Winter creeper (Euonymus fortunei)

Quick facts and care essentials

• Evergreen woody vine
• Zones 3-17, 28-41
• Full sun, partial shade, or full shade
• Moderate water

Some forms of winter creeper are compact shrubs - but the ground cover sorts are trailing and vinelike, rooting as they spread and climbing upward when they encounter a vertical surface. Common winter creeper, E. f. radicans, has thick, oval dark green leaves up to an inch long. Foliage of purple-leaf winter creeper, E. f. 'Coloratus', turns dark purple in fall and winter. Numerous other varieties are available, some with variegated leaves.

These plants are tolerant of a wide range of soils. Scale can be a problem. Space 3 to 5 feet apart, depending on the plant's ultimate size and on how fast you want the planting to fill in. When plantings begin to look rangy or untidy, mow or shear in late winter or early spring.