Ground cover plants are an attractive way to fill in space in your landscape, especially where you have trouble getting anything else to grow.
If you have a trouble spot under a tree or simply want a leave-it-and-forget-it solution to an open space in your garden, the best route to take is to select some hardy groundcover plants. Groundcovers are invariably forgiving, easy to maintain and make a lovely addition to your home landscape.
The most important thing to remember when selecting groundcover plants is to choose those that do best in your planting zone. It is also important to keep in mind the mature size and spread of your groundcover so that you make the appropriate planting decisions.
Here are some of the most favorite groundcover plants of all times for landscaping. Don’t worry, tending for these beautiful plants is easy and you don’t have to have a green thumb to enjoy their contribution to your landscape.
Hens and Chicks: These adorable little succulents are perfect for small spaces where you need a touch of color and texture. Try them between paving stones or as a grouping as a focal point. There are a variety to choose from, most grow to be 3 to 6 inches tall. Perfect for United States Department of Agriculture zones (USDA) 3 – 8.
Creeping Thyme: If you live in USDA zones 5-9, aromatic thyme is a particularly lovely perenial groundcover to consider. This upright plant is perfect as a border and can even tolerate a little foot traffic. Fill spaces in between stepping stones on your garden plant and you will enjoy the sweet scent that these little beauties put off. Both the leaves and petite white flowers are scented and can also be snipped and dried indoors. Be sure to plant thyme in an area that has good drainage and plenty of sun.
Bishop’s Weed: Well-suited for expansive open spaces, this groundcover plant won’t disappoint on the performance end as long as you give it plenty of room to roam. Great for shaded or partially shaded areas, it will do well on slopes and in woodland areas. Growing to about 1 foot in height, the variegated form is dramatic with green foliage edged in white. Bishop’s Weed is tolerant in USDA zones 4-9.
Creeping Phlox: Whether you cascade this plant over rocks or allow it to grow full steam in a wide open space, creeping phlox makes a stunning appearance in early spring. This perennial groundcover shows off with a dense mat of color in hues of pink, white, lavender or purple. It is a sturdy, low maintenance plant that grows quickly to cover ugly ground or fill in cracks in your bed. Phlox is best suited for USDA zones 4-8.
Mondo Grass: Depending on which variety you choose, this ornamental groundcover grass may grow from 3 to 24 inches tall. It is slightly eccentric looking and makes a great filler for rock gardens or on slopes in USDA growing zone 6-10. Perfect for edging gardens, along pathways or driveways, mondo grass is easy to care for and requires full sun and slightly moist soil to do best.
Lamb’s Ears: This soft and fuzzy perennial groundcover is at home in the sun or the shade making it highly versatile. Depending variety, leaves can reach from 6 to 36 inches and flower stalks produce pink, purple, red or white flowers in the summer adding to this plant’s beauty. In areas that have a winter it is best to clip the leaves and stalk and mulch lightly for best performance. Grow this eye stopper in USDA zones 4-9.
Tips for Planting
- Space your groundcover plants out according to their mature size. Keep in mind that some plants grow rapidly while others take a little bit to get started.
- Although most groundcovers will thrive in a wide range of soil types, applying some organic material, especially when you first plant, will give them a nutrient boost.
- Be sure to provide plenty of water for your plants right after you put them in the ground. Early spring is the best time to plant and always choose an overcast day so that your plant’s don’t dry out.
- If you plant groundcovers on a slope, arrange them in staggered rows and create a small basin behind each plant to catch water runoff.