University of Florida

Groundcovers for Shade

Most varieties of lawngrass won’t thrive in shade, so you’re better off planting a groundcover that’s easy to grow in low-light conditions.

Several kinds of liriope offer thin grass-like leaves and attractive flowers. Mondo grass is an evergreen perennial that, like liriope,
is actually a member of the lily family! The slender leaves curve back toward the ground, lending this plant the appearance of turfgrass.

Asiatic jasmine is a fast-spreading, densely growing groundcover that will thrive in sun or shade. This plant will take some management to keep it within the bed.

Holly fern has attractive dark-green leaves and is relatively problem-free. Unlike most ferns, it’s fairly drought tolerant once established.

Remember that unlike turf, groundcovers won’t tolerate foot traffic, so you’ll need to plan for walkways or paths.

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