Many native plants make great groundcovers
Groundcovers are useful for controlling erosion, weed suppression, and more. Many native plants make effective groundcovers — and many help the wildlife and insects in your landscape ecosystem!
Here are some native ideas for groundcovers (pictured below). To learn more about these plants and get other ideas, see: https://vnps.org/virginia-native-plant-guides/
Please note that many of these native plants can be difficult to source. You may need to visit native plant sales in your community, seek out specialty nurseries, or propagate from a friend.
- Mistflower – Conoclinum coelestinum – A perennial groundcover with fluffy blue/violet flowers. Full sun to part shade, good for moist, loam, sandy, or clay soils or areas with poor drainage.
- Partridge-berry – Mitchella repens – A perennial groundcover that grows to half a foot with a creeping habit. Blooms pink/white in early summer with red berries in late summer through winter. This woodland plant needs shade to part shade that does well in acidic soils. Berries are food for wildlife.
- Lizard’s Tail, Water-dragon – Saururus cernuus – A perennial groundcover with drooping white flower clusters. This is a good spreading groundcover for moist soils or wetland gardens. Part shade to shade.
- American Alumroot – Heuchera americana – Deer resistant with interesting foliate, a good groundcover for part to full shade. Naturally found in rocky woodlands—makes a good rock garden plant.
- Foamflower – Tiarella cordifolia – Spreads by underground rhizomes and produces tiny flowers atop long stamens (with a “foamy” appearance). Part shade to full sun.
- Pennsylvania sedge – Care pensylvanica – A sedge that works as an easy-care groundcover in sun or shade. Grows 6-12 inches.
- Maryland Golden-aster – Chrysopsis mariana – A perennial with yellow blooms in late summer/fall. Grows in woods, open fields, and roadsides. Full to part sun, prefers soil with good drainage.