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Shade Ground Cover Varieties

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Choosing the correct shade ground cover is important, to avoid bare spots in the shady areas of your property. The right shade ground cover, properly maintained, will ensure fast growth, rapid coverage and a beautiful appearance. Here are some facts about different types of shade ground covers.

Types of shade ground cover

  • Shrubs. Certain low-growing shrubs are categorized as ground covers. These shrubs are less than 24 inches tall and will spread nicely to cover the shaded area. They can be kept in check with occasional pruning. They grow very well under large trees, and will provide a visual counterpoint to the trees. Shrubs can also be used to hide elements in the landscape, like the base of an exposed foundation or a retaining wall. One good example of a shade ground cover shrub is Pachysandra, also known as Spurge. Pachysandra grows to about 10 inches in height, and thrives in medium to deep shade. It likes moist, well-drained soil and in early spring it produces tiny white flowers.
  • Vines. Another category of ground cover encompasses vines or creepers. Vines grow by sending runners out along the ground, which then take root themselves. Vines are versatile, and can be trained to climb over arbors, retaining walls, and through rock gardens. A popular shade-loving creeping ground cover is Virginia Creeper. This vine spreads aggressively by using a small tendril with pads that stick to most surfaces. Because the vine attaches itself to the surface of anything around it, it is useful for covering fences and walls without damaging its host. The disadvantage of Virginia Creeper is that it needs regular cutting to prevent it taking over your garden.
  • Moss. Moss thrives in moist, compacted soil and it will cover the ground like a rug. It is hardy and will tolerate foot traffic. Many people use moss to edge walkways and borders, or use it between stepping stones. Because moss thrives in a moist environment, it is often used around ponds, pools, or waterfalls. It is not an aggressive ground cover, and you can keep it in check with occasional cutting of excess parts.

These are some of the many choices of shade ground cover. Your local garden professional can help you make the right choice for your property.

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