A Beautiful Lawn Alternative: Perennial Peanut Ground Cover

If you’re tired of the constant chore of mowing your lawn, we have great news for you. Imagine a gorgeous and low-maintenance ground cover that not only eliminates the need for mowing but also adds a touch of beauty to your landscape. Meet the perennial peanut plant, a unique ground cover option that will transform your outdoor space. While it may not produce nuts, it offers a multitude of benefits that make it an ideal choice for any garden.

Groundcover Peanut Varieties: A Year-Round Solution

Unlike the annual peanuts we typically associate with sandwiches, the perennial peanut plant serves as a year-round ground cover alternative. While other edible running types may wither away in winter, the ornamental peanut, also known as Arachis glabrata, thrives in all seasons. This Brazilian native not only establishes quickly but also offers a range of practical benefits.

The runner peanut, known scientifically as Arachis hypogaea, occupies the majority of the U.S. peanut crop and finds its place in the world of peanut butter. Varieties such as Southern Runner, SunOleic, and Florunner can be used for temporary ground coverage. However, for a long-lasting solution, opting for the perennial varieties like Florigraze, Arblick, Ecoturf, or Arbrook is the key to success.

The Advantages of Peanuts as Ground Cover

Switching from a traditional lawn to a peanut ground cover offers several advantageous benefits:

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Water Conservation

Lawns demand copious amounts of water to maintain their lush green appearance, especially during the scorching summer months. In contrast, peanuts are more water-efficient, requiring only average moisture levels. They can tolerate drought conditions without compromising their visual appeal or overall health.

Weed Suppression and Easy Maintenance

Peanut plants excel at outcompeting stubborn weeds, making your gardening life much easier. They can be easily controlled by regular mowing or shearing, allowing you to maintain the desired height for your ground cover area.

Edible Delights

Not only are peanut plants visually appealing, but their lovely yellow flowers also have a nutty flavor. Imagine incorporating these edible blooms into your salads and other culinary creations, adding a delightful twist to your dishes.

Salt Tolerance and Resilience

Peanut ground cover is also renowned for its exceptional salt tolerance. In regions where salty air or water is common, this resilient plant thrives effortlessly. Even in areas with mild freezes, the plant may die back during the winter but will gracefully regrow come springtime. Its ability to quickly form a mat of attractive leaves and flowers, reaching a height of 6 inches (15 cm), makes it an exceptional choice for any garden.

Nitrogen Fixation

While this perennial peanut variety does not produce nuts, it compensates with its ability to secure nitrogen. Through this process, it enriches the soil with vital nutrients, promoting healthy plant growth. Additionally, the plant’s rhizomes allow for easy propagation, making it a convenient option for expanding your ground cover area if needed.

Cultivating Peanut Plants for Ground Cover

Growing perennial peanut plants for ground cover requires some specific considerations:

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Soil and Sunlight

Perennial peanuts prefer light sandy soil, but if your soil is heavy, you can improve it by incorporating ample amounts of compost and grit to enhance drainage. These resilient plants thrive in full sun to partial shade, making them adaptable to various garden conditions.

Planting and Maintenance

For optimal results, it’s recommended to plant perennial peanuts during their dormant period in winter. Once established, these low-maintenance plants appreciate regular watering to keep the soil evenly moist. Mowing is only necessary when the foliage becomes overgrown, typically every three to four weeks. Aim for a mowing height of 3 to 4 inches (8-10 cm) to maintain the ideal ground cover appearance.

Versatile Ground Cover

The beauty of perennial peanuts lies in their versatility. From berms to paths, lawns to medians, these ground cover plants can transform any area into a stunning, maintenance-free landscape. Say goodbye to traditional sod and welcome a ground cover solution that adds beauty, resilience, and practicality to your outdoor space.

Gorgeous perennial peanut ground cover

To experience the wonder of perennial peanuts for yourself, visit the Ames Farm Center and discover the endless possibilities of this remarkable ground cover solution.


With its ability to eliminate the need for mowing, tolerate salt spray, suppress weeds, and enrich the soil with nitrogen, perennial peanut ground cover is a game-changer for any garden. Choose from a range of delightful varieties and enjoy a stunning landscape that requires minimal effort. Embrace this unique alternative to traditional lawns and experience the beauty and practicality of perennial peanuts as ground cover.