10 ground cover plants for full sun

10 ground cover plants for full sun

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Bigrot Cranspiel

This durable crane beak is a joy to grow. They require little from the gardener but provide beauty and performance all year long.

The large, citrus-scented leaves form a two-foot-wide swollen swath dense enough to suppress weeds. “Bevan’s Diversity” (Large geranium) produces bright purple-purple flowers that attract pollinating bees and butterflies in late spring to early summer.

Once established, its thick, fleshy roots make this zone 4 to 9 plant highly tolerant of perpetual drought. Use it around the base of large shrubs or tall trees, or try planting it en masse to fill large areas of the landscape in full sun or partial shade. You don’t have to worry about deer or rabbit damage with this fragrant perennial with fuzzy leaves. Here are some short perennial flowers for small gardens.

Pink Drift Groundcover Rose Star Roses and Plants Photo courtesy of Star Roses and Plants

Courtesy Star Roses & Plants

Ground cover roses

Ground cover roses are a great way to bring a pop of color to open landscapes and rolling hillsides all summer long. They provide as much flower power as annuals while returning reliably every year in zones 4 to 11.

Most ground cover roses bear single flowers that attract pollinators. They bloom in shades of pink, red, coral, yellow and white. Pictured here is Pink Drift, a disease-resistant, always-thriving variety that grows 18 inches tall and three feet wide.

Roses grow best in an area that receives at least eight hours of sun per day, mostly in the afternoon. Water with drip irrigation if possible to avoid wetting the foliage. If you must use overhead irrigation, do so in the morning to allow enough time for the foliage to dry before sunset.

Aronia Ground Hug Groundcover Confirmed Colorchoice Winners Image courtesy of Confirmed Colorchoice Winners

Courtesy proven Colorchoice winners


Look for low, spreading forms of chokeberry (Aronia) – including Ground Hug, pictured here – to transform dry, sunny borders or slopes into beautiful, easy-to-maintain planters. Although it is deciduous, this shrub grows dense enough to prevent weeds and eliminate the need for mulch. Each plant covers about three square feet.

Clusters of small white flowers attract pollinating bees in the spring, then turn into near-black berries that birds enjoy in late summer. Its shiny green leaves turn brilliant shades of orange, red and purple in fall.

Chokeberry is an adaptable native shrub. In zones 3 to 9, it will grow in almost any soil, whether moist, dry, saline, organically rich or rocky. Tolerates full sun and partial shade.

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