Thursday, April 1, 2021

12 Groundcovers for Your Gardening Space

12 Groundcovers for Your Garden
Welcome to This Month in the Garden! Groundcovers are a welcomed addition to many a garden and are known for their relatively low maintenance and adaptability. Many are drought tolerant once established, will thrive in a variety of soil types, and often serve as the perfect addition for those trouble spots. While planning your gardening season, you may want to consider some of these interesting selections.
Lusimachia nummularia 'Moneywort' (Creeping Jenny)
First on the list is Creeping Jenny. This evergreen perennial with lime green foliage will create a carpet of color. Hardy in USDA zones 3-9, this vigorous groundcover grows to a height of 2-4 inches tall and has a spread of 18-24 inches wide. Plant this perennial in full sun to partial shade in a moderately moist soil and give it space to grow. Bright golden-yellow flowers are produced late spring into summer. Creeping Jenny is perfect for planting in rock gardens or surrounding  a garden statue.
Ajuga 'Burgundy Glow' (Bugleweed)
Ajuga or Bugleweed is a quick growing, easy to maintain groundcover, which is excellent when planted in shady locations where other plants may have difficulty. Hardy in UDSA zones 3-9, Ajuga 'Burgundy Glow' is one of the most popular varieties of ajuga, known for its low mounding foliage which is dappled in hues of green, cream and smoky pink to burgundy. Spikes of blue-purple flowers appear in mid-spring to early summer on a 4-6 inch tall by 12-18 inch wide plant. 'Burgundy Glow' is excellent as a groundcover in smaller areas. If you are looking to cover a larger area, either bronze or green-leaved varieties, such as 'Catlin's Giant' are recommended. Plant ajuga in full sun to full shade in a location with moderate watering. Ajuga is butterfly friendly and deer resistant.
Ophiopogon japonicus 'Nanus' (Dwarf Mondo Grass)
Hardy in USDA zones 6-10, Dwarf Mondo Grass is perfect as a groundcover, edging or mass planting. This variety forms a mat of evergreen foliage 6-12 inches high by wide and prefers to be grown in filtered sun and a moderately moist soil. In summer, small stalks with purple flowers emerge. Mondo Grass is low maintenance, often used as a lawn substitute and is deer resistant.
Liriope muscari 'Variegata' (Variegated Lilyturf)
Hardy in USDA zones 6-11, Liriope 'Variegata' (Lilyturf) is a clump forming evergreen perennial, displaying striped green and creamy white grass-like variegated foliage on an 8 to16 inch tall by 8 to 12 inch wide plant. Liriope is perfect as a groundcover in areas of partial to full shade where ornamental grasses may have difficulty. In mid-summer to early fall, short spikes of deep purple flowers resembling tiny Grape Hyacinths appear, adding late season interest to the landscape. To promote new growth, remove any winter damaged foliage from this perennial in early spring once new foliage starts to emerge.
Phlox subulata (Creeping Phlox or Moss Pink)
Creeping or groundcover phlox is an excellent herbaceous perennial, forming a carpet of colorful blooms in mid-late spring. Hardy in USDA zones 3-8, this perennial grows to a height and width of 4-6 inches tall by 12-18 inches wide and prefers a location with full sun and a moderately moist well drained soil. This popular perennial is best suited for rock gardens, slopes and perennial borders. Depending on the species, blooms range from white to pink, rose, lavender and magenta. Creeping phlox does not require deadheading, but a slight shearing after bloom can make for a tidier plant and in some cases a second bloom.
Sedum 'Dragon's Blood'
Sedum Dragon's Blood may seem like a strange name, but it comes from the color of this interesting plant. This succulent perennial, hardy in USDA zones 3-9, exhibits deep rosy-red foliage that persists throughout summer and into fall. Deep red flower buds open to pink star shaped blooms in early to late summer and last for weeks. Sedum 'Dragon's Blood' prefers a well-drained soil in full sun and is drought tolerant once established. This plant is excellent in rock gardens and borders, quickly forms a carpet of color, and can be easily propagated from stem cuttings.
Sedum 'Angelica'
Hardy in USDA zones 6-9, Sedum 'Angelica' is a groundcover succulent known or its golden-yellow foliage and delicate yellow blooms that come about in mid-summer. Foliage is evergreen in warmer climates and turns to a copper-orange before dormancy in colder climates. Plant Sedum 'Angelica' in a location with full sun and a well-drained soil. This perennial is an excellent addition to rock gardens, waterfalls, borders and hard to grow places and is drought tolerant once established.
Sedum 'Aurea'
Sedum 'Aurea' is yet another variety of low maintenance succulent. Sedum 'Aurea' is hardy in USDA zones and forms a 2-4 inch high carpet of tiny pale yellow leaves followed by yellow star-like blooms in summer. Plant this perennial in full sun to partial shade in a well-drained soil. Propagation is easily accomplished through stem cuttings and this perennial can easily be used in hard to reach places, as in between crevasses on a waterfall or rock wall.
Sedum 'Lime Twister'
Hardy in USDA zones 4-9, Sedum 'Lime Twister' is a low maintenance succulent groundcover excellent for rock gardens, containers and borders. Two-tone lime green foliage edged with creamy yellow leads to the production of soft pink flower clusters in late summer. Plant 'Lime Twister' in full to partial sun in a well-drained soil. This perennial is drought tolerant once established. Average size is approximately 4 inches tall by 18 inches wide.
Dwarf  Golden Sweet Flag
Acorus gramineus ‘Minimus Aureus’ (Dwarf Golden Sweet Flag) is not a true grass but grows in tufts of golden grass-like leaves, forming a dense carpet of bright golden semi-evergreen foliage. Sweet Flag is hardy in zones 5-9 and prefers to be grown in partial sun to dense shade in a moderately moist soil. This dwarf variety slowly spreads by rhizomes and reaches a height of just 4 inches tall with a spread of 8-12 inches or more. Sweet Flag serves nicely in a pond setting, rock garden, or foundation planting, or as a ground cover under the canopy of trees.
Variegated Golden Sedge
Carex oshimensis ‘Evergold’ (Variegated Japanese Sedge) is a grass-like evergreen perennial forming low clumps only 6-8 inches tall by 9-12 inches wide. It prefers to be grown in part sun to full shade in a moist, loamy soil. Carex ‘Evergold’ is hardy in zones 5-9 and displays a green-yellow variegated foliage.  It serves nicely in a rock garden, foundation planting or perennial border.
Vinca minor (Periwinkle)
Last, but not least is Vinca minor, also known as Periwinkle. Vinca minor is a popular evergreen groundcover, hardy in USDA zones 4-8, that forms a dense carpet of trailing stems with dark evergreen foliage. Tubular lavender-blue flowers are produced in spring and early summer, which last for several weeks into fall. Vinca minor prefers a location with full sun to part shade in a dry to medium soil. Plants grow to a height and width of approximately 4-6 inches tall and spread to a width of 18 inches and more. This perennial is deer resistant and drought tolerant once established.
Sedum Groundcover Mix

12 Groundcovers for Your Garden
I hope you enjoyed This Month in the Garden-12 Groundcovers for Your Space. Be sure to stop by on the 1st. and 15th. of each month as I continue to share gardening tips, information and horticultural adventures! (Linking with: Floral FridaysMacro Monday 2Ruby Tuesday and Image-in-ing Weekly Photo Link-Up.

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Author: Lee @A Guide to Northeastern Gardening,© Copyright 2010-2021. All rights reserved


  1. Nice selections! We used mondo grass in our landscape but after 14 yrs it got a little out of hand. A neighbor had blue fescue mound ornamentals and they're quite striking too! Happy gardening, Lee, as another season ramps up. Our spring has been very nice so far.

    1. Hi Rita. Happy spring! It does spread, but is good for an area where things are hard to grow. I’ve had Black Mondo Grass growing in a planter of a little girl with a basket for years and it keeps it contained, while supplying interest all year round. It’s evergreen and the black foliage against the white statue is striking!

  2. Lee, today you show us interesting plants, the most of these ground covers grow in my garden. They are winter hardy and decorative.
    Wishing you and your family an Easter filled with joy and hope.
    Happy Easter!

    1. I am so happy to hear that you have some of these growing in your northern garden. I enjoyed your post. It's so nice to see your seedlings getting so big and your indoor plants are lovely. I especially am a fan on the Clivia. I used to have one for years until it met its demise and I keep thinking I need to get another one! Happy belated Easter and stay well my gardening friend.

  3. I’m a big fan of Sedum Angelina, especially with early spring bulbs planted under it, specifically muscari and Iris reticulata.

    1. That is one of my favorites for performance! I enjoyed your photographs. It's so wonderful seeing all those beautiful spring blooms! Enjoy them with knowing there is way more to come!

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you. I am so glad you enjoyed it. Happy belated Easter...hope it was nice for you and your family.

  5. We tried creeping Jenny in window boxes but it didn't survive. They look so lush and lovely in your post - in fact all of your ground covers do!
    Thanks for sharing at

  6. Ground covers are gold in the garden. The first one is a bit too eager, but very useful planted in pots and hanging baskets! Liriope muscari 'Variegata' is so beautiful, but it's not hardy where I live. Love the Sedum 'Angelica' and 'Aureum'!

  7. I love my ajuga, especially when it blooms. But, it's spreading into places it shouldn't and needs a little control.


Thank you for visiting. I love reading your comments and knowing you have been here, and will try to reciprocate on your blog. If you have any questions I will try my very best to answer them. As always...HAPPY GARDENING!


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