What are some good groundcovers for shade?

FAQ
Question: 

What are some good groundcovers for shade?

Answer: 

Excellent groundcovers for shade include bugleweed (Ajuga spp.), wild ginger (Asarum canadense and A. europaeum), barrenwort (Epimedium spp.), sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum), hosta (Hosta spp.), spotted deadnettle (Lamium maculatum), creeping lily-turf (Liriope spicata), Japanese pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis), lungwort (Pulmonaria spp.), foam flower (Tiarella cordifolia), and vinca (Vinca minor). 

Variegated bishop’s weed (Aegopodium podagraria ‘Variegata’) and lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis) are two other shade-tolerant groundcovers.  Unfortunately, both plants spread rapidly and often become invasive.  These aggressive spreaders should not be planted with other perennials as they quickly crowd out neighboring plants.  Variegated bishop’s weed and lily-of-the-valley should be planted only in areas where they can be confined (for example, between a building and sidewalk) or allowed to spread freely. 

 

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