ground cover for partial shade, year round and able to be walked on. I live in NE AL

Asked March 28, 2017, 4:47 PM EDT

I am looking for a ground cover for partial shade, year round and will not die if walked on. It is a seldom used pathway which I do not want to mow. I live in NE AL

Cherokee County Alabama sustainable gardening and landscaping

1 Response

I'm not sure how this question was sent to me all the way over here on the coast of North Carolina, but I'll do my best to give you a reliable answer. From what I can tell you live in a USDA hardiness zone 7, so I picked out a couple of plants that will thrive in that zone and can take some occasional traffic.

1. Ajuga reptans - bugle weed - There are several different options when it comes to the color of the leaf. It spreads by stolens and does really well in moist areas. The leaves are tight to the ground and the flower stalk in the spring is what gives it a little height.

2. Liriope sp. - sometimes called monkey grass - does really well in partial shade. It also has a few leaf color variations to choose from. If you are wanting this to spread and fill in you may want to stick with cultivars of Liriope spicata, as this species spreads a lot quicker than the L. muscari species.

3. Ophiopogon japonica - mondo grass - This one looks a lot like grass with it's dark green thin leaves. It does better in full shade or more shade than sun areas. There is a dwarf variety, but this one doesn't spread and fill in as quickly. Although a 3 inch tall plant that stays green and never needs to be mowed sounds pretty good to me.

There are a few other groundcovers that do well in part to full shade, but these three are going to be the ones that will be the toughest and rebound if you take the occasional walk along the path.

I hope this will be helpful to you.