9 Great Low-Growing Flowering Plants!

9 Great Low-Growing Flowering Plants!

sedum groundcover header

Low growers, living mulch, ground cover plants! They’re the finishing touches for your garden, fill bare spots, and are in general landscaping must-haves!

Generally staying under 2 feet tall and growing far wider, ground cover plants and low-growing perennials ramble and spread as they grow! Embodying all the perks and benefits that arborist mulch provides for your garden soil, protecting larger plants’ root systems and adding significant beauty to that boring plain area that exists between or around your other plants.

Types of Groundcover

From the smallest and shortest growing varieties like the popular Vinca (Periwinkle) and a wide variety of creeping Sedum, to the taller varieties that are not just great groundcover, groundcover comes in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes!

There are extremely cold hardy species like Dianthus (Garden Pinks) and extremely heat tolerant Drift® Groundcover Roses that seem to not stop blooming all growing season!. Also fantastic facer plants like the long-blooming Hardy Geraniums and colorful Ajuga! 

Unusual groundcovers can include Barrenworts for the shade and Hens-n-Chicks for dry sunny areas. Lilyturf is great for moist locations or a Rush grass too. While not always the lowest growing, Ferns are always a lush option for shade and moist areas. Ivy is a great groundcover as well but you’ll miss out on flowers. Creeping Thyme is a great carpeting herb that looks wonderful, blooms and has highly aromatic foliage too!

Here are 9 of the best types of Groundcover and low-growing flowering plants for various uses around your garden! 

Weed Blockers

Densely growing and naturally holding back weeds and preventing them from even growing by blocking the sun and preventing seeds from germinating, outcompeting weeds and taking all the nutrients and moisture from them. This stunts or outgrows weeds like the seedlings from trees, other types of lawn weeds and weed grasses that need the sun and moisture to thrive.

  • Sedum like Sunsparkler or Angelina
  • Euonymus like Moonshadow, Emerald Gaiety or Emerald N Gold 
  • Pachysandra (Japanese Spurge)
  • Mints
  • Periwinkle

weed blockers

Facer Plants

Facer plants are smaller, low-growing shrubs or perennials that hide bare leggy stems of larger shrubs or add a fringe of color and leafy barrier around the trunks of trees. These buffers help not only hide those bare stems, but extend the flower display, and add a layer of protection not only over the ground but also around the trunks and stems so that mowers and weed-whackers don't nick and scratch the bark.

  • Coral Bells
  • Cranesbill
  • Catmint
  • Drift Groundcover Roses
  • Liriope Spicata

facer plants

Living Mulch

Acting like Arborist bark chips to reduce evaporation, break up compacted ground with their roots, stops erosion, and adds a polished, professional touch to garden beds and around trees or shrubs, choose plants with fine-textured foliage, naturally spreads and cover large areas without interfering with the root systems and growth of larger perennials and bushes as living mulch. Also known as a cover crop in the vegetable garden or in agriculture, some varieties add nitrogen and nutrients back into the soil!

  • Basket of Gold - Evergreen with yellow blossoms
  • Golden Creeping Jenny
  • Carpet Phlox
  • Wooly Thyme
  • Creeping Red Carpet Sedum

Living mulch

Extended Color & Flowers

Long-lasting blooms add three seasons of color as well as all the benefits of a ground cover. Use around larger perennials or shrubs and extend your season of color and cover bare ground with these self-sustaining and easy-care plants!

  • Drift Roses
  • Blue Plumbago Plant
  • Vinca Major
  • Moonbeam Coreopsis
  • Wood Betony ‘Hummelo’

extended color and flower

Slopes & Hard to Mow Hillsides

Slopes and hills are difficult and even downright dangerous to mow and maintain. YOu also have to compete with erosion and water flowing down the hillside after a downpour. 

  • Crispleaf Stephanandra Lace Shrub
  • Wintercreeper/Euonymous
  • Autumn Amber Sumac
  • Ground Hog™ Aronia
  • Silver Carpet Lambs Ear

slopes and hard to mow hillside

Cold Hardy Living Insulation

Thriving in very cold winters and returning every year, these plants cover the ground throughout the growing season and their fallen leaves blanket the ground all winter and provide a layer of insulation.

  • Basket of Gold
  • Lambs Ears
  • Creeping Thyme
  • Dianthus
  • Dixie Chip Ajuga

cold hardy living insulation

Heat Tolerant Moisture Evaporation Prevention

Bare ground can lead to moisture evaporation and allows the soil to heat up, leading to hot roots that can cause plants in warm climates to go into dormancy in the heat. This also leads to heat stress and even death for young plants.

  • Drift Groundcover Roses
  • Sedum Rubrotinctum
  • Big Blue Liriope (Lilyturf)
  • Rozanne Geranium
  • Bowles Periwinkle

heat tolerant moisture evaporation prevention

Vines as Groundcover

What climbs can also be groundcover too! Just don’t give them something to climb on and you’ll have a rambling, cascading cover over bare ground and slopes in a hurry. This is perfect for large areas where other plants aren’t growing and in areas other plants can’t grow, such as under trees that cast dense shade. They’re also perfect to let sprawl over swaths of land you aren’t ready to landscape yet. Just don’t give them something to climb on, or they will do that instead.

  • Honeysuckle Vines
  • Climbing Hydrangea
  • Clematis - Like Sweet Autumn Clematis
  • Variegated Vinca 
  • Trumpet Creeper

vines as groundcovers

Edging Plants

Easing the transition between lawn and garden, edging and border plants are wonderful finishing touches that add that something special to your landscape! Providing clean lines, color and texture along the front edges of your garden beds, these mounding, clumping and spreading low-growers provide that extra bit of ‘oomph’!

  • Mondo Grass
  • Creeping Thyme
  • Hosta
  • Daylilies
  • Dianthus (Garden Pinks)

edging plants

What is the Best Low-Maintenance Ground Cover? sedum low-maintenance ground cover

Low-growing ornamental grasses and Mondo grasses, Japanese Spurge, Sedum and Periwinkles (Vinca) are very easy to care and low-maintenance. Other options are Lady’s Mantle and I’ve always had incredible luck with Hardy Geranium (Cranesbill) that comes back year after year despite the heat and extreme cold.

What are some Deer Resistant Groundcover? deer resistant groundcover

Deer can be a big issue and planting a buffer between more tasty plants and the deer are sometimes an easy solution. Ajuga, Periwinkle and the thorny branches of Groundcover Roses are great barriers.

What is the Fastest-Growing Ground Cover Plant? fastest-growing

Honeysuckle Vines and Hardy Geranium are very fast-growing, fast coverage groundcovers, gaining incredible length and spread each year. Periwinkle and Trumpet Vines are incredibly fast growers too but sometimes can get into a bit of trouble when not given the attention they need. Don’t worry though, Nature Hills uses Plant Sentry™ to ensure our products get shipped into areas where they won’t become a problem for you, or your environment.

Happy Planting!

No one likes a bald or bare patch, and in drought-prone areas and hot sunny locations, it can be detrimental! So cover that bare ground and add a finishing touch to your garden beds with some great, low-maintenance groundcover and low-growing flowering plants! 

Nature Hills has an enormous selection of low growers, both flowering and evergreen, plus a wide variety of groundcover shrubs and perennials for you to choose from! We’re here to help you make the most of your landscape!

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