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There are a lot of plants can be considered ground covers. Certainly, low-growing spreading plants are groundcovers but so are clumping, non-spreading plants that look nice when grown in large groups. 



More Information About Groundcovers

What is a ground cover plant?

There are a lot of plants can be considered perennial ground covers. Certainly, low-growing spreading plants are groundcovers but so are clumping, non-spreading plants that look nice when grown in large groups. Flowering ground covers cover large open areas of garden, help prevent erosion, suppress weeds, reduce soil water loss through evaporation, and with proper plant selection, they look great while doing it. Plus, groundcovers reduce your need for mulch, which is nice because who likes spreading mulch all over the place every year?

Garden design with ground cover plants

  • Flowering ground cover plants are an interesting alternative to conventional lawns if you do not walk on them too often.
  • In woodland areas, where turf will not grow, you should use ground covers for shade.
  • You can grow ground covers in between patio pavers and along paths and over the tops of stone walls to soften the edges of the stones.
  • Hill sides that are hard to access and tough to maintain should be planted with ground cover perennials to minimize erosion and still look manicured. Especially drought tolerant ground covers.
  • In open spaces try growing taller flowering perennials that push up through your groundcovers for a two-layered effect.

What are the best ground cover perennials?

If all you can find at your local garden center are the ubiquitous vincas and ivies, check out our rare and unique perennials that make good tough groundcover plants. Below are some ground covers that we especially like.

Best groundcovers for shade:

  • Carex - evergreen with grassy texture. several variegated forms to choose from.
  • Hardy garden ferns - great texture for the shade garden.
  • Woodland phlox - beautiful blue flowers in spring. spreads around by seed.
  • Ophiopogon (mondo grasses) - dwarf varieties are great in between pavers.
  • Hosta - always a classic!

Best sun loving groundcovers

  • Dianthus - blue foliage (some varieties) and clove scented flowers. 
  • Sedum - Drought tolerant succulent looks great draping over walls
  • Liriope - tough as nails. easy to maintain.
  • Verbena - attracts butterflies
  • Delosperma - colorful flowering succulent
  • Muhlenbergia -fine textured grass that looks great growing in mass
  • Laurentia - teeny tiny leaves topped with teeny tiny blue flowers...cute as a button

Check out our many blog posts about groundcovers and our short articles about groundcovers and using liriope or black mondo as a groundcover.