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Traffic Tolerant Perennials

Traffic Tolerant Perennials are groundcovers that can handle the pressure of foot traffic. Many have interesting color or texture, and provide an delightful alternative to grass on paths, between paving stones, and in landscape beds of all kinds.
Traffic Tolerant Perennials need similar care to a traditional lawn; good light, good drainage, and good soil. They also need to be walked on. Yes, that’s right! Stepping on these plants actually increases new plant growth. Because the leaf node on these plants has roots on the bottom, when they are stepped on, they root to the ground.

Not every one of these groundcovers can tolerate the same level of traffic. There are 3 main categories of traffic tolerant plants-light, medium, and heavy.

  • Plants rated as ‘light’ can be walked on only occasionally.
  • Plants rated as ‘medium’ can handle being walked on once or twice a day.
  • Plants rated as ‘heavy’ are the densest of the groundcovers, can take a pounding and still thrive.

All such groundcovers can be maintained with a lawn mower, weed-wacker, hedge trimmer or any method that works for you. The heavy traffic varieties can be maintained best by walking on them, which keeps the plants short and tight to the ground.

Light Traffic

ANTENNARIA dioica
ARABIS caucasica
ARMERIA maritima varieties
ASTER ericoides prostratus
CAMPANULA poscharskyana
CAREX dolich. Gold Fountain
CAREX oshimensis Evergold
CAREX pensylvanica
DELOSPERMA nubigenum
DIANTHUS gratianopolitanus
Varieties
EUONYMUS fortunei Kewensis
GALIUM odoratum

GERANIUM x cantabrigiense var.
LAMIUM maculatum varieties
POTENTILLA neumanniana Nana
SAPONARIA ocymoides
SEDUM album varieties
SEDUM kamtschaticum varieties
SEDUM sexangular
TIARELLA cordifolia Eco Running Tapestry
VINCA minor varieties
WALDSTEINIA ternata

Medium

CAREX flacca varieties
SAGINA subulata varieties
THYMUS praecox varieties
THYMUS serphyllum varieties
VERONICA liwanensis

Heavy

AJUGA reptans varieties
AJUGA x Chocolate Chip
ANACYCLUS depressus
CERASTIUM tomentosum
DIANTHUS deltoides varieties
GYPSOPHILA repens varieties
HEDERA helix varieties
LEPTINELLA squalida
LYSIMACHIA nummularia
OREGANUM vulgare
SEDUM acre varieties
SEDUM pachyclados
SEDUM spurium varieties
VERONICA x Tidal Pool
VERONICA x Waterperry Blue
VIOLA cucullata