8 Best Shade Loving Groundcovers
Ajuga (Bugleweed) - Chocolate Chip is a fast growing, ground hugging, evergreen groundcover with dozens of blue flowers in spring. Plant ajuga beneath taller growing perennials or shrubs in place of costly mulch to help keep the weeds down. Highly effective between stepping stones. Be careful not to plant too close to a lawn where it will co-mingle whereupon it is difficult to eradicate.
Athyrium (Japanese Painted Fern) - Our absolute favorite for season long color. Soft gray foliage is accented by silver & dark maroon. The deer stay away from this hardy fern. Winner in 2004 of the prestigous Perennial Plant of the Year Award.
Hellebore Stunning in bloom. The large palmate leaves form a canopy, and provide a lush look all season long. Semi-evergreen so cut the old foliage back in late winter. A tough groundcover that takes dry shade well.
Heuchera - Coral Bells -Mounded habit with taller bell-shaped flowers. Available in an amazing array of colors, leaf sizes & texture. For continuous color in the shade garden, mix and match your favorites.
Lysimachia Aurea - Golden Creeping Jenny - This dense mat of gold easily roots, and spreads fast. I like to dig up handfuls from my shade garden & add to my yearly shade container plantings. Color varies from bright green to gold depending on sun exposure. Great planting underneath tall perennials & shrubs.
Galium odoratum - Sweet Woodruff - Very fast spreading. A great filler between shrubs where you can let it roam. Blooms create drifts of white flowers in spring. Works well for shaded steep hills and around trees. Deer & Rabbit proof. Does a great job of choking out weeds.
Tiarella - Foam Flower - Evergreen to semi-evergreen depending on where you live. Edge a shaded border or pathway, plant between bulbs. White flowers in spring on top of colored foliage for 4 seasons of interest. Terrific winter color. You have got to try it if you haven't done so already.
Vinca -Evergreen groundcover. Grows faster in moist soil. Glossy deep green foliage, and beautiful lavender flowers in spring. Virtually maintenance free. Needs about 2-3 years to establish well, but worth the wait.
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