Groundcovers for the shade?

Groundcovers are essential in the garden. Since they create a thick carpet of plants, they are perfect for filling in bare spots. But do groundcovers also grow in spots that receive little if any sunlight? Yes, some of them really do! Certain varieties – both evergreen and deciduous – creep over shady spots with ease.

What are groundcovers?

Groundcovers are tough, low-growing perennials that spread by sending out runners. In this way, they quickly form a beautiful low-maintenance carpet. Perennial groundcovers are ideal to plant under trees and shrubs. A big advantage provided by groundcovers is that their density makes it very difficult for weeds to become established.

Time to get going!

Groundcovers are available in a wide range of varieties and colours. Before actually planting them, you should start by removing any weeds already growing at the location. Then work a thick layer of compost or manure through the existing soil during the planting process. This will give you years of pleasure from your groundcovers. But what about maintenance? This is very simple: if the plants begin to spread more than you want, just prune them back a bit. Applying fertiliser a few times a year is also a good idea, especially for flowering varieties. You can plant groundcovers at any time of year as long as the temperature is above freezing.



Many people choose evergreen groundcovers because they can be enjoyed all year round. One of the most familiar is Japanese Spurge (Pachysandra terminalis). This plant also produces charming, rather inconspicuous, little white flowers in March/April. Another well-known groundcover is Barren Strawberry (Waldsteinia ternata), a very strong evergreen creeper that produces beautiful yellow flowers in the spring. Dwarf Periwinkle (Vinca minor) is another of these classics. This plant produces its typical blue or white flowers in the spring but can often provide a repeat flowering during the summer. Other popular varieties are Ivy (Hedera helix), Knotweed (Persicaria) and Greater Wood Rush (Luzula sylvatica). And they all love the shade, too!


A deciduous groundcover that dies back during the winter loses its leaves during part of the year. Although this means that the ground is visible during the winter months, these plants add even more excitement to the garden during the other seasons of the year. Here are 10 of the best that are suitable for shady places.

Did you know that…

variegated leaves can even make a shady spot lighter? The light places on their leaves actually brighten up a shade border to give it more character. Examples of variegated shade-loving perennials are Variegated Dwarf Periwinkle, Variegated Bugleweed and Variegated Lungwort.

Groundcovers garden Groundcovers with flowers Groundcovers perennials

Also interesting:
Top 10 shade plants


Perennials: a must-have for your garden!

With perennials, you can turn any garden into a living garden. A garden where there is always something to see, something moving and almost always ...
Lees meer
IV224646-MR--Mixed-Gardening (1)

Improve biodiversity: flip a tile and plant a perennial

If you want to increase biodiversity in your garden, see if you can replace some tiles in your garden with perennials. Apart from creating extra ...
Lees meer

A natural and biodiverse garden with umbelliferous perennials

Transparent Each umbel, or flower head, consists of smaller umbels with many flowers filled with pollen and nectar. With their airy growth habit, umbelliferous perennials ...
Lees meer
Close up Salvia wit

Salvia: long-flowering plant in the garden

Lipped flowers Bees and butterflies love to treat themselves to the nectar in the flowers. The flower shape clearly indicates that Salvia belongs to the ...
Lees meer
Edible Garden

Wonderfully fragrant lavender in your garden

Whether your garden is formal or wild, lavender is always a great fit. Positioned in the right spot and looked after properly, lavender plants will ...
Lees meer

Create a stunning border with combinations of perennials

For the very best display in your garden, choose a border with perennials. When choosing your combinations, location, flowering period, and the growing heights are ...
Lees meer


Scroll to Top