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If you are looking to increase the aesthetic appeal of your backyard, groundcover plants may be what you need. They help prevent soil erosion, suppress weed growth, and require low maintenance once they are established. They also look beautiful with many diverse textures and colors available. When selecting the best groundcover plants for your backyard, you must consider the local climate, soil conditions, sunlight, and specific landscaping needs. Hahira Nursery is here to offer advice on selecting the best groundcover plants for your Hahira, GA, backyard.

Understanding Georgia’s Climate and Soil

You should keep in mind the weather in Georgia when selecting your plants. We consistently experience hot summers, mild winters, and get plenty of rain. The groundcover plants you choose must tolerate high temperatures and humidity, and plants that can survive occasional frost and cooler temperatures are ideal. The most common soil here is sandy loam. While this soil drains well, it may need organic matter, such as compost and fertilizers, to improve fertility and moisture retention.

If you live outside Georgia, be sure to research local climate and soil conditions and know which hardiness zone you live in before ordering groundcover plants from our online nursery.

Key Considerations for Selecting Groundcover Plants

You must take the time to fully assess the area where you are looking to add your groundcover plants. The two top considerations are the amount of sun the space receives and how much moisture you get. Areas receiving 6 or more hours of direct sunlight daily are considered full sun, partial shade gets 3-6 hours of sunlight, and full shade receives less than 3 hours of direct sunlight per day. The two primary types of moisture plants are drought-tolerant, which are essential for low rainfall areas, and moisture-loving, suitable for areas that retain more moisture or have irrigation systems.

Recommended Groundcover Plants for Full Sun Areas

If your backyard is always filled with sunshine, we recommend these top three groundcover plants:

  • Creeping Thyme (Thymus serpyllum) – This low-growing, aromatic, and produces attractive purple flowers and thrives in well-drained soil, full sun, and is drought-tolerant once established.
  • Sedum (Sedum spp.) – This succulent is low-maintenance, and available in various textures and colors. It prefers sunny spots and can tolerate dry conditions.
  • Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis) – An evergreen, excellent for erosion control in heavy rainfall areas. It requires full sun and well-drained soil.

For Backyards That Have Partial Shade

If your backyard has lots of trees that shade it during the day or your house blocks the sun for part of the day, consider these plants that thrive in partial shade:

  • Ajuga (Ajuga reptans) – This beautiful plant has glossy leaves, blue flower spikes, and is good for ground cover and erosion control. It prefers moist, well-drained soil and thrives in partial shade.
  • Periwinkle (Vinca minor) – An evergreen that produces blue flowers and spreads quickly to cover large, partially shaded, well-drained areas.
  • Liriope (Liriope muscari) – This plant has grass-like foliage and purple flower spikes. If you like the appearance but don’t necessarily have partial shade, it will tolerate a range of light conditions.

For Fully Shaded Backyards

If you have a fully shaded location, but want to incorporate the beauty of groundcover plants, here are a few options to consider:

  • Hosta (Hosta spp.) – This stunning plant has large, attractive leaves and is available in various colors. It prefers moist, well-drained soil and a full shade environment.
  • Ferns – There are many varieties of these delicate fronds, which are ideal for shady, moist areas with consistently moist soil.
  • Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum) – Thriving in moist, shady areas, this plant is fragrant with small white flowers.

Consider the Traffic Levels of Your Backyard

Depending on where you want to add your groundcover plants, you will need to consider the durability of your plants. For high-traffic areas, select tough, resilient plants like creeping thyme. These plants can withstand frequent foot traffic and quickly recover from damage. For moderate-traffic areas, such as borders and edges, opt for plants ajuga. These are moderately durable and can handle occasional trampling without significant damage. For areas where the plants will not be exposed to any foot traffic, you can use delicate, ornamental groundcovers such as moss or sweet woodruff. These plants add aesthetic appeal but should only be planted in areas that experience minimal disturbances.

Benefits of Groundcover Plants

If you are still on the fence about groundcover plants, there are several benefits besides aesthetic appeal you should consider. Groundcover plants stabilize soil, preventing erosion on sloped properties. This can protect your backyard from the effects of consistent rain washing away your soil. Groundcover plants will also suppress weeds. The dense foliage slows weed growth by blocking sunlight and outcompeting them for nutrients. Once the plants are established, they require minimal upkeep, which gives you more time to enjoy your backyard instead of spending hours weeding and mowing. And if you want to encourage beneficial insects and pollinators, certain groundcovers provide habitat and food for them, supporting local biodiversity.

Ready to Pick Out Your Groundcover Plants? Contact Hahira Nursery

There are many factors that go into choosing the right groundcover plants for your backyard. It involves understanding the local climate, soil conditions, and specific needs of your landscape. Hahira Nursery in Hahira, GA, can help you make the right decision for your backyard. We have many years of experience helping our customers select the perfect plants for their space and can help you learn how to properly care for your new additions. Stop by our retail space, call, or contact us online to get started on your next gardening venture.

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