Grass is one reliable ground cover plant, but it needs plenty of light and sun so is definitely not suitable for shade. However there are several other plants that grow happily in shady areas and eight of these are described below. Of course to be able to grow in these conditions a plant needs to be tough and tenacious and some of the plants on this list can be a little over enthusiastic. With some it is a case of once established they are there for ever whether you like it or not. So choose with care. These eight ground cover plants are described in an article by Kath LaLiberte which I found on the Longfield Gardens website.
Shade tolerant ground covers solve a multitude of landscaping problems. These plants thrive in cool, moist areas where lawns usually struggle. They hide?uneven surfaces and are not fazed by steep, inaccessible slopes. Most are long-lived perennials that get more beautiful over time. Plus,?they never need mowing!
If you have a shady area that?s in need of a makeover, here are eight?ground covers that will make your yard prettier and your life easier:
Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans)
Bugleweed forms a dense, 6? high mat that is very weed resistant. The scalloped leaves come in many colors, from maroon to sage green, chocolate brown to almost black. Some varieties have glossy foliage and others have a flat, matte surface. Pretty, violet-blue flower spikes appear in late spring. Deer resistant.
Hostas are bigger and have more personality than most ground covers. Stick with just one or two varieties if you want a simple, unified look. For a more varied, garden-like appearance, combine different heights, foliage colors and leaf textures. For small areas, there are miniature hostas that grow just 6? tall.
Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis)
Weeds can?t compete with the glossy, emerald green leaves of this vigorous ground cover. In fact, lily of the valley will overtake most other plants, so make sure to give it plenty of room to run. Height is 6 to 8?. Late spring flowers are intensely fragrant and nice for cutting.
See more at Longfield Gardens