How to Transform Your Yard with Ground Cover Plants: 10 Amazing Ideas

How to Transform Your Yard with Ground Cover Plants: 10 Amazing Ideas

What are ground cover plants?Why use ground cover plants for landscaping?What are some examples of ground cover plants for different situations?
Ground cover plants are low-growing, spreading plants that can fill in empty spaces in your yard and create a more attractive and cohesive look.Ground cover plants can help prevent soil erosion, suppress weeds, conserve water, add color and texture, and attract wildlife.There are many types of ground cover plants for different situations, such as sun or shade, dry or moist soil, and flowering or evergreen. Some of them are basket-of-gold, lily turf, sweet woodruff, ice plant, candytuft, common periwinkle, etc.

This is a key takeaway box that summarizes the main points of the article. You can use it to quickly get an overview of what you will learn from this article.

Introduction

How to Transform Your Yard with Ground Cover Plants: 10 Amazing Ideas

Do you have some bare spots in your yard that look dull and boring? Do you want to add some life and beauty to your landscape without spending too much time and money? Do you want to learn how to use ground cover plants to transform your yard into a stunning oasis?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this article is for you. In this article, you will discover what ground cover plants are, why they are useful for landscaping, and how to choose and use them for different situations. You will also get 10 amazing ideas on how to use ground cover plants to create a diverse and dynamic landscape that will impress your neighbors and guests.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

I. Ground Cover Plants for Sun

photo that shows a sunny spot with colorful flowers

If you have a sunny spot in your yard that gets at least six hours of direct sunlight per day, then you have a great opportunity to use ground cover plants that love the sun. These plants can thrive in sunny areas and provide various benefits, such as:

  • They can tolerate heat and drought better than other plants.
  • They can produce vibrant flowers that add color and charm to your landscape.
  • They can attract pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to your yard.
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Some examples of sun-loving ground cover plants are:

NameDescriptionCare Tips
Basket-of-gold (Aurinia saxatilis)A low-growing plant that produces bright yellow flowers in spring. It can grow well at the edge of a rock garden or other space.Plant it in well-drained soil and water it occasionally. Cut back the faded flowers to encourage new growth.
Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens)A evergreen plant that has glossy green leaves and white flowers in spring. It can create a beautiful contrast with other plants or rocks.Plant it in well-drained soil and water it moderately. Prune it after flowering to maintain its shape.
Ice plant (Delosperma cooperi)A succulent plant that has fleshy leaves and pink flowers that can add color and texture to your landscape. It can survive in arid desert yards.Plant it in sandy or gravelly soil and water it sparingly. Avoid overwatering or fertilizing it as it can cause root rot.

II. Ground Cover Plants for Shade

a photo that shows a shady spot with lush foliage

If you have a shady spot in your yard that gets less than four hours of direct sunlight per day, then you have a different challenge to use ground cover plants that can tolerate shade. These plants can grow well in low-light conditions and provide various benefits, such as:

  • They can create a cool and soothing atmosphere in your yard.
  • They can cover the bare soil under trees or shrubs and prevent weeds from growing.
  • They can add interest and variety to your landscape with their foliage or flowers.

Some examples of shade-tolerant ground cover plants are:

NameDescriptionCare Tips
Lily turf (Liriope spicata)A grass-like plant that has purple flowers in late summer. It can form dense clumps that can edge a walkway or border a bed.Plant it in moist but well-drained soil and water it regularly. Cut back the foliage in late winter to encourage new growth.
Sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum)A plant that has fragrant white flowers in spring and whorled foliage. It can grow well under trees or shrubs.Plant it in rich and moist soil and water it frequently. Mulch it to keep the soil moist and cool.
Common periwinkle (Vinca minor)A evergreen plant that has glossy green leaves and blue flowers in spring. It can grow well in sun or shade.Plant it in any soil type and water it occasionally. Control its spread by trimming or removing unwanted runners.

III. Ground Cover Plants for Dry Soil

a photo that shows a dry spot with succulent or fuzzy plants

If you have a dry spot in your yard that has poor or sandy soil, then you have a challenge to use ground cover plants that can survive in dry soil. These plants can adapt to low-water conditions and provide various benefits, such as:

  • They can reduce water usage and save you money on your water bill.
  • They can create a xeriscape or a drought-tolerant landscape that is environmentally friendly.
  • They can add texture and interest to your landscape with their succulent or fuzzy leaves.
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Some examples of drought-tolerant ground cover plants are:

NameDescriptionCare Tips
Creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum)A herbaceous plant that has aromatic leaves and pink or purple flowers in summer. It can form a dense carpet that can withstand foot traffic.Plant it in well-drained soil and water it infrequently. Trim it after flowering to keep it neat.
Sedum (Sedum spp.)A succulent plant that has fleshy leaves and star-shaped flowers in various colors. It can grow in almost any soil type and condition.Plant it in well-drained soil and water it occasionally. Divide it every few years to prevent overcrowding.
Lamb’s ear (Stachys byzantina)A fuzzy plant that has silvery-green leaves and purple flowers in summer. It can add softness and contrast to your landscape.Plant it in well-drained soil and water it sparingly. Remove the flower stalks to prevent self-seeding.

IV. Ground Cover Plants for Moist Soil

a photo that shows a moist spot with water-loving plants

If you have a moist spot in your yard that has rich or clay soil, then you have a chance to use ground cover plants that can grow well in moist soil. These plants can thrive in wet conditions and provide various benefits, such as:

  • They can prevent soil erosion and runoff by holding the moisture in the ground.
  • They can create a lush and verdant landscape that is soothing and relaxing.
  • They can add diversity and variety to your landscape with their different shapes and sizes.

Some examples of moisture-loving ground cover plants are:

NameDescriptionCare Tips
Ajuga (Ajuga reptans)A plant that has glossy green or purple leaves and blue flowers in spring. It can spread quickly and form a thick mat that can suppress weeds.Plant it in moist but well-drained soil and water it regularly. Cut back the runners to control its spread.
Hosta (Hosta spp.)A plant that has large and colorful leaves and white or purple flowers in summer. It can grow well in shade or partial sun.Plant it in rich and moist soil and water it frequently. Protect it from slugs and snails that may eat the leaves.
Ferns (Various genera)A group of plants that have feathery fronds and no flowers or seeds. They can add texture and elegance to your landscape.Plant them in moist and humus-rich soil and water them regularly. Mulch them to keep the soil moist and cool.

V. Ground Cover Plants for Slopes

a photo that shows a slope or a hill with erosion-resistant plants

If you have a slope or a hill in your yard that is difficult to mow or maintain, then you have a challenge to use ground cover plants for slopes. These plants can help stabilize the soil and prevent erosion by creating a living mulch. They can also provide various benefits, such as:

  • They can create a natural and scenic landscape that blends with the surroundings.
  • They can add color and interest to your landscape with their flowers or foliage.
  • They can attract wildlife like birds, butterflies, and bees to your yard.
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Some examples of erosion-resistant ground cover plants are:

NameDescriptionCare Tips
Vinca (Vinca spp.)A evergreen plant that has glossy green leaves and blue, purple, or white flowers in spring. It can grow well in sun or shade and form a dense mat that can cover large areas.Plant it in any soil type and water it occasionally. Control its spread by trimming or removing unwanted runners.
Pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis)A evergreen plant that has dark green leaves and white flowers in spring. It can grow well in shade and form a thick carpet that can suppress weeds.Plant it in moist but well-drained soil and water it regularly. Prune it in late winter to keep it neat.
Juniper (Juniperus spp.)A evergreen plant that has needle-like or scale-like leaves and blue berries. It can grow well in sun and form a low-maintenance ground cover that can tolerate drought and cold.Plant it in well-drained soil and water it moderately. Prune it lightly to maintain its shape.

VI. Ground Cover Plants for Large Areas

a photo that shows a large area with uniform or diverse plants

If you have a large area in your yard that is too big or too expensive to fill with other plants, then you have a chance to use ground cover plants for large areas. These plants can cover a lot of ground and provide various benefits, such as:

  • They can reduce the need for mowing and trimming by replacing the lawn or other plants.
  • They can create a uniform and cohesive look that can enhance the overall appearance of your landscape.
  • They can provide a habitat and food source for wildlife like birds, insects, and small animals.

Some examples of fast-growing and low-maintenance ground cover plants are:

NameDescriptionCare Tips
Clover (Trifolium spp.)A leguminous plant that has green or purple leaves and white or pink flowers. It can fix nitrogen in the soil and improve its fertility.Plant it in any soil type and water it moderately. Mow it occasionally to keep it neat.
Ivy (Hedera spp.)A evergreen plant that has lobed or heart-shaped leaves and small flowers. It can climb walls, fences, or trees and create a green backdrop.Plant it in moist but well-drained soil and water it regularly. Prune it to control its growth and prevent damage to structures.
Mint (Mentha spp.)A herbaceous plant that has aromatic leaves and purple or white flowers. It can spread quickly and provide a fresh scent.Plant it in moist and rich soil and water it frequently. Harvest it regularly to use in cooking or tea.

VII. Ground Cover Plants with Flowers

photo that shows a colorful and charming spot with flowering plants

If you want to add some color and charm to your landscape, then you might want to use ground cover plants with flowers. These plants can produce beautiful blooms that can brighten up your yard and provide various benefits, such as:

  • They can create a stunning visual effect that can catch the eye of anyone who sees them.
  • They can attract pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to your yard and help the ecosystem.
  • They can add fragrance and aroma to your landscape and make it more pleasant and inviting.

Some examples of colorful and fragrant ground cover plants are:

NameDescriptionCare Tips
Phlox (Phlox subulata)A plant that has needle-like leaves and pink, purple, white, or blue flowers in spring. It can form a carpet of color that can cover large areas.Plant it in well-drained soil and water it moderately. Cut back the faded flowers to encourage new growth.
Geranium (Geranium spp.)A plant that has round or lobed leaves and red, pink, purple, or white flowers in summer. It can grow well in sun or shade and add charm to your landscape.Plant it in moist but well-drained soil and water it regularly. Deadhead the spent flowers to prolong the blooming period.
Daisy (Bellis perennis)A plant that has green leaves and white, pink, or red flowers with yellow centers. It can create a cheerful and whimsical look in your yard.Plant it in rich and moist soil and water it frequently. Divide it every few years to prevent overcrowding.

VIII. Ground Cover Plants with Foliage

a photo that shows a textured and interesting spot with foliage-rich plants

If you want to add some texture and interest to your landscape, then you might want to use ground cover plants with foliage. These plants can have evergreen or deciduous leaves that can provide various benefits, such as:

  • They can create a year-round or seasonal display that can enhance the appearance of your landscape.
  • They can cover the bare soil and prevent weeds from growing.
  • They can add contrast and variety to your landscape with their different shapes and colors.

Some examples of evergreen and grass-like ground cover plants are:

NameDescriptionCare Tips
Heuchera (Heuchera spp.)A plant that has colorful leaves in shades of green, purple, red, or orange. It can add a splash of color to your landscape.Plant it in well-drained soil and water it moderately. Mulch it to keep the soil moist and cool.
Mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonicus)A grass-like plant that has dark green leaves and purple or white flowers in summer. It can form a dense and low-maintenance ground cover that can edge a path or a bed.Plant it in moist but well-drained soil and water it regularly. Divide it every few years to prevent overcrowding.
Ornamental grasses (Various genera)A group of plants that have long and slender leaves and plumes or spikes of flowers. They can add movement and grace to your landscape.Plant them in well-drained soil and water them moderately. Cut them back in late winter or early spring to encourage new growth.

IX. Ground Cover Plants with Rocks

Photo collage of happy, healthy houseplants

If you want to incorporate rocks into your landscape design, then you might want to use ground cover plants with rocks. These plants can grow well among rocks and provide various benefits, such as:

  • They can soften the hard edges of rocks and create a natural and scenic look.
  • They can fill the gaps between rocks and prevent weeds from growing.
  • They can add color and texture to your landscape with their flowers or foliage.

Some examples of rock-friendly ground cover plants are:

NameDescriptionCare Tips
Moss (Various genera)A plant that has no roots, stems, or leaves, but has tiny green structures that can form a soft and velvety carpet. It can grow well on rocks or stones.Plant it in moist and shady areas and water it frequently. Avoid direct sunlight or heat as it can dry out the moss.
Sedum (Sedum spp.)A succulent plant that has fleshy leaves and star-shaped flowers in various colors. It can grow well in sandy or gravelly soil and among rocks.Plant it in well-drained soil and water it occasionally. Avoid overwatering or fertilizing it as it can cause root rot.
Thyme (Thymus spp.)A herbaceous plant that has aromatic leaves and pink or purple flowers in summer. It can form a dense carpet that can withstand foot traffic and add a fresh scent.Plant it in well-drained soil and water it infrequently. Trim it after flowering to keep it neat.

X. Ground Cover Plants with Other Elements

a photo that shows a stunning and impressive landscape with ground cover plants and other elements

If you want to mix and match ground cover plants with other elements, then you might want to use ground cover plants with other elements. These plants can complement and harmonize with other elements and provide various benefits, such as:

  • They can create a diverse and dynamic landscape that can showcase your creativity and personality.
  • They can enhance the visual appeal and functionality of your landscape with different features and functions.
  • They can add interest and variety to your landscape with different shapes, sizes, colors, and textures.

Some examples of elements that can go well with ground cover plants are:

ElementDescriptionExamples
Water featuresAny element that uses water to create a soothing and relaxing effect, such as ponds, fountains, streams, etc.Ajuga, ferns, hosta, etc.
LightingAny element that uses light to create a dramatic and stunning effect, such as lanterns, spotlights, solar lights, etc.Candytuft, phlox, vinca, etc.
StructuresAny element that uses man-made objects to create a functional or decorative effect, such as benches, arbors, trellises, etc.Ivy, sedum, thyme, etc.
Tall plantsAny element that uses plants that are taller than ground cover plants to create a contrast or a backdrop, such as shrubs, trees, flowers, etc.Lily turf, pachysandra, heuchera, etc.

Conclusion

You have just learned how to transform your yard with ground cover plants. You have discovered what ground cover plants are, why they are useful for landscaping, and how to choose and use them for different situations. You have also got 10 amazing ideas on how to use ground cover plants to create a diverse and dynamic landscape that will impress your neighbors and guests.

Now it’s your turn to try some of these ideas or come up with your own. You can use the information and tips from this article as a guide or a inspiration. You can also find more information and ideas on the web or consult a local nursery or landscaper for advice.

Remember, ground cover plants are not only beautiful and beneficial, but also fun and easy to work with. They can help you create a landscape that reflects your style and personality. They can also make your yard more enjoyable and inviting for you and your family.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab some ground cover plants and start transforming your yard today!

About The Author

Samantha
Samantha

I'm Samantha, a plant enthusiast who has been growing plants for years. I believe that plants can make our lives better, both physically and mentally. I started growit.wiki to share my knowledge about how to grow plants. I want to help others enjoy the beauty and benefits of plants.

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