If you leave this ground cover unattended, it’ll rapidly grow across your garden. It grows so fast that you do need to be careful and monitor its growth. You don’t want it overtaking your entire garden.
Japanese spurge has gorgeous, glossy green leaves and small white flowers in the spring. It spreads rapidly to form a dense carpet in shady areas. It needs regular moisture and grows in zones 4-8. One of the great things about Japanese spurge is that it stays compact, so you don’t have to fight it to keep it under control.
5. Variegated Snow on the Mountain(Aegopodium podagraria)
Here is another sedum plant that is related to Firecracker Sedum. It’s one of the hardiest and most versatile of all weed-suppressing ground covers. Dragon’s blood sedum is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 3-8, and it grows in a variety of conditions. It grows well in full sun as well as partial shade, but it also grows well in poor soil, which means you can plant this anywhere you want.
16. Juniper (Juniperus conferta)
Are you looking for a ground cover that grows well in the shade? Check out this plant. Variegated snow on the mountain is often called bishop’s weed or goutweed. It’s a soft green and creamy white plant that has umbrella-like clusters of white flowers. Hence the name snow on the mountain!
Creeping thyme (also known as mother of thyme or wild thyme) is a creeping, woody-stemmed perennial that is a favorite plant to use for a low-maintenance ground cover serving as a filler between garden stepping stones. Growing only about 3 inches tall, this plant spreads over time, crowding out weeds and thus reducing maintenance further.
Turf lawn grasses are by far the most popular ground cover plant in residential landscapes, but sometimes grass just isn’t practical, either because the conditions of the site aren’t amendable to fostering grass or perhaps because the maintenance of a grass lawn is not something you want to commit to. Fortunately, there are a number of other living ground cover plants to choose from.
Wall Germander (Teucrium chamaedrys)
As with creeping phlox and 'Amethyst in Snow,' 'Angelina sedum' can be regarded as a "Goldilocks" ground cover. Much like the fictional character, it has golden hair (flowers) that spread enough to be effective in covering a certain amount of space, but the plant is not so vigorous a spreader to create a nuisance.
Be aware that only the most robust plant species will readily thrive and spread in shade. If you find such a plant (and several are included in our list), then you may find that it is invasive. Be quite careful when choosing a ground cover for shade.
Basket-of-Gold (Aurinia saxatilis)
The Spruce / David Beaulieu
Fix your garden’s trouble spots with these low-growing perennials, annuals, and shrubs.
Ground cover plants are all-around problem-solvers: They retain moisture, control erosion, and provide habitat for pollinators like bees and butterflies. While grass is typically the best way to fill out empty space, sometimes low-growing plants are a better — and prettier — option. There are so many options to choose from, including old favorites like Pachysandra and Vinca, as well as small shrubs, perennials, and annuals.
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. 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. 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). And remember that although these ground cover plants are extremely tolerant, they still need to be watered during dry spells for the first year or two until their root systems are well-established.