Ground Covers for Shade to Full Sun in Louisiana Landscapes

Daniel Gill  |  12/20/2017 9:32:51 PM

The term ground cover is applied to low growing plants other than turfgrass used to cover areas of the landscape. Perennial evergreen plants having a sprawling or spreading habit are most often used. The plants used for ground covers are generally less than 2 feet in height and in addition to the beauty they provide, they are effective in erosion control. Because they don’t have to be mowed, ground covers reduce landscape maintenance. They are also useful in confined areas and on steep slopes where mowing would be difficult. They work well under low-branched trees and where the roots of large trees protrude. They are also useful in areas under trees that have become too shady for grass to grow.

When making your selection, you must carefully consider the characteristics you would like the ground cover to have, including its height, texture and color. Also consider the growing conditions where it will be planted. Is it sunny or shady? You should also look at the size of the area to be planted. Only the most reliable, fast spreading and reasonably priced ground covers should be considered for large areas.

Ground covers can reduce maintenance, beautify problem areas and create a whole new dimension in your landscape. Here are a few plants that are good choices for ground covers.

Ground Covers for Shade to Part Shade

  • Liriope (Liriope muscari). Many different cultivars.
  • Creeping lily turf (Liriope spicate). Spreads better than L. muscari.
  • Monkey grass (Ophiopogon japonicus).
  • Asian jasmine (Trachelospermum asiaticum).
  • Cast iron plant (Aspidistra elatior). Best used in total shade.
  • English ivy (Hedera helix).
  • Ligularia (Farfugium japonicum).
  • Algerian ivy (Hedera canariensis).
  • Periwinkle (Vinca major). An excellent variegated form is available.
  • Ajuga (Ajuga reptans). Use in small areas as it is prone to crown rot.
  • Strawberry begonia (Saxifraga stolonifera). Best used in shady, damp areas.
  • Many ferns, such as holly fern (Cyrtomium falcatum), wood fern (Thelypteris kunthii), sword fern (Nephrolepis cordifolia) and autumn fern (Dryopteris erythrosora).

Ground Covers for Part Sun to Full Sun

  • Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus).
  • Sedum (Sedum acre, S. album).
  • Dwarf bamboo (Bambusa sasa pygmaea).
  • Low-growing junipers (Juniperus chinensis procumbens and J. horizontalis cultivars especially).
  • Dwarf gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides).
  • Dwarf lantanas (Lantana camara).
  • Daylily (Hemerocallis).
  • Wedelia (Wedelia trilobata).
  • Perennial verbenas (Verbena canadensis).
  • Yarrow (Achillea millefolium).
lily-2374818_1920.jpg thumbnail

Daylily (Hemerocallis)

liriope-1649600_1920.jpg thumbnail

Liriope (Liriope muscari).

Rate This Article:

Have a question or comment about the information on this page?

Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture

Top