Which Ground Cover Plants are Best for Maryland

Ground cover plants are a great way to add color and texture to a garden. They can be planted in large containers or mixed with other plants to create dense shade or privacy. The best ground covers for Maryland are low-maintenance and hardy in our climate. The best ground covers for Maryland include:

Lily of the Valley

The lily of the valley is a perennial herbaceous plant that blooms in the summer with single or double flowers on a long stalk. The flowers are white, yellow, pink, or purple and have a strong sweet scent. The leaves are opposite and lance-shaped with entire edges. The plant grows 6-12 inches tall and spreads to about 6 inches wide in optimal conditions.

You can plant Lily of the Valley in full sun to partial shade areas. It prefers moist soil with good drainage and does not need to be watered often, but do take care not to overwater it as it dies easily. This plant requires little pruning other than deadheading spent blooms after they fade.

Dwarf Mondo Grass

Mondo grass is a low-growing type of grass ideal for gardens with shallow soil or small spaces. This plant can grow over 4 inches tall and be used as ground cover or as a lawn substitute. It does best in full sun and does not like heavy shade.

Mondo grass prefers moist conditions but will do fine with regular watering during dry periods. The best time to plant this type of grass is right after your last frost in spring or early summer. Dwarf Mondo Grass is ideal for fillers in flower beds and borders or as a ground cover under trees and shrubs.

Carpet Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans)

Carpet Bugleweed is a hardy evergreen ground cover that grows to 3 feet tall and spreads to 5-10 inches. The plant is native to the eastern United States and can be found in wet forests, swamps, and thickets. In Maryland, this plant grows best in moist soil in full sun. It tolerates dry soil for part of the year but does not allow it to dry completely during summer.

Carpet bugleweed forms dense mats of foliage that can cover an area up to 1 foot deep. The leaves are dark green above and silvery white below, with a slightly hairy texture. As with many other plants in this genus, carpet bugleweed produces white flowers from spring through fall that are borne on tall spikes up to 2 inches long.

Creeping Phlox

Creeping phlox) A perennial grows up to 8 inches tall and features bright purple-pink flowers in the spring. It is a popular choice for cottage gardens, though it can also be planted in a rock garden or massed along a fence line. Creeping phlox is drought tolerant but prefers moist soil and full sun. In Maryland, creeping phlox does best in full sunlight, though it will tolerate partial shade.

Wild Ginger

Wild ginger (Asarum canadense) is a perennial that grows to 3 feet tall. It has narrow, dark green leaves with light pink flowers. The flowers are followed by two-lobed fruits that contain one seed each.

The plant grows best in full sun and can be grown in most soil types, pH, and moisture levels. Planting wild ginger deep will improve its germination rate. You can even plant it near other plants because its roots aren’t invasive. In addition, the wildflower only needs water during dry periods and doesn’t require regular fertilizing or deadheading.

Vinca Minor

Vinca minor is a perennial climbing shrub that grows to about 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide. It has arching branches with small dark green leaves at the tips of the branches. Vinca minor is often used in container gardens or as an annual in the landscape. It prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.5.

This plant is drought tolerant once established and can be grown in USDA zones 3 through 9; it will do better as an annual in areas with colder winters and higher humidity. It also does not require much care and can be grown indoors year-round in many climates.

If you have room for this plant in your garden, it will provide beautiful color throughout the season without fuss. Vinca minor tends to bloom in mid-spring before flowering again in early summer.

Sweet Woodruff

Sweet woodruff is a beautiful flowering plant that grows in the shade or under the full sun. It has fragrant pink or white blooms that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Sweet woodruff prefers moist soil, but it can tolerate dry conditions. The leaves are aromatic and taste like licorice.

Sweet woodruff can be planted in the fall or spring, but it is usually grown as an annual because it doesn’t survive frosty temperatures. Therefore, you may need to move it indoors if your area experiences cold winters.


Pachysandra is a popular ground cover plant found in many plant nurseries. It is also known as Umbrella Plant, Bird’s Nest Bush, and Pachysandra terminalis. Pachysandra is widely used as a ground cover plant because it grows quickly and thrives under drought and heat conditions.

Pachysandra bears bright green leaves with a silvery lining that looks like bird’s nests. Its flowers are yellowish-white, with long, tubular, and slightly curved petals. This plant can be grown as an annual or perennial, depending on its conditions. It prefers full sun but will tolerate partial shade.

Sedum spp

Sedum spp is a group of more than 400 species of succulent plants native to the Northern Hemisphere. Some of the best-known species in this family include sedum, cranesbill, muhly, stonecrop, and lady’s mantle. They commonly grow in acidic soils in the U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9.

Sedums are considered shade-loving plants that grow best in full sun or part shade with cool temperatures. However, they do not tolerate frost well, so they should be grown in sunny conditions. Sedums grow from foot-wide rosettes of fleshy green leaves that bloom from spring through fall with small yellow blooms that may turn red or purple with age. The flowers are followed by seedpods (fruits) that resemble tiny potatoes with two wings at the end that open when ripe for dispersing seeds.


Lamium is a hardy perennial that grows best in moist, full sunlight and well-drained soil. Lamium comes in various colors, including white, purple and yellow. It has small, fernlike leaves that are produced on long stalks. The plants also have clusters of pink or purple flowers that bloom from spring through summer.

Lamium plants prefer full sun and well-drained soil. They do not like to be underwater and can grow in partial shade. The plants are easy to care for, but they need regular watering to stay healthy and beautiful.


Violets are a member of the family Violaceae. The flowers are violet, with a blue-purple color and an eye that is also purple. Violets are a favorite flower of many gardeners. The delicate white and purple blooms attract hummingbirds and butterflies, making them a great choice for the Maryland landscape.

Violets prefer full sun and well-drained soil, but they can tolerate some shade. They are also drought tolerant once established in your garden. If you have sandy soil, mulch around the base of the plant to help keep the roots moist.

If you live in an area that gets frosty weather, you may want to choose a tender violet variety that will tolerate summer heat and wet soils.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Ground Cover Plants to Grow in Maryland

Resistance to Pests and Diseases

Pests and diseases can be a major problem for plants, particularly those with less resistance. Plants more susceptible to disease and pests may be more likely to lose their leaves or die altogether.

This can be a problem if you are trying to grow ground cover plants in Maryland that require much care, like some shrubs or annuals. If you’re looking for ground cover plants that are resistant to pests and diseases, consider opting for hardy varieties of grasses or perennials instead of annuals or biennials.


The size of the ground cover plants is one of the main considerations when choosing them for your Maryland garden. The size determines how long they take to mature and how well they look after being planted. The larger the plant, the longer it will take to bloom and reach maturity.

A smaller plant will require much less space than a larger one and can be more easily maintained. The smaller plants also tend to be more attractive, giving you more options for decorating your garden.

Soil Requirements

Soil requirements vary depending on the plant you are growing. For example, some plants require more acidic soil, while others will thrive in more alkaline soils. The best way to determine your soil pH is to test it yourself. You can purchase one online or at most garden centers if you do not have access to a soil test kit.

If you have a specific plant in mind, you must choose one suited for your soil type. Do some research ahead so that when planting time comes around, you have plenty of time to prepare your soil and the potting mix for planting.

Planting Location

It is important to consider where you will plant the plants. This is because the location of your plant will determine how much maintenance you need to do for them.

Ensure that the area allows for sunlight consumption as well as shade. The area also needs to be free from excess moisture, which can lead to rotting or disease. In addition, the area should have good drainage and a pH of 6.5 or lower.

Germination Rate

Germination rate is the percentage of seeds that sprout when planted. This is important for seedlings because it lets you know how long it will take them to reach maturity. The higher the germination rate, the quicker you’ll see results.

The best ground cover plants are those that have high germination rates. This means they can be planted in less time and will emerge more quickly than other plants because they don’t need to compete with weeds or compete with one another to grow.

Water Requirements

The most important factor to consider when selecting ground cover plants for your Maryland landscape is the amount of water they require. Some plants can tolerate drought conditions, but others need much more water. Most will do well with regular watering in the summer, but some may need supplemental irrigation during dry periods.

If you do not know how much water your garden needs, consult with your local city or county extension service or gardening club to learn more about watering requirements for specific plant species.

Fertilizer Requirements

Fertilizer requirements are the same for all plants, but there are some special considerations for ground covers. Since ground covers are low-maintenance, you can use a general-purpose fertilizer that will be diluted with water when watering your plants. However, if you have a specific soil test done on your property, you may need to use an organic fertilizer lower in nitrogen than a general-purpose fertilizer.

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