30 Best Low Maintenance Ground Cover Plants for Gardens

30 Best Low Maintenance Ground Cover Plants for Gardens

1

Japanese forest grass

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The beautiful, decorative foliage of this perennial adds splashes of light green, tawny or golden color to shaded areas. It tends to do better in humid areas.

Regions: 5 to 9

Sun exposure: Part to full shade

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2

Heuchera

Best Ground Covers Coral Bells
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Heuchera, also known as coral bells, comes in an array of beautiful colors ranging from lime green to deep burgundy and every shade in between. Some types of these perennials tolerate full shade or partial sun, so read the plant tag or description to be sure of what you're buying.

Regions: 4 to 9

Sun exposure: Part sun to full shade

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3

papyrus

Best Ground Covers for Carex Sedges
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The grass-like leaves of the sedge come in many different colors, including variegated species. Sedge is a good choice for colorful, low-growing perennials that require almost no maintenance.

Regions: 5 to 9

Sun exposure: Part sun to full shade

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4

Colorful Japanese fern

The best Japanese painted fern ground cover
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This beautiful fern makes a stunning ground cover when planted in large quantities. The silver and maroon fronds seem to sparkle in the shadow. Bonus: Deer tend to leave this perennial alone.

Regions: 3 to 8

Sun exposure: Full shade

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5

Pachisandra

The best ground covers are pachysandra
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The low-growing, glossy foliage (with small white flowers) will spread out to cover problem areas, such as under trees. This perennial is also deer resistant.

Regions: 4 to 9

Sun exposure: Part sun to full shade

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6

Lady's cloak

Best floor coverings for lady's abaya
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Lady's mantle, also known as the gimella, has hundreds of delicate golden flowers in spring, but its most charming feature is the way dewdrops and raindrops seem to sparkle on its scalloped leaves. They are amazing when grown in large spaces.

Regions: 3 to 7

Sun exposure: Part to full sun

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7

Lilyturf

Liriope, big blue lily grass, border grass, monkey grass, lily grass, liriope muscari
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It doesn't get any harder than Lilyturf! Also known as liriope, it is a fast-growing evergreen perennial with grass-like leaves and clusters of purple flower spikes. Once established, lilyturf is drought-resistant and can handle full shade and full sun.

Regions: 5 to 10

Sun exposure: Part to full sun or shade

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8

Hens and chicks

The best ground cover for hens and chicks
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Succulents, such as hens or chicks, make a colorful, drought-tolerant ground cover. Also called sempervivum, they are a fun addition to rock gardens or hot, sunny areas of your garden where nothing else wants to bloom. Its fleshy leaves help retain moisture so it rarely needs watering.

Regions: 4 to 8

Sun exposure: Bright sun

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9

Ice factory

The best ground cover plants, trailing snow plants
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Ice plant, also called delosperma, is a succulent plant with bright flowers in a range of bright colors from hot pink to orange with pink centers. This perennial is drought tolerant once established. Make sure you buy delosperma, no Eat sprouts Which is also called ice plant but is actually an invasive species.

Regions: 5 to 10

Sun exposure: Bright sun

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Related: The best easy-to-grow flowers for a gorgeous garden

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10

Creepy Jenny

Best ground covers for trailing snow plant
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The painted foliage of these ground-hugging perennials is absolutely charming. Small, insignificant flowers appear in the spring, but the main reason to plant them is that they are fast growing. It looks great crawling around paths and can handle light foot traffic.

Regions: 3 to 9

Sun exposure: Part to full sun

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11

Lily of the valley

Lily of the valley ground cover plants
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Lily of the valley has small white bell-like flowers and green leaves. This sweet-smelling, ancient perennial spreads easily. Some say it is invasive in gardens. Monitor it by planting it in a place with natural boundaries to stop rampant growth, such as between the sidewalk and the house.

Regions: 3 to 9

Sun exposure: Full shade to part sun

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12

Creeping thyme

The best ground cover is creeping thyme
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Low-growing mats of creeping thyme are covered in small purple or white flowers in late spring, making them a haven for pollinators. This hardy perennial spreads quickly, is very cold tolerant, thrives in poor soil and is drought tolerant once established. Of course, you can also cut the leaves for cooking.

Regions: 3 To 9

Sun exposure: Part to full sun

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13

Creeping juniper

Junipers are ground cover plants
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This type of evergreen comes in a range of shapes and sizes. Junipers are hardy once established, tolerating poor soil and drought conditions. The horizontally spreading branches of creeping juniper form a dense mat that weeds cannot penetrate.

Regions: 3 to 9

Sun exposure: Bright sun

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14

Dead nettle

Red dead nettle ground cover
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Dead nettle, also known as lamium, is a low-growing perennial with silver-strewn leaves and purple, pink, or white flowers that appear in spring and early summer. Although it prefers shade, it tolerates some morning sun.

Regions: 3 to 8

Sun exposure: Part shade or sun

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15

With the brain

Best ajuga ground covers
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The glossy, dark green, bronze, and chocolate brown leaves make this perennial a great low-growing, low-maintenance ground cover. In the summer months, small spikes of blue, purple, pink or white flowers will appear. Ajuga spreads quickly and tolerates shade or sun.

Regions: 4 to 9

Sun exposure: Part sun to full shade

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16

Aronia

Black chokeberry flowers ground cover plants Aronia melanocarpa
Mark Turner

Aronia is a low-growing native shrub that has small white flowers with glossy green leaves. When several are planted together, they form a dense mat that thrives in almost any type of soil. It also features beautiful fall berries and foliage.

Regions: 3 to 9

Sun exposure: Bright sun

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17

It will last

The best ground covers will last
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Low-growing sedum varieties make easy-to-care for ground covers, especially because their fleshy leaves retain enough water to survive during dry periods. While some have small flowers, the main focus is the colorful foliage, which ranges from yellow to bronze.

Regions: 3 to 9

Sun exposure: Full to part sun

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18

Lavender

Best lavender ground covers
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If you've seen lavender fields in Provence, you know that these sweet-smelling perennials with purple or blue flowers look stunning planted en masse. It doesn't like wet feet, so make sure the soil is well-drained. There are many different varieties, so make sure you choose one that can handle the winters in your area.

Regions: 5 to 9

Sun exposure: Bright sun

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19

Epimedium

Best ground cover epimedium
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In early spring, large, fairy-wing-like flowers appear on these hardy perennials. Epimedium, also called bishop's hat because of the shape of its flowers, can tolerate dry conditions once established.

Regions: 4 to 9

Sun exposure: Part sun to part shade

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20

Distillation

Ground Cover Plants Shared Savings
Werner Böllmann

These lesser-known evergreen perennials have attractive little mounds of grassy foliage and small, ball-shaped flowers that appear in late spring to early summer. Saving is cold hardy and extremely difficult!

Regions: 3 to 8

Sun exposure: Part to full sun

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Head shot of Erika Elaine Sanson

Arricca Elin SanSone writes about health and lifestyle topics in the areas of prevention, rural life, women's day and more. She is passionate about gardening, baking, reading, and spending time with the people and dogs she loves.

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Alyssa Gutierre (she/her) is the magazine's associate lifestyle editor Good housekeepingIt covers everything related to home and interior design. Before joining GH in 2022, she wrote for publications including Elle Decor, chair, BobVila.com, Unique Homes Magazine And Housing magazineIn addition to formulating product copy for home brands such as BrylaneHome and VIGO Industries.

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