Discover the best ground cover plants: Top 7 low-growing options for a vibrant garden

Ethan Miller

If you’re looking to spruce up your outdoor space, incorporating ground cover plants is an excellent choice. These low-growing wonders not only add visual interest but also help to suppress weeds and control soil erosion. Given their diverse appearances and growing conditions, there’s bound to be the perfect option for any gardener. In this article, we highlight seven of the best ground cover plants that will provide stunning flowers, foliage, or both.

1. Rosa Flower Carpet: A breathtaking array of roses for sunnier spots

With abundant blooms, Rosa Flower Carpet makes for a lovely ground cover option in areas with plenty of sun. Providing continuous flowering from late spring through fall, these roses are low maintenance and drought resistant, making them an ideal addition for busy gardeners or those living in arid climates.

How to grow Rosa Flower Carpet

To promote healthy growth and encourage more blooms, plant Rosa Flower Carpet in well-draining soil, ideally amended with compost or other organic matter. They prefer at least six hours of sun per day, though they can withstand light shade. Ensure the plants receive regular water; a deep soaking once a week is often sufficient.

2. Geranium ‘Rozanne’: An award-winning option with exceptional long-flowering period

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ (also known as cranesbill) is well-loved for its vibrant blue-violet flowers that produce continuously from early summer until the first frost. This versatile ground cover thrives in various conditions, ranging from full sun to partial shade. As an added bonus, it tends to be deer-resistant, allowing your garden to flourish without wildlife interference.

Caring for Geranium ‘Rozanne’

Planting Geranium ‘Rozanne’ in well-draining soil is essential to promote healthy growth. When established, these plants can tolerate some drought but be sure to water them consistently during the first year to establish a strong root system. Cutting back spent blooms can encourage even more profuse flowering.

3. Delosperma cooperi: An eye-catching succulent with striking flowers

Known as ice plant or trailing ice plant, Delosperma cooperi adds a vibrant touch to any sunny, well-drained area in your garden. The low-growing succulent boasts fleshy leaves and vivid magenta flowers that appear from late spring through summer, attracting pollinators and providing stunning visual interest.

The proper environment for Delosperma cooperi

For optimal growth, select a location with full sun and well-drained soil. Fertilizing is not typically necessary; however, applying a balanced fertilizer once annually in early spring may enhance growth. To prevent rot, avoid overwatering: allow the soil to dry between watering sessions.

4. Sweet Woodruff: A delightful option for shady areas

If you’re looking for an attractive ground cover plant to thrive in shade, sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum) provides a fantastic solution. Sporting star-shaped white flowers that add fragrance when crushed, this charming ground cover spreads rapidly and effortlessly fills gaps within wooded or heavily shaded areas.

Growing sweet woodruff successfully

Sweet woodruff flourishes in moist, well-drained, and slightly acidic soil. Though it can tolerate full shade, a little dappled sunlight encourages more vigorous growth and increased blooms. Ensure consistent moisture by mulching or watering regularly when rainfall is scarce.

5. Creeping Sedum: A low-maintenance choice for a sun-soaked garden

With its fleshy, drought-tolerant leaves and star-shaped flowers in various colors, creeping sedum (Sedum spurium) makes for an attractive ground cover option. This hardy plant thrives in sunny areas, adding texture and visual appeal while requiring minimal care.

Tips for cultivating creeping sedum

Choose a location with full sun to light shade and well-draining soil. Although drought-tolerant, young plants require regular watering in the absence of rain until established. Once settled, they will need little additional water, making them ideal for arid gardens or those seeking low-maintenance options.

6. Native Groundcover: An eco-conscious solution

Incorporating native ground covers into your garden offers numerous benefits, including supporting local ecosystems and requiring less maintenance overall. Research your region’s native options – such as bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) for cooler climates, or beach strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis) in coastal regions – for a sustainable, personalized touch.

7. Bugleweed: A hardy and fast-spreading favorite

Ajuga reptans, commonly known as bugleweed or carpetweed, is cherished for its ability to quickly spread and transform lackluster garden spaces. With shiny, dark purple leaves and abundant blue flower spikes, this low-growing ground cover adds richness to both shaded and sunny areas.

Helping bugleweed flourish

Bugleweed flourishes in average, well-draining soil conditions. Though adaptable to various light levels, it performs best when situated in partial sun or dappled shade. Water regularly during the first year of growth, and then only as needed during extended periods without rain.

With these seven exceptional ground cover plants at your disposal, you can easily fill gaps in your garden, suppress weeds, and create a visually captivating space with both arresting flowers and foliage.

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