Ground covers often make our jobs as gardeners easier by preventing weeds, holding soil in place, and helping to moderate soil temperature extremes. Ground covers, however, are not maintenance-free. Like all plants, they can be susceptible to disease problems. In fact, ground covers are frequently used where conditions are favorable for disease.
- They grow low to the ground and fairly close to each other, which can limit air circulation.
- Their leaves are often wet, favoring fungal infections. This is the result of frequent rains, overhead watering, crowded plantings, and heavy shade.
- They are often grown in less than optimal conditions where other plants won’t grow. Plants grown in a stressful environment are more prone to disease.
- Fallen leaves from overhead trees are often left on top of ground covers. This promotes wetness and provides a favorable environment for disease to grow and overwinter.