Costa Farms

 

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Create a Carpet of Color in Your Yard with Groundcovers

Plant easy-care groundcovers in your landscape to add low-maintenance color to your yard. Here are some of our favorites.

Creeping Phlox

Simply stunning! The electric blooms of creeping phlox (Phlox subulata) may slow the traffic in front of your home -- it’s that amazing. This low-growing perennial phlox bursts into bloom in spring; flowers last for several weeks. After that, creeping phlox offers a dense, lovely evergreen groundcover. It’s ideal for rock gardens, cascading over stone walls, or planted alongside a house. It grows in sunny and partially sunny spots. Zones 3-8

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Lithodora

If you want a little splash of blue in your landscape, try the charms of Lithodora ‘Grace Ward’. This dark-green groundcover is dotted with vivid blue, star-like flowers from spring through summer. ‘Grace Ward’ is hardy, deer resistant, and attracts butterflies. It’s ideal as an edging plant in a perennial border, in rock gardens, or berm beds. This groundcover self-seeds, so it will continue to spread. Plant in a sunny spot and enjoy it for years. Zones 6-9

Dianthus

A relative of the boutonniere carnation, dianthus (also called “pinks”) is a beautiful and fragrant groundcover (the flowers have a delicate spice scent). The lovely blue-green foliage forms a thick, mat-like cover in sunny and partially sunny spots. Depending on the variety, plants are smothered with pink, red, white, or lavender flowers. Dianthus is extremely hardy, growing in both hot and cold climates. Zones 3-10 

Liriope

Liriope’s long, thin, grass-like foliage and dense growth make it an ideal groundcover. This perennial beauty can grow 1 foot tall and 2 feet wide and is adaptable to sunny, partially shaded, and shaded areas. A big plus is that it bears showy purple flower spires. Also called lilyturf, liriope comes in green and variegated foliage. In warm climates it is evergreen, offering year-round landscape interest. Zones 5-10

Brass Buttons

This creeping groundcover has beautiful fernlike foliage. In spring, brass buttons (Leptinella) bears round, button-like, pale yellow flowers (it’s a member of the daisy family), which is where it gets its common name. It grows just 2 inches tall and is very dense. Plant this ground hugger in full sun in cooler climates and partial shade in hot areas. Brass buttons’ green foliage turns bronze in autumn, and it stays evergreen all winter. Use in rock gardens, around stepping stones, or as a turf replacement in small areas. Zones 4-10

Ice Plant

Ice plants (Delosperma) are stunning groundcovers! They form a mat of thick, narrow, succulent leaves that are topped with frilly-petaled flowers. The Jewels of the Desert series bloom longer than typical ice plants -- from start of summer until the beginning of winter.  They feature gorgeous colors: Moonstone (white), Garnet (red), Peridot (yellow-green), and Topaz (yellow-orange.) Jewels of the Desert love sun, are drought tolerant, and compact. Use in rock gardens, borders, landscaping, and green roofs. Zones 6-9

Blue Star Creeper

The delicate, pale blue, star-like flowers of blue star creeper (Isotoma) hide the fact that this groundcover is one tough customer. Use this low-grower as a lawn replacement, in between garden pavers, or around pools; go ahead and step on it because it’s tough enough to spring back from foot traffic. It blooms nearly all season in full sun or partial shade. Zones 5-9

Arabis

Also called wall cress, Arabis is an easy-care, dark-green, mounding groundcover that offers gorgeous flowers in late spring through early summer. Vivid 'Red Sensation' and soft pink 'Compinkie' are two excellent varieties that will light up your landscape. Plant wall cress in rock gardens, perennial borders, or containers. Arabis is drought tolerant, deer resistant, and fragrant. Zones 3-9

Variegated Silene

The tiny, narrow green leaves of Silene 'Druett's Variegated' are edged in white, giving them a striped appearance. In early summer, this silene (also called catchfly) serves up tiny snow-white flowers. The combination of foliage and flowers is simply beautiful! Use this textural wonder in rock and alpine gardens where it can cascade or drape over stones. 'Druett's Variegated' is also drought tolerant. Zones 4-9

Sedum Tiles

Try a slice of this! Our Drop and Grow sedum tiles were created with easy installation in mind. They are ideal for building a checkerboard pattern (with equal size concrete pavers), laying down a bed edger, or “shingling” a green roof. These growing tiles can be cut to fit any size you want (think of the beautiful containers!). Drought-tolerant and beautiful, sedum tiles create instant impact in gardens or landscapes. Zones 4-8


Artemisia

Add a textural gray-green accent to your beds and borders with ‘Powis Castle’. This mounding artemisia also makes an excellent groundcover in a mixed shrub/perennial landscape. It grows 3 feet tall and 6 feet wide, so it claims a lot of space -- in a beautiful way. ‘Powis Castle’ offers finely cut foliage and small yellow flowers. It adds color and texture to landscapes. It’s deer resistant too. Zones 4-10

Asian Jasmine

You may know Asian jasmine (Trachelospermum asiaticum) as a vine, but if you grow it on the ground, it’s a ground cover too! (That’s called thinking out of the box…) Glossy green leaves surround sprays of tubular white flowers that emit a heavenly fragrance. There are beautiful variegated types too. This spring-blooming Southern charmer can spread to out 20 feet wide. Zones 7-10

Wire Vine

If you need a tough solution for erosion control, try wire vine (Muehlenbeckia). This fast-spreading perennial groundcover loves full sun to partial shade; and it spreads up to 2 feet. It forms a thick mat of tiny, round, glossy leaves. For a yearly refresh, mow it in spring.  In warmer climates, wire vine stays evergreen. It’s drought tolerant and deer resistant. Zones 6-10

Lambs Ears

Although the plant is small (about 10 inches tall), Stachys ‘Helen Von Stein’ produces large, gray-green leaves. Also called lamb’s ears (because of their soft, furry texture), this perennial can create a textural mass in landscapes and gardens. It rarely flowers, but its drought-tolerant, deer-resistant leaves stand up to heat and look great all season. Crafters take note: The large leaves make beautiful living wreaths. Lamb’s ears love the sun. Zones 4-8

Veronica

Veronica ‘Christy’ offers color and texture as a groundcover. Plants form a low mound of small green leaves, which are topped with short spikes of vivid blue flowers. Also called dwarf speedwell, ‘Christy’ bloom from late spring into the autumn. If flowers wane in summer’s heat, just shear them off to revive their bloom. This hardy ground does well in full sun or partial shade. Zones 5-9

Sedum

If you are looking for an easy-care, non-thirsty groundcover, try Sedum kamtschaticum. Also called stonecrop, this showy sedum features glossy green leaves and summer-blooming golden yellow flowers. It grows about 6 inches tall and is ideal for rock gardens, border edges, green roofs, and more -- it will grow happily anywhere there is full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil. Zones 4-8


See Our Other Slideshows for More Gardening Tips

Get Shopping Tips to Pick the Perfect Groundcovers

10 Easy Tips for a More Colorful Garden

Reblooming Perennials for Months of Color in Your Garden

Top Sun-Loving Perennials