ground cover

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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 ?
The ground cover plants will soon disguise the membrane and you will have a weed-free carpet.
We would like to remove the grass and replace it with some kind of low-maintenance ground cover.
The secret is to start with a mudflat (a nursery flat with no dividers) of one of the ground covers from our list below, left.
Choose lower-growing ground covers such as Scotch moss and dymondia for well-used areas; save the taller, more sprawling plants, such as thyme and chamomile, for side paths.
This ground cover is a bright yellow version of the commonly encountered blue fescue.
Some of the 12 ground covers we recommend here are virtual unknowns with great promise, while others are new varieties of more widely known plants.
On a recent visit to Palm Springs, I saw some horticultural sights - ranging from plant substitutions to grass and ground cover - that could provide valuable lessons for Valley gardeners.
Now ground covers and wildflowers blanket the berm and creek edges in color from spring through fall.
Even where pipes and pavement are not a concern, the landscape or garden itself is compromised since only sparse ground cover, if that, can grow in proximity to a mature liquidambar tree.
On flat ground, from a distance of 30 to 60 feet out from a structure, in addition to succulents, you can add ground cover plantings that build little fuel - such as vinca, freeway daisy (Osteospermum) or ivy - as well as clumps of annuals, wildflowers or water-retaining native shrubs such as laurel sumac.
Three ways to save: unthirsty ground covers, less turf, updated sprinklers
Q: A gardening show on PBS had one program about all kinds of ground covers aside from grass that are tough enough to walk on.