Tips and Guides

Do You Have Groundcovers In Your Garden?

These low-growing plants can help you maintain your green corner in different ways

Original Article: Jan Imperio Photography: Jun Pinzon Styling: Issa Villar

Have you noticed those short plants that are not grasses when you walk around a garden? They are called groundcovers. They are not like grasses that are meant to be stepped on, but they do play an important role. Groundcovers not only help prevent soil erosion and weed growth, they also keep the soil from drying up by acting as covers that protect it from too much sun and wind exposure. Curious about groundcovers you can use in your garden? Here are some suggestions: 

1. Tropic Marianne ("bakya") and Spider Plant 

These plants are perfect if you have a garden that receives half a day of sunlight or even less. Because they have light-colored foliage, you can see them even in dark spots in your garden. When you see that the leaf margins are turning brown, it means they are getting too much sunlight. Water them moderately and plant them in a soil that is rich in organic matter. 

2. Dwarf Mondo Grass ("Kyoto dwarf") and Metal Leaf

If your garden has uneven light (some parts are exposed to the sun while other parts are shaded), you need groundcovers that can thrive both in sunny and shady areas. Kyoto dwarf and Metal Leaf are some of the plants you can use. Since they are exposed to varying amounts of sunlight in your garden, water the plants that are under full sunlight more frequently. Plant these groundcovers using clay loam soil, and give them a dose of nitrogen-rich fertilizer every six months. Also, take note that the metal leaf has a more silver color when exposed to full sunlight, while it turns purple when placed in shady areas. 

3. Mother-in-law's Tongue ("Golden Hahnii")

A crumbly or sandy soil cannot hold much moisture and nutrients, and therefore lacks the basic requirements for a plant to thrive. In this case, you need a groundcover that can tolerate drought like the Mother-in-law's Tongue. This plant likes to be under a bright light. If you put it in a shady area, its yellow margins will be replaced by a deep green leaf color. Give it deep watering once a week—too much water will make its leaves and roots rot. 

4. Creeping Charlie and Peanut Plant 

If you have a large garden, use groundcovers that can spread out after a few weeks of being planted so you don't have to buy a lot of plants. Creeping Charlie and Peanut Plant are your best bets. They send out runners so they don't eat up a lot of time for them to be able to cover your garden. These picks can also be easily propagated through cuttings. Water these plants moderately, and watch out for excessive growth. 

Read the original article ("Down-to-earth Plants") in the April 2007 issue of Real Living magazine. Download your digital copy on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details. 

More on

6 Accessories That Will Jazz Up Your Garden

10 Affordable Plants For Your Home

Which Garden Plants Can Go Bad?


Latest Stories

10 Ways To Make Your Shoes Last Forever

Show your favorite pairs some tender loving care with these tips

A One-Bedroom Unit Transformed into a Two-Bedroom Home

The designers of this 45sqm condo in Manila created a functional space with an urban contemporary appeal that’s perfect for its young occupants

Here's Why You Should Skip Bringing Your Phone To The Bathroom

Trust us, liking that photo on Instagram can wait for a few minutes

7 Planners For An Inspired 2018

Stay organized and keep your goals in sight with these picks

These Christmas Ornaments Will Make You Feel Like Dancing

Celebrate a yearly Christmas ballet tradition with The Nutcracker collection

15 Calming Photos of Modern Minimalist Homes

Because less is more

10 Life-Changing Cleaning Habits For Lazy People

We've got the strategies for keeping an impeccably clean house without losing your mind

Did You Know That Ellen Adarna Lives in a 1930s Apartment in Manila?

She has a fantastic view of the Manila Bay sunset, too

Neat Home Appliances You Need To Buy With Your 13th Month Bonus

It's okay to treat yourself with the best things money can buy—especially if it is for your humble abode

A Taguig Condo With Cool Storage Features And Vintage Accents

This 80sqm unit has everything that its owners need: light and airy spaces, an interesting mix of furniture, and nifty storage tricks

8 Celebrities Who Are Also Amazing Artists

From John Lloyd Cruz to Ian Veneracion, these famous faces put a new spin to being creative

Katrina Halili’s House in El Nido, Palawan

Found inside her own farm, the tranquil sanctuary features spacious rooms and an incomparable view of the lush outdoors
Load More Stories

Get inspiring design ideas and handy hints.
Subscribe to our newsletter now!