A list of my favourite ground covering plants.

Best Plants for ground cover

The ground covering plants I have listed here are ideal for covering large or small areas of ground for decorative purposes or suppressing weeds.

Plant just one or two for covering a small area of ground, a few more for larger gardens and they will spread throughout the area. Keep the soil free of weeds until the plants spread and cover the ground.

These are my favourite flowering ground cover plants, Sweet woodruff, Violet, Poppy mallow, and Evening primrose. For varied ground cover plants including plants for foliage have a look through the list below. 

Ground cover plants
Ground cover plants

Ground-cover plants are grouped into four types;vines,Herbaceous,shrubs and Ornamental grasses

The ground-cover groups of plants explained,

  1. Vines, which are woody plants with slender, spreading stems
  2. Herbaceous plants, What's the difference between annuals and perennials? Annuals  grow for one season, meaning that you will have to replant each year. Perennials grow for three or more seasons in a row.
  3. Shrubs of low-growing, spreading species
  4. Ornamental grasses, especially low-growing varieties.

I have listed a few of the most common ground covers below.
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) is also called lucerne, its a perennial flowering plant in the pea family. It resembles clover, with clusters of small purple flowers followed by fruits.

Dichondra  also called Asian ponysfoot is a  flowering plants in the morning glory family.  They are low growing almost flat perennial plants, with creeping stems. The flowers are white, greenish or yellowish, 2–3 mm diameter.

Bacopa (Bacopa)  is an early, long-blooming, flowering plant that thrives in either full sun or partial shade and will tolerate damp conditions. Grow Bacopa as a blooming ground cover, or to top off a retaining wall in style. Ivy (Hedera)

Gazania (Gazania rigens) are flowering ground cover plants   producing large, daisy-like flowers in brilliant shades of yellow and orange, over a long period in summer, often planted as drought-tolerant ground-cover.

Ice plant (Sedum spectabile)  likes moderately fertile, well-drained soil in full sun. A drought-tolerant plant, attractive to wildlife  ideal for covering Banks and Slopes.

Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica)is a Vigorous honeysuckle likes partial shade, but will tolerates full sun, grows in any moist but well-drained soil. Ideal for walled borders.

Lilyturf (Liriope muscari and Liriope spicata)  are evergreen herbaceous perennials forming compact clumps. Great for ground cover on Banks and Slopes.

Mint (Mentha) Also called Spearmint and Common mint it is a aromatic  perennials with small tubular flowers in spikes of whorls in summer.

Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) It is a herbaceous annual plant with trailing stems growing to about 1 metre, flowers vary from yellow to orange to red. My favorite ground cover.

Pachysandra can be grown in deep-shade making it ideal for ground cover  in  shady areas, the Japanese spurge, forms an aggressively spreading evergreen ground cover.

Pearlwort (Sagina subulata) A perennial, mat-forming with striking white flowers in the summer, mainly found on  rocky open coastal heathy grassland in Ireland.

Periwinkle (Vinca) is a wide-spreading evergreen perennial about 10cm in height, with ovate, dark green leaves and deep reddish-purple flowers. 

Shasta daisy (Leucanthemumis a perennial forming a clump to 60cm in height, with narrow, dark glossy green leaves and semi-double white flowers with a trace of yellow in the centre.

Soleirolia (Soleirolia soleirolii) is a wide-creeping evergreen perennial with slender, rooting, pink or green stems with tiny rounded leaves and  pinkish-white flowers in summer

Some plants planted for covering bare ground are very invasive and will quickly spread to other parts of the garden. Before planting it makes sense to know a bit more them, including the type of soil, location and climate they grow best in.