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Groundcovers: An Important Part of a Southern Garden

I love groundcovers. There’s just something about them that makes me want to have every one I see. 

Groundcovers can be an important addition to our Southern gardens. They act as a living mulch, helping to conserve moisture around trees and shrubs.  

Many groundcovers are evergreen, so they add beauty to the garden in every season. There are groundcovers that bloom, and even groundcovers that make berries! 

Groundcovers can be found that thrive in sun, shade, and even the most difficult dry shade. 

Whether your taste for plants leans toward the exotic, like Hellebores and Rohdea, or if you prefer native plants, such as native ferns, consider adding them beneath the shrubs in your garden. 

There are many native groundcovers that are evergreen, and some even produce berries, like Mitchella (Partridgeberry). Groundcovers like creeping phlox can help control erosion. 

Ajuga Bronze Beauty
Good groundcovers for sun include the sedums, ice plant, and rudbeckia (Black eyed Susan.)  Certain rose varieties also make excellent groundcovers. 

Ajuga is a great groundcover for crowding out weeds in shade or partial shade. It is not invasive.

English Ivy Overtakes the Garden
Beware of groundcovers that can take over the garden, seeming to eat other plants alive, crowding out everything else. Instead of invasive English Ivy or the popular Japanese pachysandra, try our native pachysandra, Allegheny Spurge. Or if it’s a vine you’re after, plant Crossvine, Carolina Jasmine, or Red Trumpet Honeysuckle—all native vines that will not overtake your garden.  

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