Ground Covers- Ground Cover Facts and Varieties


Ground covers are used to unite and complete your landscape. You will find valuable facts and a listing of many ground cover varieties that are available. Ground covers provide solutions to many of the homeowners problems that face home landscapers. For instance, spots where grass just won’t grow, no matter what you try. Or along edges of driveways or walks, next to benches or fences, in areas too narrow to mow, in shaded areas under trees, and in rock gardens. When ground covers are planted around tree trunks, they will prevent mower damage to trees, as well as hid fallen fruit under fruit trees.

"Ground Covers"

Ground covers add beauty to open spaces

Ground covers are deciduous or evergreen, woody or herbaceous, flowering or nonflowering, and although generally short, they do vary in height. Plan your planting so that it will give a uniform mass of color, or plant masses of various ground covers near one another for contrast.

Remember that some varieties spread so rapidly that they’ll have to be closely watched, otherwise, they may walk all over your lawn, into your garden, and under the hedge or fence to your neighbor’s yard.

A Guide to Ground Cover Varieties

  • Candytuft is a perennial plant covered with white flowers and is very good for rock gardens. Zones 5-9
  • Hen and Chickens, Houseleek, come in many interesting varieties. They are succulents that grow well in sandy places. Zones 4-9
  • Baltic Ivy is small leaved and hardy, and will grow in shady places. Zones 5-9

    "Use Ground Covers Along Paths"

    Use Ground covers along paths and walkways

  • Pachysandra is does well for edging walks, beds, terraces because it forms a dense mat foliage. It will grow very well under trees where shade is dense. Zones 5-8
  • Periwinkle,Myrtle, is a trailing evergreen that spreads and carpets under shrubs or trees where it is too shady for grass. Zones 5-8
  • Cottage Pink, Dianthus, is a mat-forming herb with rose-pink flowers. It needs a sunny place to grow. Zones 4-8
  • Silveredge, Mother-of-thyme, is a creeping perennial with fragrant tiny lilac or purplish flower clusters. Zones 6-9
  • Hall’s honeysuckle, Red gold honeysuckle, and Gold Flame honeysuckle are all great plants. Hall’s is a fragrant continuous blooming plant for general ground cover. Zones 5-9
  • Plantain-lily, Hosta, is a widely grown bushy perennial of the lily family. It grows well in shady or sunny locations and is very hardy. Zones 3-8
  • Ajuga, Bronze beauty, when planted in full sun it will have purplish leaves that take on a rich bronze color. They can be grown in shady as well. They have tiny blue flowers. Zones 5-9
  • Purple leaf euonymus is a semievergreen, vining-type ground cover that has foliage that turns purplish red in fall. Good for banks or open areas. Zones 5-9
  • Bugle, ajuga genevenis, is a dwarf creeping perennial with spikes of blue flowers and is for shade or sun. Also Blue bugleweed which spreads rapidly. Zones 5-9

    "Ground Covers as Edging Plants"

    Ground Covers are used as edging plants

  • Variegated wintercreeper, a euonymus that is a trailing evergreen vine with silver edge leaves and dark green centers. Zones 5-9
  • Creeping Phlox, Mountain Pink, is an evergreen creeping perennial that forms dense masslike mats. Its flowers can be purple, pink, or white. Plant in full sun locations. Zones 3-9
  • Blue Phlox, Wild Sweet William, has large, fragrant, blue flowers that bloom in April and May. Creeping stems easily root, increasing size of plant rapidly. Zones 4-9
  • Silver Mound, Artemisia, is a fine, silver-foliaged, mounded pant that is hardy and prefers sunny, dry areas. Good for edging and rock gardens. Zones 3-9
  • Oregon grape holly, Mahonia, is a low-growing evergreen shrub that has yellow flowers and bluish berries. Its foliage turns bronze in the fall. Zones 5-8
  • Viola is a large pansylike flower that provides color from spring to fall. Violas form clumps up to 2’ in diameter. Zones 3-8
  • Sedum, Stonecrop, most of these varieties are low growing perennials. They are valuable for covering dry, sandy areas. It is an easy to grow succulent that makes an interesting carpet. It comes in red, (Dragon’s Blood), yellow (Acre), white, (Album), pink (sieboldi), and blue (caruleum). All have dwarf habits and do well in edgings and rock gardens. Zones 4-9

    "Ground Covers Under Shady Trees"

    Use ground covers under shady trees

  • Cotoneaster is a low growing shrub with spreading branches. Cotoneaster apiculata, has bright crimson berries that contrast with shiny leaves. Good for bank cover. Zones 5-9
  • Crown Vetch is a spreading, vine-like, perennial plant. It is very hardy and grows in sun or partial shade. It will hold soil on slopes and banks. Zones 4-8

Previous post:

Next post: