Groundcover plants, whether they're flowering or foliage plants - or even ferns - can help choke out weeds as they blanket the earth.
Once you've planted the palms, the foundation shrubs, the row of hedges, and the stately tree...the addition of one of South Florida's pretty groundcovers can put the finishing touch on even the most minimal landscaping.
In fact, using the same groundcover in separate areas of the garden is a good way to pull together the design of your landscape.
A fast-growing groundcover will fill in an area quickly or a more moderate or slow grower takes its time and won't get away from you...especially helpful in a smaller spot. The Plant Pages will give you the growth rate of each one so you can make the right choice for your garden areas.
Some groundcovers actually climb if they're presented with a reason to do so - and can cover a wall or climb a tree trunk for an added bonus, a benefit you may or may not want. The Plant Pages will advise you on each one's habits so you can plan accordingly.
A few - especially Perennial Peanut - work as a lawn replacement, though none like being walked on. In this case, use stepping stones in areas where you'll want to walk.
This can be a challenge. Their job, after all, is to cover the ground. Some will want to wander out into the lawn, across the walk or into other areas where you don't want them.
Keep them contained by regularly edging the bed or by hand trimming the offending shoots now and then.
Choosing the ideal one - and the right number of them to plant - keeps maintenance to a level you're prepared to handle.
Most people don't think of ferns when they think of groundcovers...yet many fern varieties spread out nicely. They make perfect fillers for shady areas, and one - foxtail fern - grows in sun OR shade.
Garden ferns can be used as foundation plants, a filler for garden beds that need a soft touch, or in a naturalized area of the yard that gets more shade than most plants like.
Several perennials such as lantana and blue daze grow low and wide and can be used to fill in an area. And annuals like impatiens can blanket the ground for seasonal color (in sun or shade in winter, shade only in summer).
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