Groundcover plants are your hardworking gardening solutions to problem landscape areas where other plants won’t grow as dependably or at all. We depend on them to carpet areas where we need to control erosion, to succeed and thrive in dry conditions, and to even provide some evergreen beauty year round in our yards. Here are ten of the best groundcover plants that are many gardeners’ perennial favorites.
Sedum attracts birds and produces colorful foliage in the fall as well as blooms in five or six different colors, depending on the type you plant. Tall sedums are perfect for containers but creeping sedums grow only three inches tall and form wonderfully dense carpets in full sun as well as partial shade.
Thyme produces fantastic beds, borders and container gardens. Creeping thyme varieties work well between stepping stones because they can handle light to moderate foot traffic. This aromatic groundcover attracts birds, is useful in the kitchen and is deer resistant.
An old-fashioned groundcover that makes beautiful textures surfaces in troughs and tight spots is hens-and-chicks. Also deer resistant, this succulent grows no taller than six inches high and is an extremely low maintenance plant, growing easily once planted.
If you need a groundcover that will thrive in dense shade, try sweet woodruff. It flourishes under trees and shrubs where its pretty white flowers bloom at the same time as those of crabapple trees, if you have any. Its green foliage grows to from six to 12 inches tall with straight stems.
For a large wooded area where you need groundcover to take over a space, try bishop’s weed. It is known for its fast growth and aggressive spread. Deer resistant, its variegated variety brightens shady areas.
Unlike bishop’s weed, it is easy to control the growth of ajuga. It grows easily where grass won’t and holds up to light foot traffic as well. The leaves of ajuga come in a variety of colors, depending on the variety you plant. It also is deer resistant.
Lamium grows to be six to eight inches tall and twice as wide, attracting birds to your yard. When it is deadheaded regularly, it continues to bloom for many months. Also known as deadnettles, “Beacon Silver” ad “White Nancy” are two pretty variations of lamium.
Brass buttons or “Platt’s Black” grows no higher than three inches tall and its feathery and textured foliage ranges from black-bronze to purple-gray. Mondo grass is not grass, but appears to be. It grows in shades of green so dark they look almost black. Both of these groundcovers thrive in full sun to partial shade and prefer moist soil. Mondo grass is ideal for edging along driveways, patios and sidewalks.
Because of their soft and fuzzy texture, this groundcover’s leaves have earned it the name lamb’s ears. Its silvery green leaves sprawl as high as three feet tall. It has blooms also but you may want to cut them off to keep the leaves as the main focal point. It resists deer while attracting birds and self-sows itself very well. It is also drought resistant and will grow in dry sun-baked spots.
From short low-profile creeping groundcovers to tall and bold self-sowers, there are enough choices here to get you started covering the hard-to-plant places in your landscape design.
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