Ground cover can be an important element in your backyard and garden. Although ground covers can be non-living materials, plants make a warmer, more attractive carpet of green. Good ground cover plants have a creeping or prostrate growth. What are good ground cover plants in zone 8? If you are looking for ground covers for zone 8, read on for a short list of great suggestions.
Zone 8 Ground Cover Info
U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone 8 is not one of the warmest zones, but it’s not one of the coolest zones either. In zone 8, the average minimum winter temperatures dip into the range of 10 to 20 F. (-12 to -7 C.).
Fortunately for homeowners in zone 8, you will find a broad selection of plants for zone 8 ground cover. Keep in mind that good ground covers for this region will reduce lawn maintenance, help control erosion, keep down weeds and work as a mulch to control soil temperatures.
Choosing Ground Cover Plants in Zone 8
Which plants are good ground cover plants in zone 8? The best ground cover plants are evergreen, not deciduous. That’s because you probably prefer a year-round covering for your backyard soil.
While some ground covers can be a substitute for grass, sometimes gardeners wish to keep foot traffic off the areas with ground coverage. Be sure to decide in advance if you intend your ground cover to be walked on or not, because you’ll want different plants for each option.
Another element that will impact your selection is the sun exposure of the site. Does your backyard get direct sun, partial sun or total shade? You’ll have to pick plants that work in the area you have to offer.
Ground Covers for Zone 8
One good ground cover plant for zone 8 is Aaronsbeard St. John’s wort (Hypericum calycinum). It thrives in zones 5 through 8. The mature height of this St. John’s wort is 16 inches (40 cm.) and its attractive bluish-green foliage is evergreen in zone 8. The plant lights up your yard in summer with showy yellow blooms.
You can find creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis) in several different heights, ranging from 4 inches (10 cm.) to 2 feet (61cm.) tall. It thrives in zones 4 through 9. One beauty to try for zone 8 ground cover is ‘Blue Rug,’ with charming silver-blue foliage that grows to about 5 inches (13 cm.).
Dwarf nandina (Nandina domestica dwarf cultivars) plants grow to 3 feet (.9 m.) or less in zones 6b through 9. They make great ground cover plants in zone 8 and spread quickly by underground stems and suckers. The new shoot foliage has tones of red. Nandina is okay in full sun but it tolerates full shade areas as well.
Two other popular plants for zone 8 ground cover are English ivy (Hedera helix) and Japanese pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis). English ivy offers shiny dark green foliage and will grow in both shade and sun. Take care with it, however, as it can be invasive. Pachysandra covers your soil with a dense carpet of lustrous green foliage. Look for white flowers at the tips of stems in spring. This zone 8 ground cover thrives in exposure with some shade. It also needs well-drained soil.