Native Maryland Ground cover- shade

Asked April 6, 2020, 3:49 PM EDT

I was wondering what your suggestion would be for a native ground cover for both shade and sunny areas.

Baltimore Maryland

1 Response

While the lists will be different between sun and shade, there are many possibilities, and narrowing them down depends on other characteristics such as whether you have issues with deer browsing, the site's soil conditions (moist, dry, tree root competition), and personal preferences such as bloom season, desired wildlife value, and so on.

A starting point is this list, which includes both sun and shade options and has notes as to native status and deer-resistant plants: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/groundcover-list. Groundcovers are traditionally thought of as low-growing (say, under a foot high) spreading perennials, but even low shrubs and taller plants that have a propensity to spread (or which can be planted densely) are good choices, especially for variety and interest. A diverse mix of plants will not only keep seasonal color going but also offer the greatest wildlife value in attracting varied pollinators, birds, and so on.

These publications provide information on an array of native species if you wish to use some that are not categorized as "traditional" groundcovers:

https://www.fws.gov/chesapeakebay/pdf/NativePlantsforWildlifeHabitatandConservationLandscaping.pdf

https://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG120_Native_Plants%20_of_MD.pdf

http://www.nativeplantcenter.net/

Miri