Ground covers are useful for covering unattractive spots in the landscape. They add texture and character, and they make your landscape look lusher and healthier almost effortlessly. However, choosing the best ground covers that can thrive under the shade of a deck is essential to achieve this. So, what are your options? Will these options be just as visually pleasing as any other ground covers? We have gathered answers for you.
Groundcovers that will be placed under a deck won't be able to receive much sunlight. Here are the ground covers that can tolerate and thrive under the shade:
- Plantain Lily
- English Ivy
- Spotted Deadnettle
- Wild Ginger
These groundcovers will improve the visual appeal of your landscape. Some of them will be able to grow attractive and colorful blooms, and some will have either year-round or seasonal appeal. To achieve this, you need to learn how to take care of them especially since they have limited access to sunlight. Keep reading below to learn more about these ground covers.
11 Best Ground Cover Plants For Under A Deck
Just because a patch of land is under a deck doesn't mean you should leave it alone. It can make your landscape incomplete and awkward, so it's best to plant vibrant ground covers under them to make your landscape more cohesive and visually balanced.
Here are ground covers you can try planting in your garden.
1. Plantain Lily
Plaintain Lillies are fast-growing perennial plants that for a dense mound of leaves. These plants have a lot of variety that form leaves with different shapes and sizes, as well as foliage whose color can range from green to blue or leaves that have creamy white stripes on the green leaves.
These plants are easy to grow and are generally low-maintenance. They are a go-to ground cover since you can't go wrong with them, especially in areas that don't have full access to sunlight. They blend well with the landscape, and they can beautify any area they are planted in.
Bunchberries do not only survive on shade--they thrive better on it. In fact, it is best to plant them under decks so they can be better protected from the afternoon sun which can dry their lovely green foliage.
When cared for properly, these ground covers can produce small white flowers that can make your landscape more vibrant and lush.
These perennial ground covers are hardy in USDA zones 2-6, and you can expect the flowers to grow during the spring. They provide seasonal appeal when the leaves turn crimson during the fall.
Pachysandras are evergreen perennials that are best planted in areas that have limited access to sunlight such as under shady trees or decks. Their foliage gives texture to the landscape, although they can be fast-growing and borderline invasive in some areas from the Atlantic to Wisconsin.
To make sure that the Pachysandra doesn't get invasive, make sure you get the Allegheny variety since they are easier to control, being a native to the United States.
These perennial ground covers are hardy in USDA zones 5 through 9, and they thrive best when they are planted in well-draining but moist soil.
Ferns are generally made to thrive under shade. Of course, it's essential that you plant them on moist, slightly-acidic, and well-draining soil. Ferns have unique foliage that can make your landscape look visually stimulating, and they complement other shrubs and flowering plants well.
Plant these ferns under the deck to give your landscape some character. Make sure to trim them every late winter to avoid overly tall ferns that will look awkward under a deck.
Ferns are hardy in USDA zones 2 through 10.
5. English Ivy
The English ivy can grow under shade, so you can plant them under your deck as ground covers. They are commonly used as garden carpets for awkward spots around the landscape since they can grow a dense and heavy layer of green foliage that can make your landscape look lusher and healthier.
Make sure you get a variety that is native to your area since they tend to get highly invasive. However, there is a specific cultivar of English ivy that has been discovered to be non-invasive. This variety is known to be sterile, so it won't be a nuisance to your landscape.
However, if you want something more accessible, a good alternative would be the Carolina Jessamine, which also tolerates shade and has equally attractive foliage.
6. Spotted Deadnettle
Spotted deadnettle, commonly known as Lamium, thrives under partial shade and is best grown in USDA zones 3 through 8. They grow dense as ground covers, and they can inject vibrance into the landscape as they produce purple flowers that grow late in the spring.
They can make the ground under your deck look more visually appealing, and they will effectively make your garden feel fresher and lush, and make the garden look more attractive.
Creeping Liriopes are ideal groundcovers that you can plant on shady areas since they can still make the area look welcoming despite not being reached by the sun. They thrive under part shade, and they are best planted in USDA zones 4 through 10.
These ground covers can produce lovely purple flowers that bloom during the autumn season, giving your landscape a seasonal appeal.
Note that Liriopes tend to be invasive in the Southeast parts of the U.S., while they can grow as ornamental ground covers in the northern parts.
If you want the land under your deck to still be noticeable despite being hidden from direct sunlight, planting Heuchera plants are the best way to do this. They grow rich and dense foliage that comes in every color imaginable, so they can effectively cover your landscape and make the space more attractive.
They are tolerant of part-shade, but they may require a period of about 4 hours of direct sunlight for best results. These plants are best grown in USDA zones 4-9, planted in fertile and moist soil.
If you want something more low-maintenance for the ground under your deck, go with Epimedium
plants. These evergreens provide year-round appeal with their rich and dense green foliage, and they also have seasonal appeal when their leaves turn in warm shades of yellow, bronze, and crimson during the fall.
These plants are deer and rabbit-resistant, so you won't have to worry about animals nibbling on them. They are ideally planted under dappled shade, particularly trees or in this case, decks.
Make sure to keep their soil well-composted and fertile. Layer them with mulch for best results.
10. Wild Ginger
Wild ginger heavily requires to be planted in shaded areas, so they are perfect for the ground under your deck. This is because they are prone to burning when placed under direct sunlight, so they actually need to stay away from sunlight as much as possible in order to survive.
Wild ginger isn't an ideal substitute for culinary ginger, so they don't exactly have that benefit. However, they can grow dense and thick leaves that can effectively cover your landscape, and their heart-shaped leaves add visual appeal to the area.
These plants thrive in USDA zones 4 through 6. Keep their soil moist but well-drained for ideal results.
Periwinkle shrubs are one of the tried and true groundcovers that you can plant under your deck. They can thrive in shade, and they will quickly grow and spread over the ground which will make your landscape look more balanced and appealing.
These evergreen perennials can produce lovely purple flowers which can make the area under your deck look more vibrant despite the lack of direct sunlight.
The area under your deck shouldn't be ignored just because sunlight doesn't directly hit it. The small space can still make or break the look of your landscape, so it's best to keep the area balanced with groundcovers and low-growing shrubs.
As always, make sure to maintain and care for them well so they can beautify your landscape for a long time.