Best Plants to Use for Ground Cover in Florida
The term “ground cover” refers to the many plants that are ideal for gardens and landscaping accents. Because of our special weather considerations in the Tampa region of central Florida, not every variety of ground cover will work optimally.
Plants that are called ground cover are fairly low to the ground and quick-growing, needing little maintenance and not a lot of soil. Ground cover, as the name implies, covers bare areas and lends gentle color and personality to a garden landscape. Most ground cover is very hardy and looks good year-round.
Ground cover plants ideal for central Florida
When you begin researching ground cover or shopping for it, here are some names you may come across along with their sun requirements.
Needs lots of sun
Periwinkle, Society Garlic, Trailing Lantana, Chinese Juniper, Dwarf Lantana, Beach Morning Glory, Dwarf Yaupon Holly
Needs lots of sun with some shade
Carolina Jasmine, Heather, Shore Juniper, Creeping Juniper, Dichondra, Daylilly, Japanese Holly
Best grown in shade
English Ivy, Boston fern, Dwarf Lilly, Holly Fern, Bromeliad
Why use ground cover?
It’s true that most ground cover varieties aren’t as eye-catching and spectacular as many of the flowers and shrubbery you could plant. And ground cover can’t be used in areas that get foot traffic. So why use it at all?
The nature of ground cover is to be strong and resilient, providing a carpet of basic color that breaks up and highlights areas of more intense vibrancy. Landscapes that are literally packed with flowering growth can become heavy on the eyes. With ground cover, you can set off the big color splashes and make them even more visually appealing.
Also, ground cover is an excellent choice for hillsides and slopes that could have their soil washed away in heavy rains. With ground cover in place, its root system does a great job in binding the soil.
Planting and growing ground cover in central Florida
Ground covers normally mature in about two years. To assist in their growth and health, maintain a consistent program of watering and fertilizing in accord with the requirements for your particular ground cover species. Remember to pull weeds right away so they won’t leach nutrients from your ground cover.
Finally, applying mulch helps to retain water and encourages the growth and stability of the plants’ root system. Healthy roots mean a faster-spreading plant.
When your ground cover is mature and established, the only maintenance you’ll need to do is occasional trimming away from areas you don’t want the growth to spread. Weeding also is important, not only for the health of the ground cover but for its aesthetic appearance.
There’s a lot to know about ground cover, and fortunately we have many trained experts at our Tampa, FL, nursery who can help. Stop by and tell us about your landscape and your plans, and we’ll show you the best ground covers for your project.
Cypress Creek Landscape Supply
Open Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. / Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
12734 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, FL