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Discover the Top 10 Best Low-Maintenance Ground Cover Plants for Shade

Are you looking to enhance the beauty of shaded areas in your garden without breaking a sweat? Discover the perfect solution with the 10 best low-maintenance ground cover plants tailored for shade. These hardy plants not only thrive in the shadowy nooks but also require minimal care, making them a gardener’s dream. 

Whether you seek low-growing wonders, fast-growing marvels, or flowering delights, our curated list has you covered. These ground covers enhance visual aesthetics and provide a practical, low-maintenance solution, thriving in environments ranging from shaded areas beneath tree canopies to fully shaded spaces. Let’s dive into the world of lush, hassle-free landscapes.

10 Best Low-maintenance Ground Cover Plants for Shade

Liriope (Lilyturf)

Liriope, commonly known as Lilyturf, takes the spotlight as an excellent low-maintenance ground cover for shade. This versatile plant thrives in both partial and full shade, making it an ideal choice for various garden settings. Its lush, arching leaves create a carpet-like effect, transforming shaded areas into vibrant, green spaces. Liriope is not only visually appealing but also durable – a low-maintenance ground cover you can confidently walk on. If you’re aiming for a practical yet aesthetically pleasing solution, Lilyturf stands out as a top choice.

Ajuga (Bugleweed)

In the realm of low-growing ground cover for shade, Ajuga, or Bugleweed, emerges as a star performer. This fast-spreading beauty quickly blankets the ground, creating a dense cover that suppresses weeds and adds a burst of color to shaded areas. With its attractive foliage and ground-hugging nature, Ajuga effortlessly thrives under trees, providing a lush carpet that requires minimal upkeep. If you’re seeking a ground cover that not only flourishes in the shade but also boasts an easy-care routine, Bugleweed is the answer to your gardening prayers.

10 Best Low-Maintenance Ground Cover Plants for Shade

Vinca Minor (Periwinkle)

When it comes to low-maintenance ground cover plants for shade, Vinca Minor, also known as Periwinkle, steals the show. This evergreen perennial is a fast-growing ground cover that thrives in the shaded nooks of your garden. Its trailing vines and glossy leaves create a picturesque carpet, turning even the darkest corners into vibrant, green spaces. With minimal care requirements, Periwinkle stands out as a resilient and enduring option for shaded landscapes. If you’re searching for a ground cover that effortlessly combines beauty with ease of maintenance, Vinca Minor is a top contender.

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Vinca Minor

Pachysandra Terminalis (Japanese Spurge)

Japanese Spurge, scientifically known as Pachysandra Terminalis, shines as a low-maintenance ground cover for shade. This evergreen perennial is a reliable choice for areas with full shade, thriving under the canopy of trees. Its glossy, deep green leaves form a dense carpet, effectively suppressing weeds and providing a visually pleasing ground cover. Japanese Spurge is not only a fast-growing solution for shaded landscapes but also an enduring option that withstands diverse environmental conditions. If you desire a ground cover that requires minimal attention while flourishing in the shadows, Japanese Spurge is a go-to choice.

Epimedium (Barrenwort)

In the realm of flowering ground cover for shade, Epimedium, commonly known as Barrenwort, takes center stage. This resilient and low-growing plant adds a touch of elegance to shaded areas with its delicate blooms and intricate foliage. Barrenwort not only thrives in the shadowy corners of your garden but also requires minimal care, making it an excellent choice for low-maintenance landscapes. If you’re yearning for a ground cover that combines the beauty of flowers with the ease of maintenance, Barrenwort is the perfect addition to your shaded garden.

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Yellow Barrenwort

Tiarella Cordifolia (Foamflower)

For those seeking a unique and captivating ground cover for shade, look no further than Foamflower or Tiarella Cordifolia. This perennial beauty stands out with its distinctive, frothy blooms and heart-shaped leaves. Thriving in partial to full shade, Foamflower transforms shaded landscapes into enchanting realms with its charming presence. As a low-maintenance ground cover that offers both visual allure and ease of care, Tiarella Cordifolia is a top choice for gardeners looking to add a touch of magic to their shaded spaces.

Houttuynia Cordata (Chameleon Plant)

Houttuynia Cordata, also known as the Chameleon Plant, is an excellent option for individuals in search of a dynamic and easy-to-care-for ground cover for shaded locations. With its heart-shaped, multicolored leaves and spreading habit, the Chameleon Plant adds a touch of drama to the shaded corners of your garden. Thriving in damp conditions, this ground cover is not only visually striking but also a fast-growing solution that effortlessly fills in bare spaces. Houttuynia Cordata’s adaptability to various soil types and its resistance to deer make it a practical and appealing choice for transforming shaded landscapes with minimal effort.

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Fresh Flowering Houttuynia Cordata Plants

Sedum Ternatum (Wild Stonecrop)

In the realm of ground covers for shaded areas, Sedum Ternatum, or Wild Stonecrop, emerges as a resilient and low-maintenance option. This native perennial with succulent leaves form a lush carpet that gracefully blankets the ground, creating a visually pleasing effect in shaded settings. With its ability to tolerate dry conditions, Wild Stonecrop is a hardy ground cover that requires little care. Its white star-shaped flowers add an extra layer of charm, making Sedum Ternatum a delightful choice for those looking to enhance the beauty of shaded spaces effortlessly.

Asarum Canadense (Wild Ginger)

For a touch of understated elegance in shaded areas, consider Asarum Canadense, also known as Wild Ginger. This low-growing ground cover features glossy, heart-shaped leaves and inconspicuous but intriguing maroon or brownish flowers. Thriving in moist, shaded environments, Wild Ginger is a slow-spreading perennial that adds a touch of woodland charm to your garden. Its ability to thrive in diverse soil conditions and its low maintenance needs make it an ideal option for individuals looking for a dependable and aesthetically pleasing ground cover in shaded outdoor areas.

Dryopteris Marginalis (Wood Fern)

In the world of low-maintenance ground cover for shade, Dryopteris Marginalis, or Wood Fern, stands out as a classic and enduring choice. This fern species, with its feathery fronds and arching habit, creates a lush carpet that thrives in the shaded areas of your garden. Well-suited for damp and woodland settings, Wood Fern is a fast-growing solution that requires little attention. Its ability to tolerate various soil types and its adaptability to different light conditions make Dryopteris Marginalis a versatile and reliable option for those seeking an easy-to-care-for ground cover that adds timeless elegance to shaded landscapes.


Transforming shaded spaces into lush and visually appealing landscapes has never been easier with these ten outstanding low-maintenance ground cover plants. From the vibrant and adaptable Lilyturf to the resilient and charming Foamflower, each plant on this curated list offers a unique blend of aesthetic beauty and minimal care requirements.


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