Everyday Gardeners

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Three Go-To Groundcovers for Shade

I have three favorite “go-to” ground covers for my shady Atlanta garden. One of them I grabbed a handful of in my Mom’s garden on a visit home and brought it home in a ziploc baggie. The other two, I desperately I picked up at my local nursery when I needed something that said “full shade” on the label.


One of the prettiest leaves, I love the shape and the little white leaves that pop up everywhere when it flowers. I have seen a few gardens that grow Pachysandra successfully in full sun, but they seem to do really well in my shady environment too.

favorite ground covers pachysandra

favorite ground covers pachysandra


I think the glossy leaves of the compact ajuga plant are really attractive. The dark green and even deep purple tones provide some great color and contrast. This is the one I grabbed a handful of, it spread easily and quickly into a large swath. Planted below with hydrangea and Solomon’s Seal, ferns, hostas and a few seedlings of perennial begonia.

ground covers ajuga

favorite ground covers ajuga

Variegated Vinca Vine

This is an easy vine option that I love in my containers. My vinca vine has spilled out of the containers and pretty much covered up the surrounding area. Isn’t that the best? One plant that grows into many!

favorite ground covers variegated vinca vine

favorite ground covers vinca vine

What are your favorite groundcovers for shade? What about for sun? I’d love to hear your suggestions!

6 Responses to “ Three Go-To Groundcovers for Shade ”

  1. I have a wire fence to hide across the west side of my lot . It is covered with honey suckle which is very fragrant when it blooms. I also have vinca vine around my porch under my oak tree. I have blue emerald creeping phlox & blue rug juniper on my north east hill. The phlox blooms in the spring and the juniper is pretty & green during the winter. I live in Ohio.

  2. Periwinkle (myrtle), or vinca minor is a favorite. I love the color varieties of the leaves of coral bells, and purple deadnettle (lamium).

  3. dicondra. My Grandmother used to have most of her back yard covered with it as her lawn it was so soft and easy to take care of we loved it.

  4. Lovely plants. Green plants planted in the garden not only beautifies the garden it protects the environment as well giving those living around it fresh air and cool temperature.

  5. These are great ideas. I’ve got regular old ivy (I think) covering the ground in part of my backyard. It would be nice to replace/add something with a little more visual interest. I like the texture of the Ajuga. Thanks for the tips!

  6. You can, for instance, mix plants with strong flower power with
    plants that have spectacular foliage. When a person starts living
    in a new house, generally, some planting will have already been accomplished.
    Many big thinkers over many years have come back again and again to humanity’s desire to
    make sense of the hugeness of the universe by making small imitations of it in which to live –
    the garden, which directly refers to the ultimately terrifying wildness that used to sit outside every cave in the world, is probably the ultimate example of
    this urge.

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