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​The Advantages Of Planting Ground Covers

Posted by Dennis Sons on Dec 31, 1969

Ground cover vines and plants serve a wide variety of uses and purposes. The key thing to look for when seeking a good ground cover plant is one that stays close to the ground and whose roots spread out into the ground to grasp and hold the soil. These plants can be used in shaded as well as full sun areas. Depending on the type of soil that one needs to cover they will have a number of plants to choose from.

One of the first benefits of using a ground cover is to prevent soil eroision. When the plants grow and thrive in the garden, in a barren spot in the yard, or around a tree, their roots grab on to the soil. As the soil and the roots become intertwined, they act as a preventative device for soil eroision. English ivy is a very good planting for this purpose.

Another good reason for using ground covering plants like phlox and english ivy is that it saves fresh water. The plants prevetn the water from evaporating and being lost. It aids the soil in working more effectively for its own gain, making phlox and other ground covering plants useful in saving the resource of water, and in aiding to replenish and strengthen the soil.

A third benefit of ground covers is their ability to repel pests that would otherwise destroy or harm a garden. Flowering vines emit a scent that many larger animals do not care for. The best part of flowering vines is that they add beauty and charm to garden space.

Another benefit of ground covers is their ability to spread quickly, save money, and fill spaces in a rapid manner. A perfect garden plant for this purpose is the evergreen vines. These plants can cover an entire yard within one season saving money for the owner by not having to purchase multiple plants. Evergreen vines are also beautiful and will continue to spread to cover larger areas.

For beauty there is no other choice than vinca minor. Also known as lesser periwinkle, vinca minor offers beautiful blooms and rich green foliage that will add to the aesthetic value of any garden or area. Ground covers offer many distinct benefits for both the environment and the eye. If looking for a perfect ground cover for garden or yard, one should consult with a local greenhouse for the hardiest plants for their area.

Ground Covers Make Excellent Weed Control Plants

The beauty of a home garden lies in the efficiency of the design. A gardener will want a maximum return for their efforts. If controlling weeds is a priority, then ground covers make an excellent choice. There are many beautiful plants to choose from and taming weeds in this way is very rewarding work. The problems of weeds and soil erosion can be solved simply by planting these lovely flowers.

When considering low growing plants for weed control, the key is to choose varieties that grow as aggressively as the weeds. Spreading flowers that hug the ground are very attractive because once they grow in, they transform your weedy lot into an oasis of beauty.

Some wonderful and effective ground covers to consider are Ajuga, Vinca minor and English ivy. English ivy will cascade down a weedy hillside or tumble over a brick structure, softening the angles and lending an air sophistication. As a bonus, this lovely plant will either stay evergreen during the winter months or will transform into wonderful coppery tones. Only put this type of ivy where you want it, because it spreads very rapidly and can quickly clamor up nearby old growth trees.

For an early explosion of color consider Vinca minor. Periwinkle, as it is commonly known, offers small star like flowers in shades of lavender, blue, or purple. Periwinkles grow to about 4 to 8 inches tall and look like little twinkling stars. These lovely flowers welcome spring and stay around for about a month. After this wonderful flush of blooms, your garden is left with either a carpet of beautiful, shiny green leaves or variegated cream and white leaves. This is an evergreen plant, so it will not look dowdy in the winter months. They are easy spreaders and are reliable growers year in and year out. Dependable and beautiful and not overly invasive, these flowers make a lovely addition your garden while holding back unwanted weeds.

Ajuga or bugleweed is a humble plant with a lot to offer. This surprising flower grows to about six inches tall. Beautiful, delicate sprays of two lipped flowers in shades of purple, blue, pink and white grow in tall spikes surrounded by leaves that can be smooth or highly textured and gorgeously colored. Cream and light green leaves with a tinge of pink support light pink flowers. Most like shade or partial sun and a few enjoy full sun. Black Scallop bugleweed is in the latter category with very showy, shiny, deep burgundy leaves. Richly hued leaves follow the delicate spring flowers.

Enjoy your garden more and spend less time weeding by planting these perennial favorites. These garden performers require little care except light maintenance and are hardy to zones 3 and 4.

Ground Cover Vines Many Benefits in Landscaping

Ground covers can be an important part of your landscaping design because of their versatility and easy maintenance. You can choose from a wide range of ground cover plants to serve a number of different needs. Vine plants offer certain advantages for landscaping to keep in mind.

Advantages of Ground Cover Vines

Ground cover vines can be the perfect solution for a variety of landscaping problems”

Vining plants offer an alternative to turf grass, adding texture and interest.

Ground cover plants provide attractive greenery to plant on hillsides or in areas where maintaining is impossible.

Ground cover plants help stop soil erosion on inclined areas and areas near water.

Ground cover vine makes a carpet like appearance that is lush and attractive.

Ground cover is available in many varieties for different effects.

Fills in bare ground areas and prevents weeds.

English Ivy

Hedera helix, commonly called English ivy, is a popular ground cover that provides evergreen, 9-inch high foliage that's both attractive in appearance and easy to maintain. It can tolerate a variety of soil types and can grow in either moist or dry conditions. However, it should be removed from trees to protect their growth.

Vinca Minor

Vinca minor, often called periwinkle, is a low-growing, evergreen ground cover that produces small purple flowers and delicate leaves. It prefers well-drained soil and partial shade locations. However, it does not do well in full sun areas.


Pachysandra in a variety of species can be used as a vining ground cover in shady areas, where it successfully competes for limited sun. The leaves are evergreen and dark in color, with a whorled growth pattern. The plants produce tiny, off-white colored flowers in early spring.

Virginia Creeper

Parthenocissus quinquefolia, or Virgina creeper, grows by sending out fast-growing runners on the ground that can quickly fill up an empty area of landscape. It produces tiny, yellowish-green flowers in midsummer, followed by small, purple-black berries.


Botanical name Euonymous fortunei, is another fast-growing ground cover that can be used to cover large areas quickly. It prefers a sunny location and moist, well-drained soil. It produces tiny flowers, but they are inconspicuous.

The range of vining ground covers that are available offers a number of choices for landscaping areas of your property that require foliage cover with a minimum of maintenance.

How To Prevent Weeds and Soil Erosion With Ground Cover

When creating an attractive green space, it is important to shape the soil in such a way that water drains properly and maintains its form. Two factors can get in the way of this goal: lumpy weeds and soil erosion. However, there are options to prevent this from happening. Ground cover is essential in creating a lasting landscape, but rather than choosing care-intensive grasses, why not choose a creeping vine?

These plants take much less work to maintain than a lawn of grass and make an excellent choice for laying roots to hold soil in place. Plants such as virginia creeper, english ivy, wintercreeper, and vinca minor are great stand-ins for care-intensive grass or moss, and can easily choke out weeds that may try to take hold. But which should you choose?

Virginia creeper is native to North America, stretching as far north as southeastern Canada and as far south as Texas. Its five-lobed leaves form a thick and attractive mass of cover, content to grow in dense quantities. Virginia creeper has another trick, however. In autumn, the leaves turn red, ranging from bright crimson to deep purple. This vine would look fantastic with maples of all shades as well as single-color changers, such as vibrant yellow ginkgo.

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English ivy is a widespread standby, often seen climbing brick buildings and giving them a somewhat wooly appearance from a distance. However it is content to spread across the ground. Native to most of Europe and western Asia, it is an evergreen vine that keeps its deep green color year-round. English ivy's berries easily attract birds, and can be a great boon for declining honeybee populations. Due to its color, which can range from grass green to pine, it is a fantastic companion to nearly any color a garden may have.

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Winter creeper is another evergreen, this time native to east Asia. While its oval leaves are typically green, other cultivars of yellow and variegated leaves are also available. It can easily climb with proper support and is considered cold hardy. For a vine of interesting colors, winter creeper is a fine choice.

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Vinca minor is a dense and small-leaved plant native to central and southern Europe. This plant has beautiful periwinkle flowers among its evergreen leaves. Some varieties have variegated foliage and other colors of flowers, but all are attractive and will look fantastic with just about any colors in your garden.

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