too much sun may make it look greener. It grows well in most garden soils, doing best in richer, acidic soils, so add organic material before planting. This plant enjoys moist and even wet soils, and it is not particularly drought tolerant. Do not plant in very dry and sandy soils.
In all but the warmest zones your Ice Dance Sedge may be looking a little tired by the end of winter. It can be cut short at that time – new leaves will quickly sprout up and in a couple of weeks it will be looking fresh, clean and ready for another season. In older plantings it is beneficial to apply an inch or two of rich organic material such as compost over the soil surface as mulch, after cutting the plants down. Pests and diseases are normally never a problem, and it is not eaten by deer. This plant is very low maintenance – as all good groundcovers should be.
Sedges are relatives of grasses, with some differences in their foliage. There are about 1,800 different species, but only a few are grown in gardens. Morrow’s Sedge, Carex morrowii, grows wild in southern Japan, on mountain slopes beneath trees on the volcanic Izu islands. Wild plants are plain green, but there are several forms with variegated leaves that have been collected over the years. The variety called ‘Ice Dance’ has exceptionally white edges and a very attractive form. Its exact origin is not known.
Adding groundcover plants really enriches your garden, and Ice Dance Sedge is a unique and beautiful plant that is perfect for damp shade. Order your plants now, while our stock lasts, and add that missing extra dimension to your garden.