Plant Category: Ground Cover

Armeria Maritima

Genus: Armeria Maritima

This clumping grass-like ground cover is also known as “sea drift”. It tolerates poor soil including coastal areas. Armeria Maritima does well as an underplanding for shrubs, in rock gardens and as a border. Until blooms appear it looks very much like grass leading some to inadvertently weed it out. The spring blooms appear as puffs on short stalks. The entire plant reaches 7-8 inches in height, half of this before blooming.

Blue Star Creeper

Genus: Isotoma Fluviatilis

This perennial flowering ground cover tolerates moderate foot traffic and can serve as a lawn replacement. It is particularly attractive between paving stones and planted in drifts. Blue star creeper’s delicate blue flowers bloom repeatedly over a long season and are most abundant where sun is ample though the plants tolerate shade. Water needs are modest once established though blue star creeper is not suitable for the most severe dessert locations.

Creeping Juniper

Genus: Juniperus Horizontalis

This evergreen ground cover is also known as “Green Rug” and “Blue Rug”. It is particularly well suited to the mood of a Japanese-style garden. Sites with a slope and areas where the juniper’s trailing habit can be featured are also good uses. Creeping juniper looks best in areas with full sun. Occasional trimming is needed to remove brown areas. Given the juniper’s sharp needles, plant away from locations that where falling overhead leaves or weeds will become a problem.

Creeping Thyme

Genus: Thymus

This low growing fragrant ground cover is related to mint. Creeping thyme works well in borders and interplanted with pavers. It can serve as a lawn replacement in locations with low foot traffic. There are a number of varieties that are characterized by differences in leaf size and flowers. Consistent weeding is needed while individual plants become established as ground cover. Later, very little upkeep is required. The plants are also known as wild thyme.

Dymondia

Genus: Dymondia Margaretae

This evergreen ground cover is sometimes called Silver Carpet or Mini-Gazania. The top of the individual leaves are green while the undersides are silvery in color. In full sun and during periods of drought, the leaves curl to show silver edges. The plant does well in dry areas, grows flat and it can hold up to some foot traffic making it suitable for use as a lawn replacement or in between paving stones. The plants have small unspectacular yellow flowers in early summer.

Gazania

Genus: Gazania Rigens

This very hardy ground cover is available with a wide variety of flower colors. Yellows and oranges are the most common and may remind some of shopping center flowers. In such cases, pink and cream flowers offer a different look. Foliage varies between glossy green to a gray-green with a powdery appearance. Some gazania varieties have a trailing growth pattern while other types grow in clumps.

Ground Morning Glory

Genus: Convolvolus Mauritanicus

This very hardy ground cover is suitable for sun or partial shade. The attractive vibrant blooms appear repeatedly through the season and the small-leafed evergreen foliage retains a neat vibrant green appearance. Propagation can be obtained through cuttings. It can be used as a filler in perennial beds and as a ground cover for more expansive areas. It’s cascading effect make it particularly suitable for rock gardens and hanging pots.

Pink Evening Primrose

Genus: Oenothera Berlandieri

This ground covers grows to a height of about 12 inches. It is suitable for covering moderate expanses and can be effective trailing in pots. The foliage is bright green with touches of bronze. Plants do well in everything but the harshest sun. Some shade can also be tolerated. Expands with underground runners and may take some effort to keep in check. Flowers bloom in the summer.

Trailing Ice Plant

Genus: Delosperma Cooperi

This compact ice plant is also called Cooper’s Ice Plant and Hardy Ice Plant. The profuse bright pink summer blooms carpet the plant. The foliage on the trailing ice plant is also attractive when it is not in bloom. New plants can be propagated with relative ease from cuttings and the plant fills in within a season. In successive years, planted areas can be trimmed back after blooming to prevent a rangy look. Growth that ventures too far is easy to pull out.