S. heterolepis grows to 15 inches tall and slightly wider, with pinkish, popcorn-scented summer flower plumes. Dense rosettes of thick, soft, velvety, silver-green leaves form a mat approximately 8" off the ground. For the purposes of this publication, plants that spread by seed or are taller than 3 feet in height are not considered ground covers. If you've seen the lavender fields in Provence, you know this sweetly-scented perennial with purple or blue flowers looks amazing planted en masse. If you're planting a shrub or perennial that you want to last from one year to the next, make sure it's suited according to your USDA Hardiness Zone (find yours here). Ferns come in an array of shapes, sizes, and colors. It grows in little clumps, likes moist soil, and prefers full to part sun. Ground cover plants that do well in moist soils are typically a good choice. It’s a bit taller than some other ground covers, reaching an average of 6-inches in height. It's cold hardy and prefers part shade. It is an annual or perennial (*in warm tropical and subtropical climates) ground cover that spreads densely. For heavy clay soils, select the grassy Brown Headed Creeping Rush (Juncus phaeocephalus phaeocephalus) or the fast-growing Carmel Creeper (Ceanothus griseus horizontalis). The horizontally-spreading branches of creeping junipers make a dense mat that weeds can’t penetrate. From annual to evergreen ground cover, there are plenty of ground cover plants for sunny spots in your garden: • Aubrieta 'Royal Mixed' – this tough evergreen plant thrives on even the poorest of soils. You might know this plant as moss pink or creeping phlox. Thankfully, some species like having wet feet. This pretty little plant with needle-like foliage and tiny colorful flowers looks absolutely stunning. Choose groundcovers that are suited for U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 12, tolerant of hot, dry summers and mild winters. Like sandy soils, coastal areas suffer from barren and coarse soil conditions. Phlox subulata would also be a good choice (Zones 3-9). Ground cover plants for the shade help to provide greenery to areas where other plants don’t grow well. If you are looking for a low-maintenance ground cover plant, then the Golden Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’) is an excellent landscaping choice. The University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources department finds that Creeping red fescue (Festuca rubra) is one of the best grasses for well-drained, partially shady areas with no foot traffic. Astrantia major ‘Shaggy’ has striking, large flowers with green-tipped, pointed white bracts, held above a mound of glossy green leaves. California's many native sages are also drought-tolerant. Don't give up on that ugly patch of poor soil in the garden yet. For extra color, you can also choose ground cover plants that flower in the spring, summer, or fall. Its thick fleshy leaves make it a type of succulent – a highly varied group of plants which all do well in free draining sandy soils. It needs full sun to flourish. Ajuga spreads rapidly in varying conditions, tolerating shade or sun. There are several types that you can turn depending on your needs. This tenacious perennial spreads rapidly, thrives in full sun, is cold hardy, grows in poor soil, and is drought tolerant once established. The aptly named Beach saltbush (Atriplex leucophylla) and the hardy coastal Menzies' wallflower (Erysimum menziesii) thrive in sandy soils by the beach or near the coastline. Astrantias prefer moist soils but will tolerate drier conditions as long as the plants are mulched with leaf mould. Rocky soils are usually dry and lack important nutrients. To make sure your ground covers get the job done (ya know, dressing up your landscape), follow the instructions on their plant care tag to give them the right conditions. Clay soil is the heaviest and most nutrient-rich of all the soil types. The Monterey Carpet Manzanita (Arctostaphylos hookeri) and Squaw Carpet (Ceanothus prostratus) nestle in the dry, compact earth under pine trees. The petite white star-shaped flowers provide a nice contrast to the deciduous green foliage. Select plants native to the area, as these plants are adapted to the climate and indigenous pests and are more likely to flourish in their environment with little maintenance. Most sages grow taller than the typical 6-inch to 12-inch high groundcovers, but sages will rapidly cover a plot of land. This is a tremendous advantage that helps sweet fern thrive in hot, dry, nutrient-poor soils, which few other plants can tolerate. Choose ground covers for your yard with consideration as to whether they grow best in sandy soil, loamy soil or clay soil. There are many to choose from – basically any plant that will hug the soil leaving very little bare soil exposed can be classed as a ground cover, whether it’s a herb, perennial or a low-growing shrub. Ground cover plants can dramatically change the way your garden looks and feels to give your garden a polished and complete look that is seen in parks and stately homes. Groundcover plants keep weeds at bay, snapping up territory and establishing an attractive network that helps prevent weeds from rooting. Ground cover plants are ideal for low in put gardener. Other plants you might like to add, which aren't actually ground covers, but are good "rain garden" plants, are … These plants attract hummingbirds and butterflies and many produce brilliant blooms. It prefers shade, but will tolerate some sun. Creeping, clumping, or trailing plants are good landscaping solutions that generally require little maintenance. In early spring, flowers that look like fairy wings appear on this perennial. And, of course, you can snip off the leaves for cooking. • Dianthus deltoides 'Micro Chips' – flowers the first year making it a great choice for covering bare soil. Coastal areas are further bombarded by salt spray from the ocean, arid winds that blast moisture from plants and soil erosion from cresting tides and damaging winds. While this glossy, strappy green is popular in the southern states, it can survive anywhere. We may earn commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we back. Many ground cover plants spread but often thin out, or are short lived and only provide a temporary solution. Use them as borders, in baskets or at the ends of rows in your veggie … This particular grass is deciduous, producing lovely hazy panicles and turning beautiful shades of gold and red in autumn. In spring, tiny white flowers add to its ethereal beauty. We supply a choice of flowering ground cover plants, ground cover plants for full sun or shade, as well as those plants that create a fragrant, floral or lush 'carpet' to enhance your planting scheme. When choosing ground cover plants beware of varieties that claim they will grow rapidly in any soil type or sun exposure. For smaller gardens, the bushy-growing Spring Cinquefoil (Potentilla tabernaemontanii) with its cheery lemon-yellow blooms may work well, as the fast-growing shoots push out weeds and the plant requires little to moderate rainfall. Grass has never grown here as far as I know - been living here 10 years. It prefers full sun. California groundcover perennials, however, have learned to thrive even in these perilous places. Enjoy bright flowers in addition to ground coverage from full-sun, clay-tolerant plants such as threadleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata) and daylily (Hemerocallis spp.). Ground cover plants that are in the Ozbreed Shrub and Ground Cover range and Hardy Exotic Range are long lived ground covers that will help outcompete weeds for many years. Ground cover plants can help to protect soil and prevent erosion by absorbing water and preventing runoff. There are so many options to choose from, including old favorites like Pachysandra and Vinca, as well as small shrubs, perennials, and annuals. Vision Ceanothus (Ceanothus gloriosus porrectus) with its rich, glossy leaves. Try to plant it in large groupings on a hillside or along the house's foundation to prevent erosion. It likes part to full sun. The creeping stem roots give this plant a wide spread and the star-shaped yellow flower brights … In spring, the entire plant is covered with tiny white flowers tinged with pink. Not all types of plants are suitable for wet areas, so it's important to choose ground cover carefully for constantly wet areas or places that periodically flood. When several are planted together, they form a dense hedge that thrives in almost any type of soil and full sun. It likes full sun, but can tolerate part shade. Lenten roses grow up for 2 feet tall and prefer part shade or full shade. I'm looking for a fast spreading perenial ground cover for an area that is mostly shade, dry, poor clay/rocky soil, under a large tree and deck. It needs full sun to bloom best. It doesn’t like wet feet, so make sure the soil is well-drained. Let this plant grow and reseed where it will. Fix your garden’s trouble spots with these low-growing perennials, annuals, and shrubs. Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) is extremely tolerant of poor soil, bearberry will even will grow in pure sand. A variety of ground cover plants are tough enough to put up with heavy clay and some will also put up with a shady spot. Aronia is a pretty low-growing native shrub that has tiny white flowers amid glossy green foliage. Planted in groupings, it makes a lovely ground cover. The soft moss-like foliage of this plant forms a dense mat underfoot. It likes full sun, and requires regular trimmings to keep it from taking over the yard. To qualify for this list of the best low-maintenance ground covers, a plant has to meet certain criteria: It must be vigorous enough to fill in an area of the landscape that you need to dress up or … You might not think of oregano as a ground cover, but this herb forms dense clumps of scented foliage. It likes full sun. In mid-summer, however, they're dotted with beautiful purple-pink flowers. Native grasses are excellent ground coverings for sunny clay sites. Hello from Sioux City, Iowa! Sometimes there isn’t action to accurately remove the amount of water in the ground. The Point Reyes Manzanita (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) is an excellent choice for erosion control along coastal banks. All plants require water but some are much more tolerant of California's periodic dry conditions than others. This sweetly-scented perennial spreads easily, so keep it in check by planting it in well-groomed areas like along walkways or close to the house's foundation. Before you select any plants, make sure they are right for your growing zone.You might try creeping raspberry, Rubus rolfei, which is a ground cover that does well in areas where moisture fluctuates. Many plants wither under the urban environment with its thick smog, heavy traffic, densely-packed soil and heavy shade. Sweet fern partners with special bacteria that convert gaseous nitrogen into ammonia, which the plant uses as fertilizer. FYI: Full sun means an area gets 6+ hours of direct sunlight per day, part sun is anywhere from 3 to 6 hours of direct sunlight, and full shade is up to 3 hours of sun. The Hummingbird Sage (Salvia spathacea), Point Sal Sage (Salvia leucophylla) and Creeping Sage (Salvia sonomensis) grow low to the ground and spread rapidly. It flowers best in full sun. It’s a North American plant that grows well in eastern and central U.S. Gardeners can use this decorative ground cover in USDA hardiness zones 3-9. Choose from dozens of groundcover perennials that will thrive in the most impoverished soils and environments. The fact that some drought-tolerant ground covers are at least mildly invasive should not surprise us very much. Take a look at our top 10 best all-round ground covers and think about adding some of these very useful plants to your garden this summer. It prefers moist ground, drought-tolerant once established, and needs full shade. In summer months, little spikes of blue, purple, pink or white flowers will appear. The New Sunset Western Garden Book; Kathleen Norris Brenzel. 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