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
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.
- Dryopteris erythrosora Autumn Fern, Japanese Shield Fern
- Florida/Holland/Israeli Ruscus Production and Use
- Gardening in the Shade
- Ground Covers for Shade: South Florida (PDF)
- Liriope muscari 'Evergreen Giant' Evergreen Giant Lilyturf
- Liriope muscari 'Variegata' Variegated Lilyturf, Variegated Liriope
- Liriope spicata Creeping Lilyturf
- North Florida Landscape Plants for Shaded Sites
- Ophiopogon japonicus, Mondo Grass
- Recycling the Rex Begonia (PDF)
Also on Gardening in a Minute
- Asiatic Jasmine
- Border Grasses
- Cast Iron Plant
- Holly Fern
- Japanese Plum Yew
- Leopard Plant
- Shady Landscapes
- Southern Shield Fern
- 10 Great Ground Covers for Shady Spots--Houston (TX) Chronicle
- Cyrtomium falcatum, Japanese Holly Fern--Floridata.com
- Ground Covers for Part to Full Shade--Fine Gardening
- Ground Covers for Shade--Fine Gardening
- Ground Covers for Shade--Mississippi State University Extension Service
- Liriope muscari--Floridata.com
- Liriope muscari--Missouri Botanical Garden
- Ophiopogon japonicus 'Gyoku-ryu'--Missouri Botanical Garden
- Ophiopogon japonicus, Mondo Grass--Floridata.com