Many groundcovers are listed as invasive species in some states because they spread through forests and wetlands, smothering native plants. Others aren't officially listed but still creep into nearby lawns or gardens.
Often, plants prove problematic only in certain climates. Pachysandra, for instance, runs rampant in parts of the East but behaves in the West. So before you buy, check your state's invasives list (invasivespeciesinfo.gov
). And avoid these five, which are widely considered to be troublemakers: English ivy (shown), cypress spurge (Euphorbia cyparissias)
, spearmint (Mentha spicata)
, common periwinkle (Vinca minor)
, and Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii)