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Ground Cover Plants

Ground Cover Plant Coprosma-x-kirkii-'Variegata'

When gardeners and landscapers to consider using ground cover plants they need to find plants that satisfy two criteria. Plants that fill the required function of a ground cover plant, but also have the added characteristic of beauty.

Ab plant that looks dull and lifeless through much of the year does not make a great ground cover, and one that looks great for a month when in flower, yet also lets the weeds in does not fulfill the function.

The function of ground cover plants.

The idea of using ground cover plants is twofold, to reduce the need to weed an area and to look good.

Ground cover plants reduce the need for weeding by either shading the soil so that weeds do not grow, or by 'crowding out' weeds. This characteristic makes them appealing to many.

The concept of 'good looking' ground cover plants is often thought of as the flowers, more important is the foliage. Flowers last for a few weeks, foliage can be kept looking good almost through the year for many plants.


Best Ground Cover Plants

Many are easy care and require little to no maintenance

10 of the Best - Low Growing Ground cover Plants


  • Thyme
    Many varieties of thyme make great ground cover plant, some much lower than others.

  • Sagina Subulata (Irish Moss)

  • Coprosma Species
    Many Coprosma make great ground cover plants including Coprosma x kirkii 'Variegata', Coprosma 'Mangatangi' and Coprosma acerosa 'Hawera'

  • Ground Cover Artemisia-schmidtiana-'Silver-Mound'-Nana
  • Artemisia Species
    Great ground covers for dry conditions, look for the low growing forms including Artemisia-schmidtiana-'Silver-Mound'-Nana, pictured right.

  • Ajuga reptans

  • Bergenia cordifolia

  • Ceanothus species including Ceanothus 'Blue Carpet'

  • Epimedium Species
    For shade the evergreen epimediums make great ground-cover plants, some have more interesting foliage than others. Read more about epimediums

  • Helleborus Species
    Hellebores are another great ground cover for shaded dry areas, great range of flowers as well. Read more about Hellebores

  • Pachysandra terminalis (great for shade)

  • Sedums, the low growing or creeping varieties make excellent ground covers, especially in dry conditions.

  • Vinca minor is popular, however it does need to be used with caution. Its place is in an enclosed area, a garde area it can't escape from. It also works in commercial landscaping. Some varieties such as 'La Gave' or 'Bowles' variety are said to be vigorous than the species.

Sedum Groundcover Plants