The term groundcover generally refers to low lying plants that provide an area of cover, protecting the soil from erosion and drought, and improving its aesthetic appearance. Groundcovers are often grown under shrubs or trees.
Many of the perennials listed in the Shrubs and Perennials table, such as dwarf white or blue agapanthus, or dietes or wild garlic (tulbaghia) can also be used as ground covers.
The most common form of groundcovers are grasses. These can be planted under shrubs or trees, or alongside in a `grassy’ area. Other than the grasses used for lawns (like Kikuyu), there is a range of attractive grasses, such as the liriope muscari variagata, the dwarf mondo, the acorus gold, and the hen and chicken (variegated) that can be used as ground covers. See Groundcovers and Grasses for a full list and the growing conditions of each grass.
There are a range of drought-resistant (or water-wise) groundcovers, which are particularly suitable as ‘pavement’ plants. These include dietes, agapanthus, tulbaghia, carpobrotus, and aloe cooperi (the grass aloe). The Groundcovers and Grasses list has a drought-resistant section listing.
Succulents are becoming increasingly popular as a groundcover, due to their water-wise characteristics. Succulents, such as echeveria, vygies, bulbine, or carpobrotus can thrive in dry areas with little or no additional water.