It makes a bushy cover crowned with long-lasting, attractive purplish flowers. .5-1′, Spread 1-2′. To be more specific (quoting Doug Ladd, from p.178 of North Woods Wildflowers), its habitat is "moist woods, often under conifers, and in wooded swamps, shaded bogs and peaty areas." This is not a plant you can plant and forget. Barrenroot is the common name for the Epimedium genus of plants, comprised of several dozen species, a few of which are important landscape plants. English ivy has been used for a long time in North America for problem areas, including shady spots, but its problems are now well known. Once established, they’ll crowd out weeds, provide year-round protection to the soil, and offer overwintering habitat for native fauna. If that happens, cut it back once or twice a season to 4 to 8 inches tall. The masses of pale green leaflets make an elegant cover, up to 16 inches high. Hardy shade ground cover is perfect for these areas because some flower, and others have beautiful green leaves. Wild cranesbill (Geranium maculatum, Zones 4–8) has flocks of leaves on tall stems. Spotted deadnettle is an evergreen ground cover for shade that sometimes offers variegated leaves as a selling point, though its beauty is further enhanced by pretty white, pink, or purple flowers. The following gardens feature native plants and are designed and maintained by Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia , serving Arlington and Alexandria. Farther north, it can take increasing sunlight. While it may look delicate, sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum, USDA Hardiness Zones 5–8) is actually a vigorous spreader. The leaves … These trees can sell for $60 and more at floral shops,…, "As a recently identified gardening nut I have tried all the magazines and this one is head and shoulders above the pack. It will become ragged and go dormant early unless supplied with plenty of water during hot, dry summers. Deer are a real problem for our groundcovers in North Carolina. For this reason, the painted fern is more popular in landscaping. Learn how to easily and cheaply make a boxwood tree. More on gardening in shade: In this list of 12 common ground cover plants, the first five are well-behaved species that generally can be used without fear, but the remaining seven have a reputation for unruliness and invasiveness in some regions; before using them, check with local experts to make sure they won't cause problems. This invasive plant tends to get out of control in the yard. A second consideration is whether the ground cover prefers sun or shade. Medium well-drained soil. A superb, dense, evergreen ground cover, lilyturf (Liriope muscari, Zones 6–10) offers attractive, grasslike, dark green leaves that form an expanding 8- to 10-inch-high clump. It reaches a height of 12 to 18 inches with rose-colored flowers. Green leaves and lime green/yellow flowers in Summer. We made a long list of ground cover ferns that not only grow well in the shade but fill the space with texture and color. It has deep roots that help it survive drought, but the plant cannot handle consistently dry conditions. Areas beneath trees and shrubs are often difficult to plant up as the soil is so dry, but there are some ground cover options that can fit the bill. While we may be gardening in the Sunshine State, many gardeners still face the challenge of growing in the shade. Wherever you are, it will require a soil pH close to neutral. native areas. Gardeners who plant it for its attractive shiny dark-green or bronze leaves often come to regret the decision, as it can quickly spread into turf grass or onto neighboring properties. The absence of flowers may be a deal-breaker for some gardeners, but others adore good foliage plants. Our native ground cover plants are far superior to turf grass, which is not native, because they’re low maintenance. Go native with your ground cover. When we removed a dying American Elm near our potting shed, this plant sprung to life around the stump. It was a small way to say thank you for the efforts…. Ht. You can't go wrong with these five flowering varieties for sun, shade and fast growth. Common names: Native daisy, cut leaf daisy. Groundcover Plants for Shade. They don’t need fertilizers or pesticides, and they don’t need to be mowed or watered once established (learn more from my previous posts here and here).). Common Name Scientific Name Type Light Soil Moisture ()Red maple Acer rubrum deciduous full-sun / shade hydric / xeric Sugar maple Acer saccharum deciduous full-sun / shade mesic / sub-xeric Yellow buckeye Aesculus flava For many years the quintessential American shade ground cover was ivy (Hedera helix and cvs.). This plant requires little care. Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis, Zones 2–7), a low-growing member of the dogwood family, makes an outstanding emerald ground cover. Sweet Woodruff. You have probably heard of the midnight ride of Paul Revere, in which the patriot of the American Revolution famously warned about the coming British invaders. Such plants are usually evergreens or have densely twiggy growth. A herb that forms thick patches, it has white flowers. You can use ground covers with other shade garden ideas to create a full, beautifully designed garden. Get complete site access to decades of expert advice, regional content, and more, plus the print magazine. Dwarf Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum humile, Zones 5–8) creates a plush cover wonderful for prominent shady spots. Ground covers can transform those dark, hard to grow areas that get no sunshine. They may be good for growing under trees in the shade or on steep banks to help prevent soil erosion. Light Sun to shade. Another shade-loving native is the inside-out flower (Vancouveria hexandra). It is, however, relatively easy to control by cropping in closely with a mower or by denying it water. Spring brings purple flower stalks to this drought-tolerant ground cover option that does just fine in full or part sun but also thrives in partial shade. It forms a dense, 8- to 12-inch-high mat of silver-speckled leaves. Grow ground cover plants on steep banks or hard-to-access areas, under trees and shrubs, or at the front of a border. But don't be deceived by its good looks. Sign up for a free trial and get access to ALL our regional content, plus the rest What we long for is one plant that will take to that spot and cover it so we don’t have to think about it again. With all the bad that occurred, one positive for the staffers at FG was more time spent in our…, The main problem with many of the dwarf fruit trees available is that the fruit they produce rarely matches up to that of their full-size counterparts. Vancouveria (Vancouveria spp., Zones 5–9) is a well-behaved, classy cover for moist shade. Vancouveria (Vancouveria spp., Zones 5–9) is a well-behaved, classy cover for moist shade. Bugleweed is such an aggressive plant that the best advice is to avoid it altogether in all situations. A very common gardening error is to think that a plant that "tolerates" shade will grow in complete dense shade. Blue Moon Phlox grows in zones 3 to 8 in full shade to part shade and part Sun. Some Florida-Friendly groundcover plants that will grow well in shade, on your solution for Florida-Friendly gardening from the University of Florida's Center … It is native to eastern and central parts of North America and will grow beautifully with composted soil. Perennials for ground covers are not usually the herbaceous types that die down in winter, but rather evergreen types, woody sub-shrubs and those with winter persistent foliage. However, pachysandra is an aggressive plant that is considered invasive in many areas of the northeastern U.S., from the Atlantic coast to Wisconsin. These are excellent ground cover plants for dry shade. What Are Ground Covers and Why Are They Useful? In the South, it endures long, hot summers and is a wonderful pass-along plant. Bed Preparation Prepare the area to be planted by removing weeds that will compete with the ground cover. David Beaulieu is a garden writer with nearly 20 years experience writing about landscaping and over 10 years experience working in nurseries. If you have a location with dense, full shade that gets no direct sunlight at all, make sure to choose plants rated for such locations—there aren't many of them, but several are described here. The plant covers itself in yellow flowers in early spring. These plants are hardy and shade the ground sufficiently to prevent most weeds from germinating. It gives you a … A small, prostrate ground cover with interesting serrated foliage and large attractive flowers. USDA Hardiness Zones 5–8) is actually a vigorous spreader. The native wood spurge, a very tough evergreen Euphorbia for any shady spot including tricky dry soils under trees. Goldenstar (Chrysogonum virginianum, Zones 5–8) is an elegant, long-lived, native ground cover with dazzling yellow blossoms scattered over a rich, green carpet of leaves. 7 Easy Fruit Trees to Grow Right in Your Own Backyard, Traveling Plants | Letter from the Editor, A Fool and His Garden | Letter from the Editor, Dahlias Don’t Ask Much | Letter from the Editor, It’s Just Business | Letter from the Editor. With moist shade and deep, acidic woodland soil of good tilth, it will form a tight ground cover. Flowers are large and reddish-pink, becoming cream towards the base. Like Liriope muscari and species of the Ophiopogon family(such as black mondo grass), it is commonly called "monkey grass." On the positive side, it does form such a dense mat that weeds are generally choked out. The northwest native kinnikinnick can sometimes be found at a native plant nursery. Flowering ground cover plants for shade BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine – receive 12 issues for only £39.99 Ground cover flowers are fantastic for shady spots – … Where to See These Ground Covers in our Demonstration Gardens Many of these recommended plants can easily be seen in person at local public gardens. Other plants, though, require some consideration. The 2-inch-diameter leaves have a rich, grayish green color with striking, silvery gray markings. Many plants are low-growing and spreading in habit and may be termed ground-cover, but the prime requisite of a good ground cover plant is to provide a rapid, dense cover, to suppress germination and development of weed seeds and to eliminate the need for weed control measures. It is hardy in the North and grows well in the South, tolerating hot and dry summers. This is horseherb (Calyptocarpus vialis), a native Texas plant that some gardeners use as a prolific ground cover in shade where little else, including grass, will grow. Suggested Use: Ground cover, shade garden, berries used as medicinal herb Tolerate: Very cold winters, some drought Easily grown in aver-age, dry to medium, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. There, it is not as exuberant as in its western habitat, but it is a tough plant that keeps coming back. Native groundcovers are particularly useful plants in any garden. For this reason, it is considered an invasive species in some places, especially areas of the Northeast and Northwest. The result is an 18- to 24-inch-tall ground cover of grayish green, deeply lobed, deciduous leaves. Makes a good looking ground cover. Get our latest tips, how-to articles, and instructional videos sent to your inbox. In early spring, the up-facing flowers appear in loose clusters above the leaves. A slow but deliberate spreader, it is well worth the wait and is suitable for gardens where delicate perennials and wildflowers will be its neighbors. Once established, it tolerates drought. This feature has been temporarily disabled during the beta site preview. Bunchberry thrives in cool summer climates. Perennials for ground covers are not usually the herbaceous types that die down in winter, but rather evergreen types, woody sub-shrubs and those with winter persistent foliage. It cares little how hot or dry it gets, what soil it grows in, or how much or little sun or shade it gets. Height: up to 50 centimetres. The beautifully variegated, evergreen leaves stand shoulder to shoulder, creating a close-knit cover. Groundcover Plants for Shade. (The plant is also known commonly as Bishop's hat). Pictures to help you find the ground cover for your garden slope, . Western bleeding heart (Dicentra formosa) likes shade, dies back to the ground in the winter and by mid-spring grows about 18 inches with hanging clusters of pink flowers. When you hear mention of ground covers for shade, ​Hosta immediately comes to mind. It’s a great choice for your garden because it requires little maintenance. Heuchera hirsutissima is a glorious little perennial that makes … Our tubestock shade-lovers are cheap to buy, easy to plant, fast to grow. Young growth is covered with reddish hairs. From $2.95 a plant Tiny, white flowers top the foliage in early summer. ", Back in May, Fine Gardening committed to planning and planting a garden for Karen, an emergency department nurse. Interrupted fern, like bunchberry and liverleaf, is a North American native that can serve as a low-maintenance ground cover for shade. Its gray-green fronds are painted with a silvery overcoat, studded with maroon veining. We use cookies to personalise content, analyse website performance and for advertising purposes. This low maintenance native ground cover literally appeared on our doorstep. These things will pick up those boring shady areas in your yard and complete your landscaping in a nice way. Likes the damp, in sun or shade. It is often the case that we gardeners find ourselves with a shady corner in our yard where nothing grows. It is an especially severe problem in the Northwest U.S. Liriope spicata is another potentially invasive ground cover for shade. It grows loosely at first and the earth can be seen under it. Foamflower is a perennial ground cover that grows up to 15 inches in height, with white flower spikes that seem to float above a mass of green leaves in midspring. Buy yours today! Others are ideal for preventing soil erosion and weed control. Soil Adaptable, tolerates heavy clay soils . Mazus radicans, the swamp musk. © 2020 The Taunton Press, Inc. All rights reserved. Although there are some perennial ground cover plants that bloom brilliantly in the shade, many rely more on foliage and color variations rather than flowers to create interest. This ground cover plant enjoys full sun but can take some shade. Small plugs of this phlox planted half a foot apart will provide effective, lasting cover within a growing season or two. In the North it does much better, and it can cover areas under full shade trees. Lily-of-the-valley has overrun many abandoned homesteads in eastern North America, and many garden centers no longer even sell the plant. What can we say about 2020 that hasn’t already been said? Are any of these particularly suited to areas with lots of deer activity? Over 40 of the best shade-loving groundcovers for your garden - native, exotic, frost and drought tolerant. Additionally, tree canopies will slow down heavy rains and help reduce storm runoff. It is showier (when in bloom, at least) than some of the other native choices in the region, such as spotted wintergreen. Although it can be expensive, it is generally maintenance-free and is easily propagated by division. Shuttleworth’s wild ginger (Asarum shuttleworthii, Zones 6–9) is a champion, no-care ground cover. There are oodles of other benefits that trees provide. There, it is not as exuberant as in its western habitat, but it is a tough plant that keeps coming back. Groundcovers for Shade. Native to our eastern deciduous forests, golden star likes a bit of morning sun for better blooms but will adapt to medium to full shade. In spring, small, bell-shaped flowers emerge in clusters in the leaf axils followed by small, bluish black, ball-shaped fruit. This not true, as horticulturists define a "part shade" plant as one that requires 2 to 4 hours of sunlight each day. The midsummer flowers are small, bluish violet, and tightly clustered on a stalk that rises above the foliage. Epimedium pubigerum is one of the taller types (24 inches); it bears white flowers with yellow centers. In general, hostas with green leaves, as well as blue-leaved types such as Halcyon hosta, are ideal choices for dense shade, while gold-leaved types and those with variegated leaves, such as Patriot hosta and the similar 'Minuteman', should be given a little more light. California ground cover native plants can create a drought tolerant, shady, sunny or wet garden like no other from San Diego up through Los Angeles, San Francisco This plant is considered slightly invasive in portions of the Northeast and Northwest U.S., but most gardeners will have no major problems with it. Only stagnant water in the ground will harm it. It is a notable problem in many parts of the U.S., especially the Pacific coastal states. But when it matures (and is planted in fertile, acidic woodland soil), its rhizomes will spread fast and wide, providing quick coverage. Although all three function as if they are ornamental grasses, none of them really are grasses from a scientific classification. It does not like the hot South, and I quickly found out it would not grow in my Atlanta garden. The piggyback plant, a well-known houseplant, flourishes in partial to full shade outside. In the hot South, it needs medium to full shade and tends to become leggy if it gets too dry. It's ideal to soften around a stepping-stone path, adding pretty mauve and white flowers for most of the year to the dense cover of round leaves. Ground covers also help suppress weed establishment, conserve moisture, and regulate soil temperature. pictum) stays shorter (12 to 18 inches) and gives you more interesting colors throughout the growing season. Hostas are generally well-behaved plants that grow and spread slowly. Carpet Bugle Probably the best ground cover for heavy shade, carpet bugle (Ajuga reptans) grows fast, spreading by underground stolons. Others are ideal for preventing soil erosion and weed control. 3. Grindelia stricta venulosa is a low ground cover that works well in coastal gardens. Initially, it can be a slow grower, but an application of slow-release fertilizers will provide a faster start. Cultivars with variegated leaves, white flowers, or curly, twisted leaves are worth seeking out. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. The plant is frost hardy, preferring moist, well-drained soil and a sunny position. Native daises will attracts bees, butterflies and other insects into the garden. It stays about 6 to 8 inches tall. Our native ground cover plants are far superior to turf grass, which is not native, because they’re low maintenance. Ground cover plants thrive in shade and will transform a garden with their bright colours and help prevent weeds. The heat in the South is harmful for sweet wood-ruff, but it can take it if shade and constant moisture are provided. It may be too rambunctious for areas with delicate perennials and wildflowers. Native violet is your go-to groundcover plant for that shady, often damp area down the side of the house. Foamflower is a perennial ground cover that grows up to 15 inches in height, with white flower spikes that The plant performs best in partial shade and humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil. Creeping liriope has a very bad reputation in the Southeast U.S., though it is less troublesome in the northern part of its hardiness range. For example, the interrupted fern (Osmunda claytoniana) is a tall type (2 to 3 feet). It spreads into a tight, low-growing ground cover that is 4 to 6 inches high. Bunchberry ground cover is a woodland plant that grows in the shade of the forest. There ain't nothing like wandering through the redwoods and coming upon the very same plant growing in your yard. Here are 12 common ground cover plants you should know about. —W. When planted in shade, they will grow poorly and become more sus-ceptible to insects and diseases. A number of cultivars are available, including 'Bruce's White', which has bright white flowers. Farther south, it spreads vigorously. Classified as a form of dogwood, this is a low-growing (3 to 9 inches) deciduous shrub that makes for an excellent ground cover plant in part shade locations. Pachysandra often goes by the common name spurge, which leads to sometimes confusing this plant with wood spurge (Euphorbia amygdaloides 'Purpurea'), which is also used as a ground cover plant. It produces a forest of deciduous, 6- to 8-inch-tall stems clothed in soft green leaves. No matter how careful you are in your landscape maintenance, you will never stay ahead of this vigorous, creeping spreader. A ground cover plant can transform a tricky bare patch of dirt into a riot of colour or fragrance. Over 200 of the best shade plants for your garden - native, exotic, evergreen, flowering, frost and drought tolerant. Creeping Thyme: This European and North African native is an evergreen ground It is low-growing and spreads slowly by creeping rhizomes, forming 4-inch-high mats of leaves, which hide the insignificant “little brown jug” flowers in spring. Ground Cover Why Plant Native! Are you sure you want to delete your notes for this recipe? They don’t need fertilizers or pesticides, and they don’t need to be mowed or watered once established (learn more from my previous posts here and here ). This is an enormous genus of landscape plants, comprising dozens of species and hundreds of hybrids and named cultivars. It grows well in partial shade, in rockeries, between pavers and even beside … You can use them without fear of rampant spreading. Some ground covers, like the horizontal junipers, must have sun. For good flowering, keep the soil consistently moist with a pH of 5.5 to 7. The same quality that earned mother of thousands (Saxifraga stolonifera, Zones 6–9) its name makes it a superb ground cover: its prodigious ability to produce offspring. Sweet woodruff is a mat-forming perennial that grows 8 to 12 tall and will positively overtake an area where growing conditions are perfect. Many types of barrenroot are planted for their nice leaves, more so than for their blooms, although the jester's-hat shape of Epimedium pubigerum is very nice. Native violet is your go-to groundcover plant for that shady, often damp area down the side of the house. You probably won’t even consider ivy if you first check out these ten outstanding plants for your shady spot. Caring tips. It was one of the only trouble-free plants available in nurseries to get the job done. Not all ground cover will be able to grow in the hot, humid atmosphere that you get in the state of Florida, but there are some amazing options that will really make your garden pop. 8. This Eurasian species makes a dense, 15-inch-high ground cover with numerous clusters of fragrant, white, star-shaped flowers, which appear in early summer. This West Coast native is becoming a popular evergreen ground cover in the East. Your local University Extension office is usually the best place for information. It turns golden in autumn, but, otherwise, offers only a green color. Plants that perform well as ground covers in shady areas earn this reputation because they are extremely tenacious and able to thrive without much sunlight. Australian Harebell (Isotoma) is a native ground cover that thickly grows like a dense mat and features purple flowers. spreads in shade and best in coastal areas under redwoods. Western bleeding heart (Dicentra formosa) likes shade, dies back to the ground in the winter and by mid-spring grows about 18 inches with hanging clusters of pink flowers. It grows to 9 to 18 inches and quickly spreads by forming grass-like clumps. But this virtue can lead to problems, since some shade-loving plants can overrun a landscape and may even escape a garden, naturalize, and threaten native plant species. Ground covers are both decorative and problem solvers. Spotted deadnettle is an evergreen ground cover for shade that sometimes offers variegated leaves as a selling point, though its beauty is further enhanced by pretty white, pink, or purple flowers. Native to New Brunswick in Canada, south to Georgia and west to Michigan Best flowering ground cover for deep shade. Best ground cover for shade Whether your garden is shaded by a canopy of trees, nestled into the corner of a tall fence, or full of tall leafy plants that cast shade below, these shade tolerant ground cover plants will make fabulous additions. Groundcovers are low-growing plants that fill in quickly to make a dense carpet of foliage. It can be a very good ground cover for a gardener able and willing to keep it under control, but it has escaped cultivation and naturalized in many areas of the northern U.S, thanks to its ability to adapt to almost any soil condition. Ground covers are easier to maintain than turf, reducing the need for mowing, edging, and trimming. Many thrive in shade or where lawns will not grow. Selections are available for a variety of conditions including sun or shade and moist or We'll help you find the best hardy shade ground cover perennials for your zone. Lilyturf is barely hardy in Zone 6a. It's a shame that yellow archangel is invasive, since its bright yellow flowers would go a long way toward brightening a shady spot in the landscape. Ideally, a groundcover should include several species combined to create a beautiful tapestry of foliage and blooms, offering a long season […] A moist, slightly acidic to neutral soil is best. This is horseherb (Calyptocarpus vialis), a native Texas plant that some gardeners use as a prolific ground cover in shade where little else, including grass, will grow. Some give you shades of green while others bloom with flowers. Bishop’s weed is a highly aggressive ground cover best contained with sturdy concrete curbs or pathways. One of the reasons why this perennial is a great ground cover plant is that it grows well in shady areas where other plants don’t thrive. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Sweet Woodruff is a flowering ground cover plant for shade. It is suited to acidic woodland soils but will grow just as well in heavy, acidic clay soil. It mainly depends on watering rather than with sunlight as it has no bearing with its growth.