The star-shaped leaves and lacy flowers offer a unique look with loads of texture. Zone 8 Plants The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the guideline that you should follow when you're shopping for plants. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. We'll help you find the best hardy shade ground cover perennials for your zone. With full sun, this green herb will grow small flowers in summer, attracting plenty of pollinators. It has excellent resistance to damage by deer and rabbits. Galina ChetvertinaGetty Images. Nepeta x faassenii is one such species that does make for a good ground cover, since it has the ability to crowd out weeds. 1 Lily of the Valley. While most are grown for their foliage, many have colorful blooms during part of the year. Creeping thyme (also known as mother of thyme or wild thyme) is a creeping, woody-stemmed perennial that is a favorite plant to use for a low-maintenance ground cover serving as a filler between garden stepping stones. Creeping phlox is a short plant often seen covering the side of a hill or retaining wall with colorful spring flowers. Here are 14 ground cover plants that shouldn't try to take over (too much) and don't need a lot of care. It grows between six and 18 inches tall, and it has a width of three feet. It spreads via rhizomes, a trait that can be a double-edged sword. The Best Drought-Tolerant Ground Cover. While it may be one of the toughest (er, tolerant) plants out there, Lily of the Valley looks as sweet as can be with darling white bells dangling from strappy green leaves. It flowers best in full sun. If you are looking for a low-maintenance ground cover, sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum) is a good pick, but only under certain conditions. But this plant with pretty foliage—and funny name—rarely becomes a problem for those who grow it in areas where it is already native. Double flowers bloom extremely early. In spring, tiny white flowers add to its ethereal beauty. Creeping rosemary usually flowers during the summer, and the purple flowers stay through the beginning of fall. It is much less noticeable at other times of the year, but that doesn't detract from its role as a spring superstar. Wherever its branches make contact with the soil, it will put down roots, creating new plants. 30 Best Songs to Rock Out to This New Year’s Eve, What Our Senior Home Editor Wants Right Now, 30 Movies to Watch at Home on New Year's Eve, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Thyme. Such plants are usually evergreens or have densely twiggy growth. The appropriately named ornamental plant has thick silvery foliage that covers ground extremely well. Growing about 3 feet tall and 7-10 feet wide, it naturally spills down an incline. This shrub flowers from May to July with white flowers, and grows to a maximum height of about 9 inches. The star-shaped leaves and lacy flowers offer a unique look with loads of texture. Ground Covers. Trailing Periwinkle (Vinca minor) Dragon’s Blood (Red Sedum) Creeping Phlox (Phlox subulata) Golden Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia) Mazus (Mazus reptans) Spanish Shawl is often used in rockeries and hanging baskets. It does spread under the right conditions, but it is fairly easy to pull it out and keep it from taking over areas where it does not belong. Ground cover plants are all-around problem-solvers: They retain moisture, control erosion, and provide habitat for pollinators like bees and butterflies. This plant thrives in wet soils, which is why planting it in dry soil and denying it water helps keep it in check. Fortunately, there are a number of other living ground cover plants to choose from. A variety of cultivars are available, including Juniperus horizontalis 'Blue Rug'. It can even thrive in the acidic conditions under large pine trees. This fast-growing annual looks gorgeous tumbling over rock walls or along the edges of walkways. These will be great for erosion control and possibly some other benefits. It will tolerate most growing conditions, but it will do best in full sun, well-drained soil, and little water. While it prefers full sun, it needs regular moisture, especially during hot months. Though it loses its leaves in winter, it compensates with evergreen stems. It can be excellent for covering large areas of difficult terrain, such as slopes where growing grass would be difficult or impossible. *It thrives in wet areas. Today, this plant is used for ground cover in shady areas. Just like the name implies, the fuzzy silver leaves resemble lamb's ears. Other ground cover plants for bees include Sedum, Pansy, Juniper, Holly, Ivy, and others. The Japanese pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis) is a low-growing leafy evergreen plant that is good for ground cover under shrubs or in other shady parts of your garden. "Place it at the front of your garden and watch it spread." Always research your plant-selection choices to find out if the plant is invasive in your region or if it will spread too aggressively for your needs. Basket of Gold also goes by the name yellow alyssum, another reference to its adorable clusters of bright yellow flowers. 14 Best Low-Maintenance Ground Covers. See Dozens Of Colorful Ground Covers For Zones 5 & 6 … #ad. Planted in groupings, it makes a lovely ground cover. The only real maintenance required is trimming it back after it has finished flowering, or whenever it becomes too scraggly for your tastes. To plant creeping juniper on a grassy slope, get rid of the grass, then lay down landscape fabric along the slope. Likes: This ground cover plant prefers dry heat. Growing conditions: Full sun Perennial plants come back each year to provide visual interest, weed cover, and moisture retention. This one a horticultural hybrid developed by crossing Nepata racemosa with N. nepetella. But in regions where spotted dead nettle is not invasive, it acts as an effective ground cover for deeply shaded areas. Be aware that only the most robust plant species will readily thrive and spread in shade. Picking perennial plants for the landscape is an important choice, as you will be living with those selections for years to come. Choose from an annual or perennial variety, and watch charming daisy-like flowers bloom throughout this bushy plant. Moon Valley Nurseries carries many options including Lantana, Bottlebrush, Trailing Rosemary and more! While it is not a spreader, it is large enough to take up space as the spring and summer months advance. Creeping Thyme Is a Great Ground Cover for Sunny Areas and Pathways, 12 Best Ornamental Grasses for Your Landscape, 10 Best Deer-Resistant Shrubs for Landscaping, 14 Best Landscape Plants With Purple Flowers, 29 Shrubs That Grow in Full or Partial Shade. When you buy Centaurea montana 'Amethyst in Snow', you may be thinking of it as an upright perennial plant with attractive flowers. Another zone 7 evergreen groundcover not to be missed is St. John’s Wort. 2 Creeping Thyme. There are so many options to choose from, including old favorites like Pachysandra and Vinca, as well as small shrubs, perennials, and annuals. If you've seen the lavender fields in Provence, you know this sweetly-scented perennial with purple or blue flowers looks amazing planted en masse. https://www.gardenloversclub.com/plant-finder/perennials/ground-cover Moss phlox blooms early in the spring, carpeting the ground with flowers in shades of purple, pink or white. To make sure your ground covers get the job done (ya know, dressing up your landscape), follow the instructions on their plant care tag to give them the right conditions. 'Angelina Sedum' is easy to propagate by rooting, so you can quickly fill an area with its succulent foliage. Lawns might be the most popular, but they are not the easiest or best ground cover out there. Fun bonus: The flowers, either fresh or dried, can be used in salads or steeped in teas. Aronia is a pretty low-growing native shrub that has tiny white flowers amid glossy green foliage. The plant barely grows up to 1-1.5 feet tall and loves the sun. David Beaulieu is a garden writer with nearly 20 years experience writing about landscaping and over 10 years experience working in nurseries. Growing conditions: Full sun FYI: Full sun means an area gets 6+ hours of direct sunlight per day, part sun is anywhere from 3 to 6 hours of direct sunlight, and full shade is up to 3 hours of sun. These plants will live for more than 2 years, creating a beautiful landscape in your garden or backyard. Needs some replacement over time but a very good ground cover. This aromatic herb can be an invasive plant when grown in moist soil, where it sometimes spreads out of control. Low-growing mats of Creeping Thyme are covered in teeny purple or white flowers in late spring, which makes it a haven for pollinators. Its ornamental value is twofold: It bears splendid blossoms in various colors (depending on the variety), and it displays eye-catching silver leaves, which provide color long after the flowers have faded. Sometimes called Pinks because the petals look like they've been trimmed with pinking shears, this pretty ground cover comes in a range of heights, anywhere from low-growing to 2 feet tall. Geranium macrorrhizum is a drought-tolerant and shade-tolerant perennial with semi-evergreen, fragrant leaves. For shady areas, under shrubs and trees. Growing to a height of about 6 inches with a spread of 9 inches, it has waxy green leaves that should be removed as they turn brown. The success of many invasive plants is due to this means of spreading. One of the best ground covers for sunny areas is Lamb’s Ear (Stachys byzantina). Since it is a plant that is native to a rocky area, it can be grown in zones three through 11. The horizontally-spreading branches of creeping junipers make a dense mat that weeds can’t penetrate. Vinca Minor. Abundant flowers cover the mounding foliage in late spring. What plant labels typically fail to mention is that, under the right growing conditions, 'Amethyst in Snow' makes a flowering ground cover that will spread nicely. There may be restrictions on planting it in these areas. The most common use of this perennial plant is to edge pathways or flowerbeds. It prefers full sun. Ground Cover Plants. Ground cover plants offer a low-maintenance alternative to the carpets of lawn to which we have become accustomed. Be quite careful when choosing a ground cover for shade. Blooms appear when the weather warms up in colors like … It should be pinched back frequently to keep the plants bushy and "shrubby.". Nepeta x faassenia, commonly called nepeta, nepeta catmint, or Faassen's catmint, is one of several perennial catmint plants. This type of shade-loving perennial ground cover plant produces small flowers in the spring. Plants . $11.95. Sweet woodruff foliage can be dried and used in wreaths, potpourri, and other craft creations. It doesn’t like wet feet, so make sure the soil is well-drained. While pachysandra, ivy, and myrtle/periwinkle are among the most common evergreen groundcover plants, you’ll notice all three of them are absent from the list of varieties I’m about to introduce you to. Here are six of the best ground cover plants for shade or sun gardens. "Phlox subulata is perfectly well-suited to our climate," says Richard Jauron, horticulture expert at Iowa State University. There are hardy geraniums for most garden situations, yes, even as a ground cover for dappled and full shade. 3 Creeping Juniper. It likes full sun. The best ground covers are low maintenance, stop erosion, cool the soil and beautify the landscape. Golden creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia) is a rugged ground cover hardy in zones 3-9. It has big, yellow flowers with prominent anthers that bristle around the bloom. In summer, the leaves take on burgundy mottling on the way to becoming totally burgundy (hence the name liverleaf). The 'Six Hills Giant' cultivar is a good choice for covering large areas. This is not the form of thyme used in cooking, but its fragrance will attract bees and other pollinators. It grows best where it has plenty of space to spread out. There are both woody and herbaceous plant covers from which to choose. Zone 4 ground covers must be hardy to winter temperatures of -30 to – 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-34 to -28 C.). Kathleen Miller is a Master Gardener and Horticulturist with over 30 years experience in gardening and sustainable farming. The creeping juniper is a sprawling, creeping needled evergreen that grows to a maximum height of about 18 inches and with a spread that can go as much as 8 feet. This lesser-known perennial has attractive little mounds of grassy foliage, and teeny ball-shaped blooms that pop up in late spring to early summer. Flowers provide the vital beauty needed to improve your landscape and add color to your garden. Plant it and ignore it: The plant is about as low-maintenance as you get. The soft moss-like foliage of this plant forms a dense mat underfoot. If you prefer a similar but less aggressive variety, consider C. montana 'Amethyst Dream'. When deciding upon an evergreen groundcover in zone 7, the hardiness of the plant is only one of the considerations. I find that dense planting of shade tolerant perennials requires very little maintenance and minimal weeding, as long as they are adequately watered. Many are perennials, some are annuals, and some make good ground covers, though they can be overly aggressive in favorable locations. Care requirements for creeping phlox are few. If you love having plants that will last for a long time, then you need to add perennials to your garden. Turf lawn grasses are by far the most popular ground cover plant in residential landscapes, but sometimes grass just isn't practical, either because the conditions of the site aren't amendable to fostering grass or perhaps because the maintenance of a grass lawn is not something you want to commit to. Mondo grass comes in green or black and has a low profile and maintenance reputation. When planted in full sun it usually needs extra watering, at least until the plant is well established. Good Housekeeping participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. If you are looking for something unusual, consider wall germander, a broadleaf woody-stemmed evergreen that is often massed or used as a low hedge along retaining walls or in knot gardens. Groundcovers are some of our most versatile and easy-to-grow perennials. Medium-Low water needs… Autumn fern creates foliar drama combined with low maintenance. This old fashioned tough and aggressive perennial ground cover is a good choice for gardeners who want to grow low maintenance plants. It prefers shade, but will tolerate some sun. And remember that although these ground cover plants are extremely tolerant, they still need to be watered during dry spells for the first year or two until their root systems are well-established. Perennial Drought-Tolerant Ground Covers. Ice Plant. Rock cotoneaster is a deciduous shrub. This is one of the few creeping plants that prefer moist areas with lots of decomposing organic material. There are more than 40 species of lamium, but the best are those that are flowering perennials like the … In warmer climates, this plant is evergreen. Although it is often said that grass might seem to be the best ground cover plants for slopes, however mowing grass on a steep slope is often tricky and quite dangerous. It can grow in full sun or partial shade and needs to have well-draining soil. Winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) This shrub is the prefect choice for covering a slope. As promised, we’ll be providing you with a brief overview of the twelve plants that are superb for ground cover if you have slopes on your property. Its long, trailing stems have round chartreuse leaves and yellow flowers. It is evergreen, but some of the leaves may turn brown during winter. Some spreading can be nice, but too much becomes a nuisance. Fix your garden’s trouble spots with these low-growing perennials, annuals, and shrubs. When shopping for this plant, be sure to ask for Aurinia saxatilis or yellow allyssum, not sweet alyssum, which is an entirely different species. It grows to a maximum height of about 12 inches with an 18-inch spread, and it flowers with white blossoms in spring. This drought-tolerant ground cover for sun can be used for culinary purposes and usually grows to about six inches in height. Ground cover plants are low-growing, spreading plants that create some sort of plant mat or carpet over time. Ground cover plants are very useful for areas where minimal maintenance is desired and as an alternative to turf grass. If you're planting a shrub or perennial that you want to last from one year to the next, make sure it's suited according to your USDA Hardiness Zone (find yours here). Note: This plant is considered invasive across much of the northeast, some areas of the northern Midwest, and parts of the Pacific Northwest. Many gardeners prefer not to keep the flowers on the plant when they bloom. Here are six of the best ground cover plants for shade or sun gardens. 20 Low-Maintenance Ground Cover Plants to Prevent Weeds From Taking Over. Dead nettle, also known as Lamium, is a low-growing perennial with silver-splashed leaves and bursts of purple, pink, or white flowers that pop up in spring and early summer. Flowering ground cover plants for zone 4 may produce blooms in spring only or may extend throughout summer and even into fall. Groundcover Plants for Shade. The plant barely grows up to 1-1.5 feet tall and loves the sun. The best evergreen groundcovers for gardens. Gazania Lots of color for long season. Moss phlox blooms early in the spring, carpeting the ground with flowers in shades of purple, pink or white. Ajuga spreads rapidly in varying conditions, tolerating shade or sun. Six choices for holding the soil when grass won’t cut it. The leaves give off a fresh scent that makes this ground cover plant a fan favorite. Yellow Alyssum. Asiatic Jasmine (Jasmine minima) This is a low-maintenance ground cover that is easy to care for. The plant also must be pretty enough (or, at least, unusual enough) to draw attention and offer some sort of visual interest in the yard. Like a well-designed house with floors covered by nice rugs and carpeting, the garden is more beautiful when we use groundcovers to cover bare ground. Growing only about 3 inches tall, this plant spreads over time, crowding out weeds and thus reducing maintenance further. As with creeping phlox and 'Amethyst in Snow', 'Angelina sedum' can be regarded as a "Goldilocks" ground cover. Preferred conditions are well-drained soil in either full sun or semi shade. The Best Fast-Growing Ground Cover Plants. "Place it at the front of your garden and watch it spread." Dislikes: It doesn’t like too much moisture. High impact seasonal displays may be created with flowering species of hardy ground covers. If the hill is big, remove the grass in stages so as not to take unnecessary chances with erosion. Read about the best flowering ground covers … It quickly forms a thick mound and blooms all summer long, producing a sweet honey scent that attracts pollinators throughout the season. Angelina Sedum. The plant forms a low, dense carpet and has an indefinite spread, sometimes spreading too vigorously in warmer gardens. Snip some for cooking, or keep it trimmed back to manage its height. Need an alternative to grass under a shady tree? Let’s dive right in with our first plant: Creeping Myrtle (Vinca minor) The petite white star-shaped flowers provide a nice contrast to the deciduous green foliage. The hot pink blooms of Spanish Shawl make it a popular ground cover in frost-free areas. Try to plant it in large groupings on a hillside or along the house's foundation to prevent erosion. Why trust us? This plant offers rich, dark jade foliage and little clusters of white flowers. It is an option that will do best in full sun; in … While this glossy, strappy green is popular in the southern states, it can survive anywhere. The fuzzy silver-grey leaves grow to between 2” and 4” (5 – 10 cm) long. Consult with your local extension office before growing spotted deadnettle because it is invasive in some areas. It prefers moist ground, drought-tolerant once established, and needs full shade. On the other hand, keeping it in check requires occasional cutting back of the stems, which can actually self-root if they fall off naturally. Interrupted fern, like bunchberry and liverleaf, is a North American native that can serve as a low-maintenance ground cover for shade. Neil Holmes/Oxford Scientific/Getty Images. The best types of ground cover plants require little maintenance and aren’t invasive. Hailing all the way from Siberia, this cold-hardy evergreen has fern-like foliage that turns a pretty bronzy color in colder climates. Perennial bugleweed (Ajuga reptans) is a member of the mint family that readily naturalizes in zones 3 to 10, growing best in average to moist soil, with full sun to partial shade. It likes full sun, but can tolerate part shade. If you find such a plant (and several are included in our list), then you may find that it is invasive. It prefers full shade, but can handle some morning sun. You may already grow tall sedums. While some have small flowers, the main focal point is the colorful foliage, which ranges from chartreuse to bronze. Satakorn/Getty Images. While grass is typically the best way to fill out empty space, sometimes low-growing plants are a better — and prettier — option. If those conditions describe your landscape, then you may want to check out this wonderful little relative of the dogwood trees. Johner ImagesGetty Images. My Ten Favorite Perennial Groundcovers For Zone 5 & 6: 1.) While this perennial spreads rapidly, you can mow it to regain control. This type of evergreen comes in an array of shapes and sizes. This sweetly-scented perennial spreads easily, so keep it in check by planting it in well-groomed areas like along walkways or close to the house's foundation. Its native habitat is wooded areas, so it is perfect for a shady woodland garden. Looking for ground cover options for your yard? Add some color to your landscaping & prevent erosion with these beautiful ground cover perennials. In mid-summer, however, they're dotted with beautiful purple-pink flowers. It spreads by reseeding, but it never will spread enough to become a problem. When grown as a ground cover, it is an easy-care plant that requires little maintenance. This shrub also offers some fall-foliage value. If it's dry, it's time for thyme. Zones: 3 to 9. When several are planted together, they form a dense hedge that thrives in almost any type of soil and full sun. 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