Not much happens during the first year, a little growth occurs during the second year, but the plant seems to explode by the third year. We’ve even pulled chickweed from our yard and placed into pots so that we can consume it worry-free. One plant shields the soil while another acts as a trap crop. Want to find some taller plants that will grow in the shade? WARNING: “Spreads easily” can be another way of saying “invasive”, so if you don’t want volunteer plants cropping up, this may not be for you. (For humans, the flowers make a fragrant and pretty garnish for soups, salads, and other dishes.). I didn’t realize Heuchera was a native plant. I will add it to my spring list if I can find it in Toronto. Marjoram, (origanum majorana):Bees love the lilac flowers of marjoram and the leaves add a subtle citrusy pine flavor to cooking. As a food, Okinawa spinach is a spinach substitute, similar to longevity spinach (gynura procumbens, making a nice addition to salads, and can also be eaten cooked. Creeping Phlox (Phlox subulata) – Flowering Ground Cover Perennials. Although geraniums have specific soil requirements, the rest of the care is pretty simple. These low growing plants work for erosion control, to keep the soil moist, and enhance the habitat for pollinators. They attract butterflies and repel deer and rabbits. As an edible ground cover, however, alpine strawberries tick off all the boxes: tough yet non-invasive, and able to tolerate a variety of soil conditions (especially if you forget to water for a short spell). Carpet Bugle is a colorful ground cover with breathtaking leaf rosettes. So they should be fine in a northern Florida Zone 9 garden but will succumb to the heat in the Miami area. It’s simple: living mulches work in synergy with the plants around them. That means it should only be used as a ground cover for plants with similar water needs, such as chard, okra, and artichokes. This plant adapts to most common soil conditions, but it requires well-draining soils as it doesn’t tolerate being wet. For me, any plant that covers the ground thick enough to prevent the weeds from growing up under it is a ground cover. NASTURTIUM (tropaeolum majus):Enjoy the flowers, stems, leaves, and seeds of this lovely edible ground cover plant. The herb is a cold-hardy, drought-tolerant perennial (often surviving freezing temperatures) and likes well-draining soil and full sun (though it will also grow in partial shade). Use low-growing sedums, as they only grow a few inches tall and quickly fan out across the ground. However, after seeing them used very effectively at the Proven Winners Garden tour on Mackinac island last August, I am amending the list. Your email address will not be published. Click HERE to get more information on Hydrangeas. I have a particular fondness for the tough, leathery or waxy leaved hostas because they repel slugs and maintain neat mounds. Good point about the Japanese Anemone . Many home gardeners use this ground cover in their vegetable gardens to keep pests away, as it offers a strong scent. Remove any dead flower heads to help encourage new blossoms. The mounding marjoram is a low growing, ground-hugging aromatic herb. It will grow in sandy or clay soils and does not like to be planted too deep. Useful Tips To Make Your Everyday Life Just A Bit Better. You can grow edible ground cover plants in pots for a pet free solution that’s easy to harvest. ‘Jack Frost’ Brunnera has gorgeous large, variegated, silver heart-shaped leaves, and sports dainty blue flowers in the spring. We’re considering any low-growing plant that grows and spreads well and that’s edible, often with medicinal benefits. In small spaces, consider planting another cucurbit as an edible ground cover: cucumbers. Are the Virginia Bluebells invasive? The blooms range in color from cream, light green, speckled pink or burgundy to glorious double pink or white in the hybrid ‘Ellen’ series. I grow them in extra large ceramic pots flanking my front door – most people have no idea there is food under the pretty vines. This creeping cultivator is also edible; simply harvest the leaves from the stems. It also tolerates dry shade and is deer resistant. The foliage turns color in the fall which extends its interest in the garden. Often overlooked, ground cover plants are a worth considering for gardens, yards, and even pots. Essentially, they function as living mulches to reduce weeds and retain moisture by blocking sunlight. Whereas ‘ghost’ has whitish green fronds that brighten up a dark space. Plant Stonecrop in well-draining soil, as it’s prone to rot when too wet. Favorite Cultivated Ground Cover Plants. Milder in flavor and aroma than oregano, marjoram is a different species as oregano but the same genus. Bees and butterflies love the lilac flowers on this creeping, tiny-leafed, plant. – Ground Cover Perennials, Privacy Policy – GDPR – Medical Disclaimer – DMCA. Hello Becky, Thank you for your interest. almost none of these are ground covers, so…..Not very helpful. Geraniums make a great bedding plant for flower beds, but require a little more precise care than other ground covers. These can be harvested like you would microgreens. It prefers well-draining soil kept on the moist side but endures drier soil. Geranium macrorrhizum is a drought-tolerant and shade-tolerant perennial with semi-evergreen, fragrant leaves. Tiarella, not astilbe, is commonly called foam flower. When growing in zones five or colder, only plant Stonecrop in full sun to improve its ability to overwinter. I really like all of your articles. They can be greens, beverages, and medicine, plus great for pollinators. Living mulches are not for those who desire perfectly manicured gardens where no plants are touching and everything is spaced just so, leaving lots of bare soil open to sunlight and weed seeds. Fertilize? Chamomile grows well in zones three through nine. Commonly called coral bells, Heuchera foliage provides great color in the shade garden. Alpine ... Marjoram – origanum majorana. Keep in mind, it takes about three years for ground cover perennials to reach their mature size. If you have dogs like we do, edible groundcovers are best planted outside the dog’s range. But remember… even then, many flowers are edible and/or medicinal. This perennial is deer resistant, as well as kid resistant, as it handles walking. Here are more wonderful edible ground covers that grow best in shade or partial shade. Edible ground cover plants enhance landscapes, manage weeds, retain soil and expand your food production areas. It will also grow in a variety of light conditions, so be sure to read the growers tag and choose those varieties identified as preferring shady conditions. Mowing marjoram helps to keep it flat and soft to walk Pretty lavender-blue flowers show off on glossy evergreen foliage. Leave the foliage to protect the crown over winter and trim it back in the spring. Bleeding Heart By Wuzur (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons. Love it! In addition to smothering weeds and conserving water, it reduces soil erosion and helps curb the spread of disease in a garden (by preventing soil from splashing back up onto the leaves). My favorite is oregano! Lilyturf, also known as monkey grass, is the ideal choice for those looking for a tough and drought-tolerant perennial ground cover that blooms in the late summer. Also, pay attention to the height of the plant. Here are my six favorite ground covers for vegetable gardens that are not only ornamental, but edible as well. Plus, plant and forget about it until you harvest it to add to your cooking. Bees love the clusters of delicate flowers, How to Find the Root Depth of Vegetables [Printable Chart], Fig Beetles: Bumbling Pilots of the Garden, Why and How to Transplant Tomatoes (a Second Time), Defending the Dandelion: It’s Not Just Another Weed, Get Rid of Aphids Naturally With These 9 Easy Solutions, Fish Heads Are the Secret To Growing the Best Tomatoes.