Do you have bare spots in your yard where grass won’t grow? Under a large tree that is too shady for grass? A slope or steep area? If you’ve answered “YES!” to any of these questions, you may need a groundcover to solve your issue.
What is a groundcover? The definitive answer would be “Any one of a group of low-lying plants with a creeping, spreading habit that are used to cover sections of ground with minimal maintenance.”
Groundcovers can be used in so many ways:
- mass plantings in your actual landscape,
- adding color to a rock garden,
- use in skinny walkway beds,
- introducing new colors and textures to your garden beds,
- erosion area
Also known as ‘Bugleweed’
This evergreen perennial (stays green all year) has a ground-hugging habit of growth. Ajuga sends up beautiful electric blue blooms that rise above its foliage from mid to late spring. It attracts butterflies but not deer. Ajuga loves to spread, plant in part-shade, and watch her thrive!
Also known as ‘Maleberry’
Japanese Ardisia shows off a rich, green color and dainty clusters of pink star-shaped flowers at the ends of its branches during spring, and red berries in mid fall. This multi-stemmed evergreen shrub is perfect for areas that are shaded, moist and cool. Reaching a spread of 3 feet, this part-shade to full shade lover makes for an excellent groundcover (and an excellent houseplant!).
Also known as ‘Carex’
Sedge is a vigorous, mound-forming evergreen with striking, grassy foliage. The gracefully arching stems of this plant bring a fine and delicate addition to any garden. This groundcover is relatively low-maintenance, and does well in partial shade or full shade, and spreads up to 16 inches. Many native varieties of Sedge cultivar are right here among us in East Texas! Sedge makes a great border edging, mass planting, and also works well in mixed containers.
Also known as ‘Heuchera’
Coral Bells is an evergreen perennial with tall flower stalks held atop a low mound of foliage. These tiny, delicate flowers come in as many colors as its foliage does, from lime green to purple! This low-growing plant is relatively low-maintenance and a good choice for attracting butterflies. Coral Bells are perfect for containers, mass plantings, borders and rock gardens. This evergreen can take full sun or full shade and can spread up to 18 inches.
Showing out in a rich, emerald color, Pachysandra is an evergreen that looks amazing year-round. Spreading up to 1 ½ feet at maturity, this perennial does best in part shade to morning sun. The bold, dark green leaves make for a fantastic groundcover, or border for walkways. Small, bright white flowers appear in early spring – though not particularly showy, the flowers offer an ornate addition against the green background.
‘Blue Rug’ Juniper
This ground-hugging Juniper features silvery-blue foliage that takes on a nearly purple tinge during winter and produces blue berries from late spring to late winter. A dense, multi-stemmed evergreen, ‘Blue Rug’ Juniper is extremely adaptable and hardy – making for a great groundcover or border, or even trailing over walls. A lover of full sun to part shade, this Juniper can reach a spread of up to 7 feet!
Also known as ‘Moss Phlox’
Creeping Phlox puts on a show of bright, cherry red, blue or white star-shaped flowers at the ends of the stems from early to late spring. It’s tiny, needle-like leaves remain green in color throughout the year. This evergreen blanket of flowers does best in full sun to part-shade, which makes it perfect for border edging, mass planting or general ground cover. At maturity, Creeping Phlox can spread up to 18 inches.
Ground cover sedums are a form of succulents that are winter hardy and stay green throughout the year. These are heat loving plants that grow well in full sun or partial sun and are drought tolerant! They come in a variety of colors, some have variegated leaves and bloom in late Summer through Fall. Use in rock gardens, as ground cover in landscape beds, as spillers in containers or in hanging baskets.
Also known as ‘Ice Plant’
This is a multi-purpose plant with succulent type foliage. It blooms in bright colors from Spring through Fall, stays green throughout the winter, loves full sun and heat but will also perform in partial sun. Good for rock gardens, a spiller in containers, and in hanging baskets.
Standard Mondo Grass
This old standby is an evergreen perennial with grass like stems and small purple flower spikes which bloom throughout the Spring and Summer. It is slow growing and spreads through runners. It can be easily divided and moved to other areas and requires minimal care once established. Mass plantings are striking – giving the appearance of a deep green lawn. Plant in shade or part shade.
This woody stemmed favorite grows well in a variety of soils and conditions. It is a great erosion control on slopes and on the side of creeks or ditches. It can be cut with a weedeater or even with a mower set on the highest setting if it becomes too tall for the area. Plant in partial sun to full sun.
Another shade loving groundcover which keeps its dark green color year-round. This plant runs along the ground and sets roots along the stem. It can become invasive and grow up into trees if not contained.
Evergreen flowering herb that is covered with a blanket of pink-purple blossoms in the Spring. It can handle some light foot traffic and reaches a height of 3”. Grows in full sun to partial shade.