Groundcovers



"Groundcover" is a loose term applied to a plant used to provide vegetative cover over broad areas. They're useful in situations where lawn might be impractical (e.g. under trees or other shade, steep banks, awkward spaces) or a more aesthetically interesting alternative is desired.

Without regular mowing, and the possibility of using plants that produce flowers, seeds or even fruit, groundcovers may even be considered more environment and wildlife friendly than lawn.

Groundcovers may be considered low-maintenence in the sense that they don't require mowing, but note that they will probably need some maintenance to keep them tidy, lush and healthy.

If the groundcover is insufficiently dense, weeds will have an opportunity to grow, which could be difficult to extricate from the groundcover once established. therefore, selection of a species suited to the conditions plus adequate water and nutrition will be critical to achieving a satisfactory result.

A variety of plant types can be employed as groundcovers, including densely-planted ornamental grasses and dwarf, clipped shrubs. Most commonly, though, plants which are naturally low-growing and with a running or spreading habit are employed as groundcovers. In many cases, this habit means many groundcovers can also be used in hanging baskets or draped down banks or retaining walls (depending on their vigour and sun-tolerance etc), while others may be trained up supports as climbers.

In some plant groups like roses or grevilleas which are usually upright shrubs, certain species or varieties are suited for use as groundcovers (and may be especially bred for this purpose)

More Online Information

Genus - link indicates a dedicated pageNotes, Other links - includes assorted links to other websites if no dedicated page on this site
Acalypha 
Alternanthera 
Arachis 
Arctotissee Daisy Plants
Bauhinia 
Bougainvillea 
Bulbs 
Bromeliads 
Calliandra 
Conifers 
Dianella 
Dichondra
Dissotis 
Gardenia 
GazaniaSee Daisies
Gelsemium
Gelsemium sempervirens Landscape Plant Propagation Information, University of Florida
Gelsemium sempervirens Missouri Botanical Garden
Carolina Jessamine Gelsemium sempervirens. Texas A&M University
Gelsemium sempervirens (PDF) at the Australian Weeds and Livestock website, NSW (discusses toxicity of weeds and other plants to animals)
Grevillea 
Hardenbergia
Hibbertia 
Ipomoea (Ornamental) 
JuniperusSee Conifers
Liriope 
Lysimachia
Golden Creeping Jenny, Lysimachia nummularia 'Aurea' University of Wisconsin-Extension Master Gardener Program
Lomandra 
Nandina 
Mondo Grasssee Ophiopogon
Ophiopogon 
Ornamental Grasses 
Philodendron 
Plectranthus 
Rhoeo 
Roses 
Scaevola
Fan Flower (Scaevola species) Grow Me Instead
Scented fan-flower (Scaevola calendulacea) Department of Environment and Resource Management, Queensland (PDF)
Scaevola calendulacea (Andrews) Druce PlantNET, Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, Sydney
Succulents 
Trachelospermum 
Tradescantia pallida 
Turnera 
Viola 
ZoysiaSee Turf

Ideas

Groundcovers, backdrop of shrubs plus accent palm grove eliminates need for a front lawn
Groundcovers, backdrop of shrubs plus accent palm grove eliminates need for a front lawn


Mixed planting of tropical shrubs, grouncovers plus accents provide interest year-round
Mixed planting of tropical shrubs, groundcovers plus accents provide interest year-round

a variety of groundcovers arranged in narrow terraces on a sloping frontage
A variety of groundcovers arranged in narrow terraces on a sloping frontage. Select species with differently coloured foliage for each stripe for visual impact

Need more ideas for your garden? Try the Garden Ideas Service
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