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Shade ground covers are plants that grow on the ground and that are often used in spots where grass will not grow well. They can survive and even thrive in shady spots. Full shade plants require less than 2 hours of direct sunlight per day, while partial shade plants require 2 to 4 hours.

Note that, in each list, plants from different climate zones with different growing conditions may be mixed together. So before making a final choice on any given plant, always check all its characteristics to ensure it is the right plant for the right place.

Full shade ground covers

Full shade ground covers that require less than 2 hours of direct sunlight per day (don’t forget that these aren’t endives – they do need light) and a soil that is moist but well drained.

Scientific name Common name Type
Akebia quinata Fiveleaf Akebia Deciduous
Cornus canadensis Bunchberry Deciduous
Epigaea repens Trailing Arbutus Evergreen
Euonymus fortunei Wintercreeper Euonymus Evergreen
Gaultheria procumbens Creeping Wintergreen Evergreen
Hedera helix English Ivy Evergreen
Lonicera japonica Japanese Honeysuckle Deciduous
Pachysandra procumbens Allegheny Pachysandra Deciduous
Pachysandra terminalis Japanese Pachysandra Evergreen
Parthenocissus quinquefolia Virginia Creeper Deciduous
Parthenocissus tricuspidata Boston Ivy Deciduous
Vinca minor Common Periwinkle Evergreen

Partial shade ground covers

Partial shade ground covers that require between 2 and 4 hours of direct sunlight per day and a soil that is moist but well drained.

Scientific name Common name Type
Clematis virginiana Virginsbower Deciduous
Cornus canadensis Bunchberry Deciduous
Epigaea repens Trailing Arbutus Evergreen
Euonymus fortunei Wintercreeper Euonymus Evergreen
Gaultheria procumbens Creeping Wintergreen Evergreen
Gaylussacia brachycera Box Huckleberry Evergreen
Hedera helix English Ivy Evergreen
Lonicera japonica Japanese Honeysuckle Deciduous
Lonicera sempervirens Trumpet Honeysuckle Evergreen
Lonicera periclymenum Woodbine Honeysuckle Deciduous
Microbiota decussata Russian Arborvitae Evergreen
Pachysandra terminalis Japanese Pachysandra Evergreen
Pachysandra procumbens Allegheny Pachysandra Evergreen
Parthenocissus quinquefolia Virginia Creeper Deciduous
Parthenocissus tricuspidata Boston Ivy Deciduous
Polygonum aubertii Silver Lace Vine Deciduous
Vinca minor Common Periwinkle Evergreen
Xanthorhiza simplicissima Yellowroot Deciduous

Consider visiting our Shade plants page, where you will find general information on growing plants in shady locations.

Have you considered all the options available to you? If not, then have a look at our Landscaping plants page.

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