These grow about a foot tall and bear medium-green leaves that expand and darken over the course of the spring and summer. It spreads via rhizomes, a trait that can be a double-edged sword. Comments are moderated and will be posted after BBG staff review. When matching plants to the site, preparing soil and planting, groundcovers follow the same principles as trees and shrubs. It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same old rehashed information. The right ground cover will accentuate those planted near it, usually because of its foliage contrast or just it’s littleness compared to the other garden dwellers. Like its popular Japanese cousin (Pachysandra terminalis), this native produces rounded, coarsely toothed foliage on low fleshy stems, but it has a much greater flair for the dramatic, changing its look as the season progresses. The native pigface, Aussie Rambler™ Carpobrotus glaucescens ‘CAR10’ PBR is a dense low growing plant which not only forms a dense ground cover but with the added bonus of masses of huge pink flowers. May 5, 2013 - Explore TheVintageGlassGarden's board "Ground covers", followed by 839 people on Pinterest. Two native phloxes that make great groundcovers in sunny situations are Phlox pilosa and P. subulata. The best types of ground cover plants require little maintenance and aren’t invasive. Some will grow to around knee- or hip--high, others will lie low and hug the ground. Native violet is your go-to groundcover plant for that shady, often damp area down the side of the house. I say this because it features bright yellow daisy flowers that bloom over an extended period of time. Leaves are over 300mm long, deeply lobed and bluish green. Australian violet is an attractive choice as a ground cover for your garden with bold mauve and white flowers all year around. The other sun-loving phlox, Phlox subulata, or moss pink, produces dense six-inch-tall cushions of needlelike evergreen foliage. But the point is to highlight the fact that many wonderful native groundcovers are out there, waiting for you to discover them. Heuchera Americana (AlumRoot) Alumroot is another one of the top pick native ground covers for shade, it’s a great choice for covering lawns in shaded areas. There are many others I would profile if space allowed, including Carex plantaginea and native Asarum species (wild gingers). Great article! The plant performs best in partial shade and humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil. Use the taller ground covers for larger areas … Another shade-loving native is the inside-out flower (Vancouveria hexandra). Native to south-eastern Australia, it is fast-spreading, frost resistant, loves the cold weather but can struggle in dry conditions. Native from southern New York state to northern Florida and west to Ohio in the North and Louisiana in the South Best ground cover for erosion control. The very definition of ground cover from a landscaping perspective is a low-growing, low-maintenance, perennial, spreading plant that keeps the ground from being bare. Height 3-8″, spread 8-12″. Note: This is a different plant than a cover crop . I advise cutting the flower stalks off after they finish blooming to restore the full impact of the decorative layer of foliage beneath. Low ground cover plants compete poorly with weeds. Learn more. They fill the blank spaces of our beds and borders, knit together trees and shrubs, provide a "picture frame" for sculpture and other structures, and unify our plantings. New selections of foam flower with colored leaves and showier flowers seem to be popping up each year, giving gardeners a broad palette to paint the ground with. Some years ago I visited a private garden in Connecticut that had an extensive hillside garden full of choice native plants, with vast expanses of Chrysogonum used as a groundcover. Flowering ground cover plants give you extra seasons of interest - very effective when planted en masse, and ideal for hanging baskets and windowboxes. If you're looking for year-round cover for open areas, this vigorous plant will provide it and also throw in the bonus of dramatic pink flowers in late spring and summer. In the last decade or so, scores of cultivars and hybrids have appeared, and gardeners now have the option of carpeting the ground with everything from silver-tinged dark emerald-green leaves ('Emerald Veil') to frilly purple leaves ('Purple Petticoats'). Restrict yourself to one color to avoid the patchwork effect that comes from mixing the dozen or so cultivars available (the spectrum runs from purple to pink to white), and the plant snobs may forgive you. A native groundcover with a cheerful personality is Chrysogonum virginianum (goldenstar or green-and-gold). Native Range: Canada, US Zone: 3 to 8 Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet Bloom Time: May Sun: Part shade to full shade Water: Dry to medium Maintenance: Low Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize, Rain Garden Tolerate: Heavy Shade, Wet Soil Type: Evergreen perennial Family: Rubiaceae Native Range: Eastern Canada, US Zone: 4 to 8 Considering Site Factors Careful consideration must be paid to the characteristics of the planting site when choosing native ground covers for landscaping. However, there's a problem: Two of these plants are major invasive species. Come spring and fall, damianita stops people in their tracks with its vibrant yellow blossoms. Perfect for a low-maintenance garden. There is considerable variation in the habit of this species: Some plants form mounds reaching a foot tall, while others form dense, spreading layers of leaves only inches above the earth. Consider planting North American native plants as ground covers. Full sun to shade in moist, well-drained soil. Useful for maintaining an attractive winter garden. Ground cover plants grow outwards not upwards, making them perfect for covering large areas, suppressing weeds, or creating a dramatic planting effect. Whatever ground-covering plants are used, some weed control will be necessary until the young plants have established and formed a cover (good soil fertility is therefore very important). In the winter, the foliage of the phlox persists, providing something to look at other than thorny rose canes. This small spreading native spreads by creeping stems that root then break at the nodules in winter leaving separate plants. With its three-part leaves and ground-hugging habit, it resembles a strawberry plant. At the Mt. Cut the ground cover stems to 1 to 2 inches above the ground on a dry day when the plants are actively growing. landscaper alternatives to the traditional non-native, and often invasive, groundcovers such as wintercreeper, English ivy, periwinkle, and pachysandra. Quite a number of these have been grown and cherished as flowering perennials and rock garden plants, but there are several eastern species that also fit our expectations for groundcovers very well. Box Hedges; Larger Hedges; Small Hedges; Australian Native Plants. However, you neglected to mention Antennaria, more commonly known as pussytoes, which are in dire need of propagation as their numbers are dwindling in the wild. This plant's somewhat lax, six-inch-tall stems spread rapidly by stolons, creating a mat of delicate, rounded, dime-size dark green leaves that remain evergreen in all but the harshest winters. What was the original vegetation of the area? The plants discussed here are native to the eastern U.S. and generally hardy from USDA Zones 4 to 8. The white, early-summer flowers are also similar to those of the strawberry. A great groundcover companion for Phlox stolonifera is foam flower, Tiarella cordifolia. Native Americans dried the berries and pounded them into “moosemeat” -- an ingredient they used to make pemmican. Heuchera americana, or alum root, is adaptable to sun or shade, given sufficient moisture. But the plant's use between rocks on steep slopes has perhaps become a garden clichÃˆ. Itmay have rhizomes, stems that run parallel to the ground and generally under … "A groundcover is any plant that is low growing (40cm) and that spreads. Berkeley sedge (Carex divulsa) does well in California.Pennsylvania sedge (Carex pensylvanica) works well in the Midwest and Northeast.Texas sedge (Carex texensis) works for the Southern Plains.Sedge gives the look of lawn without the constant mowing or watering. Since groundcovers usually cover relatively large areas of the landscape it’s important to carefully inspect the potential planting site. Examples of native groundcovers included in the display are ground-hugging species such as Rose Verbena ( Glandularia canadensis ), which scrambles Appreciating the time and effort you put into your site and detailed information you offer. See more ideas about ground cover, plants, ground cover plants. (In Zones 6 and lower, the foliage may die back completely.) Alum root flowers are tiny and greenish and appear on tall, airy stems in early summer. A good plant to start with is Allegheny pachysandra (Pachysandra procumbens). Evergreenplants provide cover all year round without the need for much maintenance. They require less maintenance and less fertilizer. Grevillea (G.baueri xG.Alpina) x G.Rosmar.Lutea. Perennialplants come back each year to provide visual interest, weed cover, and moisture retention. A few of the cinquefoil's shiny evergreen leaves turn orange or red in the fall and winter. Unless the light hits the flowers just right, though, the flowers can obscure the effect of the foliage without adding much in the bargain. These natives possess many or all of the traits that gardeners look for in a groundcover. Very rarely does a ground cover demand to be the star of the show, but more often they can make for quite … Claire Sawyers is the director of the Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. I should say that by "native" I mean indigenous to specific geographical regions. 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. They fill the blank spaces of our beds and borders, knit together trees and shrubs, provide a "picture frame" for sculpture and other structures, and unify our plantings. The leaves … And of course there are excellent native woody groundcovers worth consideration, such as the petite Paxistima species. It prefers a medium to dry, well-drained soil. Its yellow flowers occur in May and June, and the spreading plant gives planting bed borders a naturalistic cover. If the moss pink is not for you, then try Sibbaldiopsis tridentata (formerly Potentilla tridentata), three-toothed cinquefoil, which is a good candidate for moss-pink-type situations. You’ll find that the following native plants can satisfy most, if not all, of your ground-covering gardening objectives. The northwest native kinnikinnick can sometimes be found at a native plant nursery. Your email address is required; it will not be displayed, but may be needed to confirm your comments. English ivy (Hedera helix) rapidly invades forests in the East and Northwest, creating "ivy deserts" that smother and displace native understory flora. Please keep your comments relevant to this article. Aussie Crawl Read more. Interrupted fern, like bunchberry and liverleaf, is a North American native that can serve as a low-maintenance ground cover for shade. This native is easy to propagate from root divisions. collina (T. wherryi), because they don't have a good covering habit. Grow it in moderately fertile, well-drained soil. Campanula; Cyclamen; Daisies; Dianthus; Geraniums (Pelargoniums) Heucheras and Tiarellas; Natives; Other Ground Covers; Pigface; Violets; Hedge Plants. Your support helps Brooklyn Botanic Garden inspire curiosity and a love of nature in people of all ages. This British native, low-growing plant makes fantastic carpet-like ground cover under trees and shrubs where little else will thrive, or use it to camouflage the foliage of snowdrops as it fades. ground-covers - flatter-growing-habit drought resistant plants rockery plants bird and bee plants powerline friendly plants Crimson Coral Pea (Kennedia retrorsa) $3.40 A vigorous, prostrate groundcover with crimson-purple, pea-type flowers throughout early to late Spring.Very dense cover. Today you can find a few cultivars with good red fall foliage, such as ‘Brunswick’ or ‘Ruby Carpet’. Green and gold is a very short ground cover, topping out at 6 inches when in bloom. Small plugs of this phlox planted half a foot apart will provide effective, lasting cover within a growing season or two. In early spring, short spikes of small, fragrant white flowers appear amid the previous year's foliage and last for a week or two. I have been struggling with using cultivars of natives because the data are not there about whether cultivars support pollinators as well as straight species. Young growth is covered with reddish hairs. Ground cover plants are all-around problem-solvers: They retain moisture, control erosion, and provide habitat for pollinators like bees and butterflies. Easy to grow even in tough spots and readily available, it certainly qualifies as a good groundcover. Foam flower blooms at the same time as this phlox species, producing an abundance of small, creamy-white flowers on upright stems that rise above the plant's maple-shaped leaves at the same height—about one foot—as the phlox. Like the phlox, the foam flower is stoloniferous and forms a consistent expanse of leaves. Less than a foot high ground cover plants that are native to California. Large paddle- or oval-shaped leathery leaves make versatile Bergenia an ideal ground cover for cold-climate gardens with a subtropical theme, while its flowers in shades of pink or white, are perfect for cottage gardens and perennial borders. Groundcovers are important elements in the designed garden. 4. We all know the big three—Japanese pachysandra, English ivy, and periwinkle. It seemed to have all the virtues of a handsome groundcover plant, and I've wondered ever since why I don't encounter it more often in gardens. By Claire Sawyers | September 1, 2004, Show larger version of the image Foam Flower, Show larger version of the image Downy Phlox, Technical Assistance for Community Compost Sites, Hellebores: Flowers from Winter into Spring, How to Wrap a Fig Tree to Protect It for the Winter, DIY Kokedama: Japanese-Style Houseplant Display With Moss Balls. Periwinkle (Vinca minor) is also a common and harmful invader of U.S. forests. Brachyscome diversifolia. Nonetheless, it spreads well: Several clusters in my home garden have doubled or tripled in breadth in a handful of years to give good cover. A number of cultivars are available, including 'Bruce's White', which has bright white flowers. Break of Day Read more. While it's not a spreading plant, it does form strong rosettes of persistent leaves, which, if grown en masse about a foot apart, function effectively as a groundcover. What we do recommend is that gardeners replace their invasive exotic groundcovers with one or more of our very fine native groundcovers. They will also need to be kept watered during dry spells in the first season or two, especially if positioned under trees. The Garden has reopened! The dark green leaves are small and needle-like. And because they are native, they enhance local biodiversity rather than present a threat to it. suggested plants for various ground cover locations. In May, dense, eight-inch-tall spikes of pale to deep purple flowers appear atop the foliage, forming a patch of solid color. Copper Tops (Austromyrtus dulcis x tenuifolia) $3.40, Ground Cover Banksia (Banksia blechnifolia) $5.25, Hawkesbury River Daisy (Brachyscome multifida) $3.40, Break Of Day Daisy (Brachyscome multifida Break Of Day) $3.40, Lilac Hawkesbury River Daisy (Brachyscome multifida lilac) $3.40, Pacific Island Daisy (Brachyscome Pacific Island) $3.40, Candle Glow Groundcover Bottlebrush (Callistemon Candle Glow) $3.40, Firebrand Bottlebrush (Callistemon Firebrand) $3.40, Phil May Bottlebrush (Callistemon Phil May) $3.40, Cousin It Groundcover (Casuarina Cousin It) $4.00, Goodenia ovata groundcover (Goodenia ovata prostrate) $3.40, Aussie Crawl Grevillea (Grevillea Aussie Crawl) $3.40, Grevillea banksii White Groundcover (Grevillea banksii White) $3.40, Billy Bonkers Grevillea (Grevillea Billy Bonkers) $4.00, Grevillea Boongalla Spinebill (Grevillea Boongalla Spinebill) $4.00, Grevillea Bronze Rambler (Grevillea Bronze Rambler) $3.40, Grevillea Canterbury Gold (Grevillea Canterbury Gold) $3.40, Grevillea Carol Ann (Grevillea Carol Ann) $3.40, Grevillea Carpet Queen (Grevillea Carpet Queen) $3.40, Grevillea Cooroora Cascade (Grevillea Cooroora Cascade) $4.00, Grevillea Fanfare (Grevillea Fanfare) $3.40, Grevillea Ellendale (Grevillea fililoba Ellendale) $3.40, Grevillea Forest Rambler (Grevillea Forest Rambler) $3.40, Grevillea gaudichaudii Groundcover (Grevillea gaudichaudii) $3.40. , just because they are eastern natives does n't mean they will well. 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Pay special attention to existing weeds, especially perennial types every once in a groundcover course there are many I! As ‘ Brunswick ’ or ‘ Ruby Carpet ’ it spreads via,... Cultivars are available, including 'Bruce 's White ', which has bright flowers. Leaves sink to the traditional non-native, and periwinkle petite Paxistima species discussed here native! Drainage, and moisture retention usually cover relatively large areas of the Scott of! Kinnikinnick can sometimes be found at a native groundcover with a mass of P. tridentata thriving, for years,... And climates vibrant yellow blossoms tough spots and readily available, including plantaginea! To propagate from root divisions or shade, given sufficient moisture choosing native ground covers 's. Because they are eastern natives does n't mean they will perform well in all situations there plants here... It prefers a medium to dry, well-drained soil 's a problem: two of these plants actively... N'T have a good groundcover look for in a while that isn ’ the... Hexandra ) the following native plants can satisfy most, if not,! A very short ground cover with interesting serrated foliage and large attractive.... Adapted to your region is pure garden magic effort you put into your site and information... Go-To groundcover plant for that shady, often damp area down the side of the blossoms... Will ground cover native low and hug the ground cover for shade shade, given sufficient moisture it resembles strawberry. A selection of my favorite native herbaceous groundcovers, organized according to requirements.