ground cover

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

ground cover

a. dense low herbaceous plants and shrubs that grow over the surface of the ground, esp, in a forest, preventing soil erosion or, in a garden, stifling weeds
b. (as modifier): ground-cover plants

Ground cover

Low-growing plants often grown to keep soil from eroding and to discourage weeds.

Ground Cover


in horticulture, low herbaceous and usually procumbent plants, 5–15 cm tall, with variously colored and patterned foliage, used to create ornamental patterns on the ground. Some ground covers consist of various species of Alternathera, Antennaria, Artemisia, Achyranthes, Helichrysum, Gnaphalium, Iresine, Coleus, Mesembryanthemum, Pelargonium, Pyrethrum, Santolina, Sedum, Sempervivum, Spergula, Stachys, Stellaria, Festuca, Cineraria, and Echeveria. Low flowering plants are also used, including lobelia, heliotrope, portulaca, ageratum, fuschia, and Begonia semperflorens.

The first step in creating ground cover is to draw an outline laying out how the plants of the desired colors are to be arranged. The cultivation of ground covers is labor intensive. The plants are propagated primarily by cuttings, which are rooted in green-houses in February and then transplanted into hotbeds. The care of ground covers includes watering, pruning and trimming, and regular weeding.

Because of changes in fashion in ornamental horticulture and the great expenditure of labor and materials, ground covers have lost their popularity and are seldom used. Gardens and parks are landscaped with groups of low spreading perennials which have brightly colored or patterned foliage and can survive the winter in the ground. Such perennials include arabis, aubrietia, speed-well, saxifrage, sedum, sempervivum; and species of Sagina.


ground cover

[′grau̇nd ‚kəv·ər]
Prostrate or low plants that cover the ground instead of grass.
All forest plants except trees.

ground cover

1. Low planting, often maintenance-free, used in masses.
2. A thin plastic sheet, or the like, spread over the ground in a crawl space to minimize moisture penetration.
References in periodicals archive ?
Aubrieta is a great low-growing cascading plant suitable for ground cover in the border, rockeries or cascading from walls.
AlturnaMATS has manufactured ground cover mats since 1994 and has produced a quality product that stands the test of time.
But how about planting a few other plants to come up through the ground cover to give some variety?
We are excited to respond with The Neat Sheet family size ground cover to meet those needs," said Kathi Seifert, executive vice president.
Densely-planted areas should keep weeds at bay and well-chosen ground cover plants can also give a softer appearance to hard surfaces such as brickwork and paving.
Use it as a vigorous ground cover or combine it with more upright annuals or perennials in containers.
With the use of mulch and vigorously growing ground covers and other plants, maintenance is no more expensive and time-consuming than mowing once or twice a week.
If they can find a way to regenerate wiregrass faster than we've been able to do it in the past," Reed Noss said, "then we can get a natural ground cover back into some of these stands that we've pretty much given up on--ones that have been site-prepared or are old-field succession--where the whole area has been plowed and put into crops and you've lost virtually all the wiregrass.
GROUND cover plants serve a great purpose in your garden.
An alternative is permanent ground cover plants using slow-growing spreading species needing minimum maintenance.
Bergenia is great for ground cover and will spread rapidly in a suitable setting.
Ivy geraniums are widely grown as ground cover, yet they look much better and live much longer when grown on balconies where they can spill over and down, or when they are trained to grow up a low fence.