5 Ground Covers That Thrive in Full Shade - Backyard Boss
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5 Ground Covers That Thrive in Full Shade

If you’re having an issue with erosion or your plants are not retaining enough moisture you may want to add a ground cover to your yard or garden. Ground covers come in many varieties and can be used for many different reasons but what if you want to plant in a fully shaded area? That’s not an issue for a lot of ground covers. Many thrive in full shade and they look beautiful in your yard.

Check out these five ground covers that thrive in full shade.

What Is a Ground Cover?

flowering ground cover
Image credit: Steph_Simmons via Canva

There are many different reasons for having ground covers in your yard, they can be very helpful in a lot of different situations. Ground cover plants stay low to the ground and quickly spread, giving you the appearance of a fuller garden. Here are a few ways they can help you out:

  • They can create a natural path in your yard or garden and some of the types are durable enough that you can walk on them and not damage the ground cover. They’re excellent for making a path in your shaded garden or yard.
  • They can “repel” or block weeds from growing. Once they start to bloom and become lush, they do not leave a lot of room for weeds to creep up. They also deter weeds because they block out the sun from getting through and, with their weight, they smoother the weeds.
  • Ground covers have been known for preventing erosion in yards. If your yard has hills, is sloping, or has ditches, adding a ground cover can help to prevent/stop erosion.
  • Ground covers are great at retaining moisture. Meaning, you won’t have to water them as often and that limits the time you spend on maintenance.
  • One of the best things about ground covers is how easy they can be to maintain and how they make it easier to maintain surrounding grass and plants. Many lawns won’t survive the low light because water will start to pool and can make your yard a big mucky mess. Ground covers that thrive in the shade are the best solution to this problem. It can cover up the mess and help the surrounding grass.

Popular Ground Cover Plants

1. Bunchberry

Image credits: Michel VIARD via Canva

Bunchberries are generally found in forests, but they do make a great addition to a shade yard or areas in your garden that are covered by large trees or plants. They actually prefers shade, cool temperatures, and moist soil.

Bunchberry, as known as creeping dogwood, is very lush with large bunches of green leaves, beautiful white flower blossoms, and small red berries. Bunchberry berries are the best type to gather and eat, especially since they can be eaten raw, cooked, or preserved for jams.

They are not poisonous to your pets either so, if they happen to get into them, don’t panic! But, they are known to repel rabbits and deer.

2. Yellow Archangel

Adobe Stock Photo — Yellow Archangel

This wonderful ground cover is named because its lovely yellow flowers grow into the shape of angel wings. This plant is known for becoming very large and will need to be maintained so they do not overtake other nearby plants. Make sure to plant them about 18 inches apart from each other.

When planting this ground cover, it can be in full shade or have some sun and it prefers moist soil as it is growing but does not require as much once it has grown. You do not need to add any fertilizer to this plant.

This is not a ground cover you can walk on, but it is a great one to have because it grows so large it helps prevent weeds from taking over your garden.

3. Chrysogonum Virginianum

By Image Republic

Chrysogonum virginianum also known as “Goldenstar,” because of the color and shape of its flowers, is a ground cover that adds a little extra brightness to your shady yard.

This ground cover is the perfect one for you if you have issues with pests in your yard or if you’ve had other plants die off due to disease. Goldenstar is remarkably strong, durable and it attracts butterflies and bees.

This ground cover is a little pickier when it comes to its growing needs because it prefers nutrient-rich, well-drained soil and needs to be watered regularly.

4. Wild Ginger

close up wild ginger
Image credits: Kylbabka via Shutterstock

Wild ginger is not the same as the ginger you buy in the grocery store and use in your cooking. Wild ginger may smell like cooking ginger, but it does not have the same uses. But, it is very useful if you have a yard with poor light with unfavorable soil or water conditions. This ground cover is durable, loves the shade, and can survive being walked on gently.

Wild ginger has leaves that are deer resistant and are bright green and shiny to look at. This plant does have flowers but they can be hard to see as they grow under the leaves and stems – You may want to do some light pruning to make them more visible.

5. Japanese Pachysandra

By Marc via Abode

This is a wonderful ground cover plant that thrives in full, deep shade. Be careful with this plant as too much sun will burn it. Japanese Pachysandra does not love being overwatered and can even survive drought.

This plant is very low maintenance and grows well in most soil. This is another ground cover that grows very large, and they need to be planted far apart from each other so they can reach their full potential.

The flowers on this plant have a very interesting look with several blooms pointy upwards. Best thing yet, they’re known to repel deer and rabbits.

Plant Away and Watch Them Grow!

Not all shady yards need to look messy, or swampy with puddles because there are ground covers that look beautiful and can improve your yard. These five ground covers are not only easy to maintain and grow very large but they have real benefits for your property. Let us know in the comments which plant you chose!