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 ?
Rather than having a flowerbed full of herbaceous or summer bedding plants, once in place a ground-cover bed pretty well looks after itself, apart from the first year or two, when it will need plenty of watering so the roots can establish.
A great use for ground-cover planting is on a steep slope, where access for weeding, watering, feeding and pruning is difficult or even dangerous.
Choose a ground-cover plant such as Cotoneaster horizontalis and you'll be able to enjoy really attractive berries as well as the neat foliage.
The best ground-cover plants are evergreen, relatively low with a spreading habit, and dense enough growth to deter weed germination and growth.
Where ground-cover plants are to play a prominent role in the overall design of the flowerbed or border, they should have attractive foliage, a pleasing growth habit and, ideally, an annual display of flowers.
Some like shade, others hot, dry conditions, but there are ground-cover plants that will thrive in most conditions.
While suited to drier conditions, all three are general purpose ground-cover, growing just about anywhere but in time may become invasive like the weeds they are supposed to suppress.
Preferring a little more shade, ceanothus comes in several forms - as ground-cover plants, bushes or small trees.
A flower bed of nothing but ever-blooming roses is easily enough achieved with floribundas, which grow up to about 5 feet tall, in back; and miniature and/or ground-cover roses, which do not exceed 2 feet in height, in front.