The Q&A Archives: Groundcover

Question: I want to do away with grass in my yard and put down a perennial groundcover that will retain color in all seasons. What do you suggest? I live in the state of Maryland.

Answer: There are a number of plants you could use, depending on whether the area is sunny or shady, sandy or clay soil, average or relatively wet or dry, sloped or flat, windy or sheltered. Since you want your planting to be long-lived it is important to analyze the growing conditions and plant something that is well suited to them. Some typical plants for sun and a well drained site would include low growing cultivars of juniper as well as perennials with an evergreen presence such as rudbeckia (black eyed Susan) or liriope. For shade you could consider traditional groundcovers such as Pachysandra, Vinca minor, Ophiopogon, Liriope and Hedera helix. Here is a link to more detailed information about groundcovers for Maryland, from the University of Maryland cooperative extension.

Your local professional nursery staff should be able to help you analyze the site and make suggestions as well. Good luck with your project!

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