Not all areas of your yard are conducive to a grassy lawn—and that’s where ground cover comes in. Defined as a grouping of usually low-growing plants that spread over an entire area, ground cover creates a carpet of foliage while squeezing out weeds as a bonus. These hardy plants can often thrive in shady spots to add color and texture, as well control erosion on a slope or embankment.
Hundreds of plants can be used as ground cover—including vines, grasses, plants with spectacular blooms, even low-growing shrubs—and they’re perennial, meaning they come back every year from their roots. Still, different types of ground cover are suited to different locales and require different care. Read on to learn the dos and don’ts of choosing the right plants for your property and understand where, when, and how to get the best results.