19 Best Flowering Ground Covers

Flowering Ground Covers

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    What Are The Best Flowering Ground Covers

    Flowering ground covers are considered a holy grail for landscape designers. They offer beauty and functionality, adding color to the garden while helping to control weeds and erosion. If you are looking for a solution to a problem area, a ground cover can get the job done without compromising display value.

    Many flowering canopies bloom for only a short time in spring or summer. Therefore, the best examples have beautiful foliage in addition to flowers, so they look great during the growing season.

    Creeping phlox (Phlox subulata)


    You know that spring is really coming when you see the slopes covered in phlox flowers (Phlox subulata). Also known as a creeping phlox, this variety differs from the much larger perennial known as a garden phlox. There are several colors to choose from and many gardeners choose to plant color combinations. This plant requires minimal care - only a moderate amount of water, prune to keep growth clean, and fertilize in late winter or early spring.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 9
    • Color Varieties: Pink, red, white, blue, rose, lavender, purple
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Rich, well-draining

    Hosta (Hosta sp.)


    Hosta is primarily considered a foliage plant, but some types can also provide an option for flowering ground cover. Hosta plantaginea also has fragrant flowers. However, the hosta does not win any awards for its flowers. These are the leaves that people love, in different colors and sizes. The plant is quite tolerant of shade, hardy, and durable. It prefers a lot of water and good drainage. Remove dead foliage in the fall to prevent rotting in the flowerbed.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 9
    • Color Varieties: White, purple
    • Sun Exposure: Partial shade
    • Soil Needs: Rich, organic, slightly acidic

    Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens)


    The caramelized plant (Iberis sempervirens) is truly impressive, with its many bright white flowers. It can be pruned after flowering to prevent stretching. On the other hand, if you are planting candy behind a retaining wall, lightness may be desirable, as the foliage can spread considerably over the wall. In this case, it may be necessary to rearrange the plant by removing the oldest parts.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 8
    • Color Varieties: White, pink, red, lilac
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Gravelly, well-draining, slightly alkaline

    Ice plant (Delosperma cooperi)


    The long-flowering ice plant (Delosperma cooperi) needs exceptionally draining soil to meet its rustic label. The plant gets its common name from the way the sunlight hits its leaves and makes them look adorned with ice crystals. Despite its toughness, it is not the ground cover a Nordic gardener should rely on to control erosion year-round. Instead, use the ice maker to decorate an area for the summer.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 10
    • Color Varieties: Purple, pink, yellow, white
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Dry, well-draining, neutral pH

    Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum)


    Sweet dander (Galium odoratum) has white flowers and can spread beyond the allotted space in a garden. This is generally a beneficial trait, as plants that are not aggressive propagators can be difficult to establish as ground cover. If necessary, spreading can be controlled with a high-rise knife cutter. Also, it can be difficult to plant ground cover under a tree, but sweet truffle works very well there. The only characteristic that prevents the sweet truffle from being an exceptional floral tapestry is the fact that it dies in winter (although the roots survive).

    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 8
    • Color Varieties: White
    • Sun Exposure: Part shade to full shade
    • Soil Needs: Rich, loamy, moist, well-draining

    Liriope (Liriope spicata)


    For those with patches of shade who need a flowering ground cover, the liriope (Liriope spicata) can be grown in partial shade. Also known as lilyturf, some gardeners treat it as an ornamental herb, although it is actually a type of lily. Their common name represents this confusion. Take advantage of the identity crisis of lilyturf and enjoy its flowers and beautiful blades of grass. It can grow in many conditions, as long as it has adequate drainage.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 10
    • Color Varieties: Lavender, white
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil Needs: Average, well-draining, slightly acidic to neutral

    Yellow Allyssum (Aurinia saxatilis)


    A common name for Aurinia saxatilis is yellow alyssus, but don't mistake this blooming canopy for the annual sweet alyssus. The yellow alyss is a perennial. To avoid confusion, another common name is the basket of gold. The plant reaches about a foot in height and has clusters of small yellow flowers that contrast with the blue-gray leaves. Once the flowers have wilted, cut the plant about a third to encourage more blooming and reduce airiness.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 7
    • Color Varieties: Yellow
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Average to sandy, well-draining

    Common Periwinkle (Vinca minor)


    Whether you love it or despise it, there is one thing to say about the periwinkle (Vinca minor): it is a vigorous grower. This vine thrives in the shade and it is undeniable that the periwinkle has a beautiful flower. Its flowers, usually blue, but also purple or white, bloom in spring and can reappear in summer. The plant normally only reaches a few inches above the ground, although its vines can spread up to 18 inches long. So why would anyone despise this plant? Vinca is a victim of her own success. It spreads so well as a ground cover that some people find it invasive. Next, remove the shackles from the areas where you don't want the plant.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 8
    • Color Varieties: Blue, lavender, purple, white
    • Sun Exposure: Part sun to full shade
    • Soil Needs: Normal, sandy, or clay

    Thyme (thyme)


    Some types of thyme (thyme) bloom profusely, but fully. An example is the so-called "red" thyme, although its flower color is more pink or lilac. Thyme generally doesn't care about poor soils, although it prefers good drainage. If the plant becomes woody, prune substantially to rejuvenate growth. One of the benefits of using thyme groundcover is its aroma. The scent comes from the leaves, not the flowers, and its intensity depends on the variety.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9
    • Color Varieties: Pink, purple, red, white
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil Needs: Average, well-draining, neutral to slightly alkaline

    Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster horizontalis)


    Cotoneaster Rockspray (Cotoneaster horizontalis) is a shrub, but its horizontal growth habit invites its use as a raised ground cover. This can be useful when you want to cover the ground with plants of different heights for added visual interest. Until your plant is established, give it plenty of water and some shade in the afternoon. Once mature, maintenance should be reasonably low and no pruning is necessary unless you want to contain its spread. Although cotoneaster blooms in spring, it is not grown primarily for its flowers, but for its attractive fruit that follows flowers. Its leaves are also quite colorful in the fall.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 7
    • Color Varieties: Pink, white
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil Needs: Moist, loamy, well-draining

    Yellow Archangel (Lamiastrum galeobdolon)


    The yellow archangel (Lamiastrum galeobdolon) is a type of dead nettle that has yellow flowers. The plant is a perennial groundcover. There are four characteristics to admire in the yellow archangel: it has beautiful flowers; its leaves are colorful; It thrives in partial shade and is moderately drought tolerant. If your goal is a low-maintenance patio, a yellow archangel might be a good choice. You can prune established plants if they are long for a more compact look.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9
    • Color Varieties: Yellow
    • Sun Exposure: Part shade to full shade
    • Soil Needs: Loamy, well-draining

    Dragon's Blood (Sedum spurium 'Dragon's Blood')


    Stonecrop dragon blood (Sedum spurium 'Dragon's blood') kisses the ground. Its stems, leaves, and flowers can be red, depending on the variety and conditions. Although this plant is a flowering ground cover, don't grow it unless you also like its stems and foliage. Its small flowers do not last long enough to be considered an eye-catching feature. But its stems and leaves can look great in rock gardens. Be careful not to over-water your plant, as this can kill it. Give it precise drainage and medium-thin soil and it should thrive.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9
    • Color Varieties: Deep red
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Loamy, sandy, or rocky and well-draining

    Angelina Sedum (Sedum rupestre 'Angelina')


    Angelina sedum (Sedum rupestre 'Angelina') is a chiseled plant that produces a yellow flower. Although its flower is not ugly, many gardeners find it somewhat embarrassing from the way it looms so far from the plant that it kneels on the ground. But don't let that stop you from growing this sedum. If you agree that the plant's floral display is not its best feature, cut the flowers and bring them inside to display in a vase. Angelina sedum's foliage is yellowish-green most of the year, with hints of pink (even red) in winter. The plant is easy to grow and can be pruned as long as you feel it has grown.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 9
    • Color Varieties: Yellow
    • Sun Exposure: Part sun to full sun
    • Soil Needs: Clay, loamy, or sandy and well-draining

    Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans)


    If you decipher the botanical name for wolf grass (Ajuga reptans), you will learn that reptans (Latin for "crawl") is a warning. This is a plant that you might have a hard time controlling as it tends to be an aggressive spreader. Bugleweed is capable of growing quickly and suffocating anything in its path, so consider yourself recommended if you choose this plant for your garden. Plant wolf grass in fertile, well-drained soil, where air circulation is good to prevent disease and pests. Water only when the soil dries about 1 to 2 inches.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 10
    • Color Varieties: Blue, violet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil Needs: Organic, medium moisture, well-draining

    Pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis)


    Pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis) can tolerate dry shade, making it ideal for planting under trees where there is usually a lot of competition for water. As an added bonus, this ground cover is also deer resistant and does not present serious insect or disease problems. The plant grows about 15 inches tall and covers the ground with small white flowers in spring. Thin the plant and remove any residue, such as dead leaves, as needed to promote air circulation.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 9
    • Color Varieties: White
    • Sun Exposure: Part shade to full shade
    • Soil Needs: Rich, medium moisture, well-draining

    Climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala ssp. Petiolaris)


    There are few large, vigorous, strong floor coverings that are good blooming and tolerant of shade. The climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala ssp. Petiolaris) is part of this selected group. These hydrangeas are true climbers, but they can also make excellent ground covers and are preferred for areas with the medium shade. Fertilize the plant in the spring before the leaves begin to sprout and prune in the summer to keep growth under control. The plant likes constantly moist soils and may need more watering in hot weather.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 7
    • Color Varieties: White, blue, pink, purple
    • Sun Exposure: Part shade
    • Soil Needs: Rich, evenly moist, slightly acidic

    Lamb's ear (Stachys byzantina)


    Although it does send a flower stalk, and tall for that, lamb's ear (Stachys byzantina) is grown more for its foliage than for its flowers. The silver-green leaves of lamb's ear are soft and fuzzy to the touch, like a lamb's ear. The plant grows quickly but can be controlled with the edge. It is fairly drought tolerant, although some leaves may turn brown during prolonged periods of drought. But avoid watering from above, as the leaves can rot when very wet.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 7
    • Color Varieties: Light purple
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil Needs: Poor, well-draining, slightly acidic

    Snow-in-Summer (Cerastium tomentosum)


    Cerastium tomentosum, commonly known as snow in summer, is a fully solar ground cover with two desirable characteristics: it features pretty white flowers (as its common name suggests) and silver leaves. But the snow in summer has a fall: it is a short-lived perennial, especially in hot regions. Good drainage is essential to keep this plant healthy. Cutting off faded flowers and old foliage and snow in the summer will work all summer long.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 7
    • Color Varieties: White
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Sandy, dry, well-draining

    Wild Violet (Viola sororia)


    Whether wild violets (Viola sororia) are valued as flowering ground covers or neglected as weeds is really a matter of opinion. You can consider them in the last category if your goal is to grow a well-maintained lawn. But wildflower lovers love the plant. Group several wild violets together to create the best display. It is a low-growing plant with small flowers, so a stray viola will not have much of an impact. The plant requires little maintenance and is best left alone to propagate. Provides constant humidity, especially when planted in full sun.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 7
    • Color Varieties: Purple, blue, white
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil Needs: Humusy, moist, well-draining

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    Flowering Ground Covers

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