Ground Covers for Shady Areas

Asked January 22, 2016, 4:32 PM EST

I am looking for some deer resistant ground covers for a part-shade to deep shade area. It is a large sloped dry shade area. I already have Hellebores (lots), ferns, Nandina, and low hollies in the area, that is heavily shaded by oak trees. The front edge of the garden bed is in partial shade (2-4 hrs of sun), the rest is in deep shade (less than 2 hrs. of sun). Please suggest some perennial ground covers for this area, that are deer resistant. Thank you.

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

Some excellent native ground covers include:

Allegheny pachysandra

Canadian ginger

Wood asters

Green and gold (chrysogonum)

Mountain mint

Iris reticulata

Phlox stolonifera

All of these are deer resistant, not deer proof. Depending on your deer's taste, you may want to spray with a long-lasting repellent as they are getting established. Have never known deer to eat Allegheny pachysandra, but there is always a first time. In severe, snowy, winters, deer will browse more heavily and all bets are off for just about everything, but snow also covers these and hides them.