Looking for some easy-to-care-for ground cover plant ideas to add some fullness and color into your garden? You’ve come to the right place! These clever ground cover plant ideas will work with almost any type of garden. Plus, will make your garden look and feel plusher and full of life.
Ground cover plants are great at filling in unsightly holes within your garden. They can even be better for your other cool plants as ground cover plants can help keep the soil moist and your plants hydrated. Within this article, we break down the important facts about ground cover plants and offer up some pretty enticing ideas that you can try within your garden.
What are Ground Cover Plants?
Ground cover plants are plants that can help you maintain your garden as these little plants help prevent weed growth, can help keep your plants from drying out, and can even prevent certain types of erosion.
They can help you save money and time on gardening maintenance, as these plants act as professional gardeners themselves. Ground cover plants can vary in vibrant colors, flowers, and foliage, so you will be able to fill up any bare or bald spots in your yard all while adding in some extra lushness.
Pros of Ground Cover Plants
- Can help keep plants hydrated
- Can prevent weeds from growing
- Can help prevent erosion
- Are pretty to look at
- Comes in many different colors and breeds
- Can fill in bald spots within your garden
Cons of Ground Cover Plants
- Some varieties can be expensive
- Some varieties prefer bright sun while others prefer shade
- Can be difficult to start them up
What is the Fastest-Growing Ground Cover Plant?
If you are looking for a ground cover plant that grows quickly, you simply can not go wrong with a Creeping Phlox. This gorgeous little plant not only grows quickly, but it develops a beautiful star-shaped flower that emits a sweet and fragrant perfume.
Creeping Phlox are great for any type of area, including places that are at a bit of an incline or a low-lying area with some shade. They do need good sun and plenty of proper drainage to thrive. Plenty of gardeners love creeping phlox because they can pretty much grow anywhere and look great creeping down a hill or peeking over a retaining wall.
You can use this plant in a variety of areas, and it will still grow amazingly well. Creeping Phlox is also great to use if you need to fill in a rock garden or to accent an ornamental garden bed within your yard. They are versatile plants that are coveted for their fast-growing time, so you don’t have to wait for months for your garden to look the way you want it to. Within about a month, you will see how much more filled in your garden is and within a few months, it will be fully grown out and complete.
What is the Best Low-Maintenance Ground Cover?
If you want a great ground cover plant but don’t have a lot of time to give it maintenance, you can’t go wrong with a heuchera. A heuchera is an evergreen perennial. It has such vibrant foliage that you will feel as if this is a plant within itself as it’s both gorgeous and easy to care for.
It also has plenty of broad leaves to drink up the sun and does well in both shade and partial to full sun. It’s also a sturdy plant to keep in the garden if you have problems with rabbits or other critters as this plant can survive this kind of treatment.
Heuchera is wonderful to look at because their foliage is so unique. These plants look like bursts of varying colored leaves and you can see colors in gold, green, purple, and even reds. The way the colors come out will also depend on the climate, so the more sun that these plants receive, the more gold or orange the leaves will look.
In milder climates, the reds and purples will be the most prominent. This is not to say that Heuchera won’t look great in all kinds of climates, but just expect to see more of this certain color depending on where you live.
9 Clever Ground Cover Plant Ideas
We’ve rounded up nine great ideas to help you along with your ground cover gardening. These types of plants are gorgeous to look at and will add some color and character to all your garden spaces. Best yet, most of these little plants are so easy to care for that you will almost forget they are even there.
Brass Buttons, or Cotula, is a gorgeous fern-like plant that is named for its colorful hardy flowers that are bulbous in shape – like a brass button. These flowers are typically yellow, but there are plenty of different variations out there.
They are wonderful to keep in your garden but need extremely moist soil as they do not do well in dry heat or dry soil. Brass Buttons are overall considered low-maintenance plants that will survive all year long. These plants are perfect for the gardener who can’t commit that much time to the garden but still wants it to look its very best at all times.
- Prefers full sun in cooler climates
- Fast growth rate
- Needs moist soil so regular watering
- Can perish in extreme cold, but will grow back once thawed
- Great for areas with high foot traffic
The honeysuckle plant is not only beautiful to keep in your garden, but it smells amazing, too! This plant is an aromatic perennial that can attract hummingbirds and butterflies into your garden – which is a major bonus if you like to sit on your porch and watch nature do its thing. It is great for hotter areas as it is resistant to heat and can survive hotter areas. The Honeysuckle comes in flowers of red, yellow, or white, but can even change over time. This plant prefers full sun with moist soil.
- Warmer areas
- Moderate growth rate
- Needs moist soil
- Is resistant to extreme heat
- Can attract fun critters to your garden
A creeping phlox is one of the fastest-growing ground cover plants you can find. These plants have bright, colorful flowers and can grow pretty much anywhere. Creeping phlox are gorgeous and yet don’t require the kind of work you’d think they do. It is extremely easy to take care of and can be used in areas that have slopes for an added dramatic effect. These also come in a variety of colors so you can also choose the color you prefer to be a showstopper within your garden.
- Full sun in hot or humid areas
- Super fast-growing time
- Needs moist soil so regular watering
- Extremely gorgeous for a ground cover plant
- Comes in pretty pastel colors
The Creeping Jenny is such a versatile plant that you can have some in your garden for ground cover and some more in hanging potted plants for added beauty. These plants are easy to care for and look so good that it’s no wonder people like to use them as much as possible. It has branches that creep or trail out, so you can use this plant in many different capacities.
They are incredibly easy to take care of and their vibrant lime green color makes this plant appealing to have in the garden. Creeping Jenny tangle and grow into a soft cluster, so these are ideal for covering ground in your garden, within your lawn, or in a planter all to itself.
- Prefers full sun to partial shade in warmer climates
- Moderate growing time
- Needs well-draining soil so it won’t drown
- These plants are deer resistant
- Can change from green to gold depending on sun exposure
Stonecrop is named for its ability to thrive in any sort of condition. These plants are hearty, colorful plants that can retain enough water to thrive in a drier climate, almost like a succulent. Considered a drought-tolerant plant that can help with weeding and preventing unwanted plants from invading your garden areas. Stonecrop come in a variety of colors including blush red to deep orange. They’re great to have in a rock garden to add in some color and help keep all the weeds away.
- Sunny areas in warmer climates
- Moderately growing plants
- Is drought resistant so water when needed
- Can thrive in extremely dry or difficult conditions
- Grows like a succulent
The Vinca Minor, sometimes known as a Blooming Periwinkle, is a very popular ground covering plant due to its hardy leaves and gorgeous purple flowers. These can be found in all types of settings, including residential gardens and commercial landscaping jobs.
Vinca Minor will grow and grow and grow if you let them. So you will have to cut them back every once in a while, so that they do not overcrowd your garden or take over other plants. This plant is great because it looks beautiful, and grows incredibly fast.
- Grows in partial sun to partial shade to full shade in warm climates
- Fast-growing time
- Moderate watering
- Has few pests to worry about so can help keep critters away from your garden
- A very popular ground covering plant
Lamium plants are popular due to their ability to grow in subpar conditions. In appearance, they’re sort of vine in design. So they creep around areas and will help your garden become full and lush looking. Lamium are amazing because they can prevail against heat, drought, cold, and all sorts of other conditions where other plants may succumb.
Also, they grow and spread out quickly, so you will need to make sure these plants are being cut back regularly, so they do not take over your entire garden. Otherwise, Lamium will help your garden thrive by keeping away deer and helping with keeping the soil moist.
- Can grow anywhere, but does well in milder climates
- Fast growth time
- Should be watered regularly
- Can help keep deer away from your garden
- Grows like a vine and spreads out fast
Grace Ward Lithodora
The Grace Ward Lithodora plant is a plant that shines in the sun. These plants are known for their gorgeous blue color that can even attract plenty of butterflies into your garden. A hardy ground cover plants that does well in hotter climates, but if exposed to full hot sun, they will do better if they have a little bit of shade to relax in.
They’re also a natural deer repellant so they can help keep deer from chewing away at your garden and also help with soil erosion concerns. Grace Ward Lithodora are colorful through the spring and summer and are a great option for filling in a rock garden or using above a retaining wall for an added dramatic effect.
- Prefers hotter climates with sun and a bit of shade
- Fast-growing plant
- Should be watered regularly
- Acts as a natural deer repellent
- Can help with soil erosion
Creeping Thyme plants are aromatic creeping plants that lays low to the ground, making them an ideal plant to use if you need some serious garden fillers. This plant only grows up to about three to four inches tall, so it won’t overcrowd your other plants or make your garden look too full.
They thrive in moderate climates but can also grow exceptionally well in full sun or drought-like climates.
This type of ground cover plant is great to use to help control any weed problems within your garden. The deer are sure to stay clear as they don’t like the smell of these purple flowers. They’ll also last you a long time and are easy to care for, so they pay for themselves over time as you can also harvest fresh herbs from them.
- Prefers a milder climate but can survive harsh sun
- Fast to a moderate growing plant
- Should be watered regularly, but can survive drought if necessary
- These plants can attract honeybees and butterflies into your garden
- A natural deer repellent
The Verdict on Ground Cover Plants
As you can see, there are so many great ground cover plants to choose from. Each one of these plants is sure to make your garden so much more pleasant to look at, and with so many added benefits of helping with weed control and repelling deer, it’s no wonder that these plants are some of the most popular plants you can find.
We personally really love the Creepy Thyme, as you can benefit from its beautiful fragrance, fast-growing time, and natural deer repelling properties. We hope this article has helped you in your way to finding the perfect ground cover plant for you.
Do you have any experience with ground cover plants? We’d love to hear from you. Feel free to share your experiences in the comments so that others can get some more helpful insight. And check out our website for more tips on gardening and landscaping.