Unveiling the Green Carpet: Ground Covers in North Carolina

Unveiling the Green Carpet: Ground Covers in North Carolina

By Misty Gil, Posted in Feature Stories
February 01, 2024

Ground covers enhance landscaping by preventing erosion, suppressing weeds, conserving moisture, regulating temperature, fostering biodiversity, and providing a visually appealing, low-maintenance green carpet. 

These low-growing, spreading plants serve as the green carpet that ties the entire landscape together, offering a multitude of benefits beyond mere aesthetics. In this blog, we delve into the reasons why incorporating ground covers into your North Carolina landscape is a smart choice and explore some of the best options suited for the Tar Heel State's unique climate and soil conditions.

Our design team shared their favorite ground covers that they use when designing masterful landscapes. 

Pachysandra is a tough plant. This is an evergreen perennial whose foliage does not die back in winter; it merely yellows a bit. This evergreen groundcover produces white flowers in the spring, but it is grown primarily for its leathery, dark-green leaves. The popularity of Japanese pachysandra can be attributed to the fact that it may solve several prominent landscaping problems at once. It is resistant to pests and deer browsing and tolerates drought, shade, and heavy clay soils.

Mazus is a fast-spreading, semi-evergreen perennial that works well as a ground cover. In warmer climates, the dense, lush foliage remains green throughout the year, and it features clusters of beautiful little purple-blue flowers that blossom in late spring and summer. The tiny thumbnail-sized flowers form a dense mat and can be mowed much like turf grass. It does well in full to partial sun and needs moist but well-drained areas.

Mondo Grass is valued as a low-maintenance alternative to grass in spots with full shade or partial shade. Despite its common name, this ground cover is not a true grass; it is a member of the Liliaceae family and is often compared with creeping lilyturf. The two plants are similar in appearance, have similar functions in the landscape, and are both very popular in the southeast.

Vinca Minor is a very popular ground cover because it's drought-tolerant, pest-free, inexpensive, and easy to grow in just about any type of soil. This perennial creeper is a great ground cover that will quickly carpet your landscape with pretty and tiny flowers. It's also used for ground cover to stop erosion because its tough roots hold soil in place. 

Ajuga is a fast-growing herbaceous perennial ground cover that does a good job of choking out weeds. It produces shiny, dark green leaves and beautiful flower spikes, producing blue, violet, or purple flowers in mid- to late spring that can reach eight to ten inches tall. Several cultivars offer variegated foliage colors and patterns. Ajuga does well in full sun to part shade locations. Foliage color is most vibrant when the plant receives at least three to four hours of sunlight daily. It prefers moist soil. 

There are many more ground covers to explore, including junipers, grasses, ferns, and low-growing perennials to suit your landscaping needs. Our design team can help you pick the ones that are right for your home.