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Ground covers

Pachysandra terminalis – a ground cover plant
Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Lise Servant)  
Pachysandra terminalis

The term ground cover refers to plants that form a thick carpet on the ground as they grow. To help you choose suitable plants, our experts have listed some of the best perennial, fern, grass and shrub ground covers at the end of this leaflet.

Roles and benefits of ground covers

Ground covers can play various roles in landscaping:

  • as a substitute for a lawn
  • instead of a lawn in areas where grass does not grow easily (under large trees with shallow roots, in shady, dry or wet spots, etc.)
  • to cover the ground in a wooded area, on gentle slopes or on uneven areas
  • to prevent weeds from spreading
  • to hide walls or make them more attractive
  • to create group plantings within or along the edges of a border
  • to fill in the spaces between paving stones and slabs
  • to reduce evaporation and prevent erosion from wind and run-off

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