Flowering ground cover can transform any dull, boring patch of earth into an easy-care, colorful garden display. This season, we’ll discuss some spectacular flowering ground plants worth incorporating into your landscape.

Perfect Flowering Ground Cover Plant America

From delicate thyme and creeping phlox to tough-as-nails ice plants, these flowering groundcovers require minimal maintenance while filling your yard with cheer. So read on if you’re looking to beautify beds, borders, and blank spaces in an easy, low-fuss way, as we cover some colorful creepers guaranteed to brighten your garden from spring through fall!

Top Flowering Ground Cover Plants To Brighten Your Garden

1. Creeping Phlox

Pink Creeping Phlox Plant America

🏵️Key Points
  • Growing season: Spring, Summer, Fall
  • Leaf shape: Oval, Round
  • Specific needs: Partial shade, Average soil
  • Common pest: Spider mites, Aphids

The small oval leaves emerge in typically loose clusters, forming a dense mat that reaches up to three feet in width. In spring, creeping phlox produces numerous bell-shaped flowers in pink, purple or white tones, drawing in vital bee and butterfly pollinators. The plant flourishes in average garden soil with moderate moisture levels, requiring watering only during prolonged dry spells. 

Occasional maintenance involves weeding around the creeping phlox mats, ideally done by hand to avoid damaging shallow, spreading roots. The plant tends to become crowded over time, making division and relocation of portions of the clump every three to four years a recommended task.

This will rejuvenate the creeping phlox and prevent excessive overlap of overgrown sections. By following these simple care tips, gardeners can enjoy the cheery flowers and thoughtful design contribution of creeping phlox for many seasons.

2. Sweet Woodruff

Sweet Woodruff Ground Cover Plant America

🏵️Key Points
  • Growing season: Spring, Summer
  • Leaf shape: Compound
  • Specific needs: Shade, Well-drained soil
  • Common pest: None

Sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum) is a lovely groundcover plant valued for its shade tolerance, low maintenance needs, and sweetly fragrant flowers. The plant forms a dense mat through its creeping rhizomes that produce upright stems just a few inches tall. The leaves are small and triangular in shape, giving the plant a delicate, finely textured appearance. In early spring, sweet woodruff produces clusters of tiny white flower bells that emit a pleasing vanilla scent.

Sweet woodruff prefers partial to full shade and moist but well-draining soil. It grows best in locations that receive filtered light under trees or the shade of buildings. The plant requires even moisture and appreciates occasional watering during hot, dry spells.     

To maintain a tidy appearance, spent foliage should be removed after the plant finishes flowering each year. This is easily done by cutting the stems down to the ground. New foliage and flowers will then emerge the following spring. Since sweet woodruff spreads via its rhizomes, the mat can be divided every few years to propagate additional plants or control the outer edges. You can also add some more Woodruff companion plants.

3. Blue Periwinkle

Blue Periwinkle Plant America

🏵️Key Points
  • Growing season: Spring, Summer
  • Leaf shape: Lance-shaped
  • Specific needs: Shade, Moist soil
  • Common pest: Spider mites, Leafhoppers

Blue periwinkle (Vinca minor) is an eye-catching evergreen groundcover prized for its year-round foliage, springtime floral display, and ability to outcompete weeds. Its lance-shaped, dark green leaves emerge in dense mats that stretch across the ground, forming an impenetrable layer for the control of unwanted vegetation.

In spring and sporadically through fall, blue periwinkle produces an abundance of vivid violet-blue flowers that stand out against the verdant foliage. Blue periwinkle spreads aggressively through the extension of stolons, or runners, that root wherever they come into contact with the ground, allowing plants to rapidly cover large areas.

This adaptable groundcover thrives in woodland conditions with partial to full shade and moisture-retentive yet well-draining soil. Occasional watering during extended dry spells helps to sustain optimal growth.

To maintain vigorous blue periwinkle plants, gardeners should regularly pull any weeds sprouting through the mat and trim off faded flower stems once blooms finish. Dividing established clumps every few years can also help reinvigorate growth and curb unwanted spread.

4. Bugleweed

Bugleweed s Charming Blooms Plant America

🏵️Key Points
  • Growing season: Spring, Summer, Fall
  • Leaf shape: Lance-shaped, Oval
  • Specific needs: Moist soil, Sunlight, Partial shade
  • Common pest: None

Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans) is an attractive evergreen groundcover noted for its spreading growth habit, moisture-tolerant nature, and extended bloom time. The plant produces lance-shaped leaves that form a dense, dark green carpet covering the ground. In spring through fall, bugleweed sends up numerous leafy stems topped by clusters of tiny violet-blue flowers that stand out attractively against the foliage.      

This ground cover prefers partial shade and constantly moist yet well-draining soil that is rich in organic content. Occasional watering during dry spells ensures optimal growth. Maintenance requirements for bugleweed are minimal beyond regular hand weeding to remove unwanted vegetation sprouting through the dense foliage mat. Established clumps can also be divided every few years to control spread and rejuvenate plant growth.       

The low-growing, spreading form of bugleweed makes it an excellent choice for ground cover in shady locations. Its dense mats are perfect for covering sloped banks and other steeply graded areas where traditional turfgrass struggles to establish. The fine texture of the foliage combined with sporadic blue flowers provides visual interest at or near ground level while requiring little attention from gardeners. 

5. English Ivy

Hanging English Ivy On The Wall Plant America

🏵️Key Points
  • Growing season: Spring, Summer, Fall
  • Leaf shape: Glossy, Round, Oval
  • Specific needs: Shade, Moist, Well-drained soil
  • Common pest: Mealybugs

English ivy (Hedera helix) is a versatile evergreen vine that is commonly used as a groundcover due to its ability to form a dense mat by spreading along the ground. The plant has glossy, dark green round leaves that typically turn shades of bronze in the fall. In late summer or fall, English ivy produces clusters of small yellow flowers that are generally considered undesirable.

English ivy grows well in most soil types as long as it receives even moisture. It especially flourishes in shady conditions under trees or other structures that provide filtered sunlight. The plant tolerates both wet and dry soil but prefers constantly moist conditions.      

Although English ivy can be invasive due to its aggressive spreading habit, it is useful for quickly covering bare ground or banks. Pruning or trimming the vines is sometimes needed to control the spread and shape of the plantings. Periodic division of older clumps is also recommended to keep the ivy vigorous.

6. Moneywort

Moneywort Leaves Plant America

🏵️Key Points
  • Growing season: Spring, Summer
  • Leaf shape: Round, Oblong
  • Specific needs: Part shade, Moist , Well-drained soil
  • Common pest: None

The plant features small, bright green rounded leaves arranged in opposite pairs along slender stems. In summer, moneywort produces cheerful yellow flowers that contrast nicely with the foliage. After flowering, the stems spread outward, rooting where they touch the ground and forming a dense mat.   

Moneywort grows best in partial shade and moist yet well-draining soil. It is drought tolerant once established but appreciates occasional watering during dry spells. Growth can be encouraged by pruning stems back to the ground after flowering, which also helps to maintain a compact habit.

This easy-care groundcover is deer resistant and can handle neglect, making it a good choice for low-maintenance landscapes. The evergreen foliage provides uniform ground cover year-round while suppressing weeds. The yellow flowers and rounded leaves also give moneywort an aesthetic appeal.

7. Lilyturf

Lilyturf Ground Cover Plant America

🏵️Key Points
  • Growing season: Spring, Summer
  • Leaf shape: Long, Narrow, Grass-like
  • Specific needs: Full sun, Average soil
  • Common pest: None

Lilyturf or Lily of the valley bush (Liriope muscari) is an attractive evergreen groundcover prized for its ornamental foliage, fragrant flowers, and ability to thrive in difficult conditions.

The plant forms clumps consisting of slender, grass-like leaves that reach upwards of one to two feet tall. In summer, Lilyturf produces spikes of small, sweetly fragrant white flowers that give rise to dark blue berries after flowering. Liriope muscari spreads extremely slowly through short rhizomes.

Lilyturf prefers full sun and averages to consistently moist, well-draining soil. However, once established it is quite drought tolerant and can even handle dry, infertile conditions. Growth and vigor can be maintained through occasional division. Removing and separating portions of the root clumps every few years, particularly when the center appears crowded, can promote fuller plants and help control spread. 

With its adaptability and dense foliage, Lilyturf makes an ideal ground cover for difficult landscape locations. The grassy texture and summer display of flowers complemented by fall berries provides visual appeal. Lilyturf’s tolerance for heat, drought, and dry conditions makes it suitable for slopes, banks, and other hard-to-grow spots. Minimal maintenance beyond periodic division is usually required after establishment.

8. Vinca Minor

Vinca Minor Blooms Plant America

🏵️Key Points
  • Growing season: Spring, Summer, Fall
  • Leaf shape: Oval, Elliptical
  • Specific needs: Shade, Moist, Well-drained soil
  • Common pest: Spider mites

Vinca minor, or periwinkle, is an effective evergreen groundcover noted for its ability to form an impenetrable mat of foliage and its tolerance of shade. The plant produces oval leaves arranged in pairs along vigorous stems that spread via runnels to cover large areas quickly. In spring and sporadically through fall, periwinkle produces clusters of vibrant blue or purple flowers.   

Vinca minor thrives in shaded areas with partial to full shade and prefers moist yet well-draining soil. The plant spreads rapidly under ideal conditions and can be invasive. Propagation through the division of existing clumps in spring or fall helps to control spread and create additional plants. 

Regular maintenance involves pulling up any competing weeds that attempt to sprout through the dense mat of foliage and cutting back flowering stems each year once blooms fade. This helps stimulate fresh new growth and keeps the plants vigorous. Established clumps may also be divided every few years.

Due to its fast-spreading nature, low requirements, and evergreen foliage, Vinca minor makes a fantastic shade groundcover. The spring and fall floral displays provide ornamental interest that compliments the dense foliage carpet.

Periwinkle establishes quickly and easily, suppressing weeds and adding colorful greenery to shaded landscapes with minimal effort. With some regular maintenance and division, Vinca minor can serve as a long-term evergreen groundcover option beneath trees and shrubs. However, you should avoid overwatering it because it will cause you problems.

9. Thyme

Ground Cover Thyme Plant America

 

🏵️Key Points
  • Growing season: Spring, Summer
  • Leaf shape: Fine, Oval, Lanceolate
  • Specific needs: Full sun, Average, Well-drained soil
  • Common pest: None

Thyme is an aromatic evergreen groundcover prized for its drought tolerance, dense foliage, and culinary uses. The small, creeping stems of thyme root wherever they come into contact with the soil, forming a thick mat of fine textured foliage. In summer, thyme produces spikes of pink to purple flowers that add visual interest.

Thyme spreads rapidly in conditions it prefers, including full sun and well-draining soil. Regular pruning after the blooming cycle has finished helps maintain the plant’s shape and encourages fresh new growth. Hard pruning can also be done in early spring to control the plant’s spread.

Though low growing, thyme can be aggressive and invasive if not managed properly. It is well suited for dry areas like rock gardens, between stepping stones, and in sloped banks where other plants struggle. The dense mat of foliage covers the ground, suppressing weeds and helping prevent erosion. 

With its aromatic foliage, ornamental blooms, and adaptability to poor conditions, thyme makes an attractive drought-tolerant groundcover option. Regular pruning and division are important to maintain a check on thyme’s rapid spreading habit while encouraging a lush appearance. Thyme’s culinary uses add further interest and appeal for gardeners.

10. Sedum

Sedum Tiny Flowers Plant America

🏵️Key Points
  • Growing season: Spring, Fall
  • Leaf shape: Thick, Fleshy, Succulent
  • Specific needs: Full sun, Dry, Well-drained soil
  • Common pest: Aphids

Sedum is a versatile succulent groundcover noted for its drought tolerance, rapid spreading habit, and ornamental appeal. The plant forms mats of thick, fleshy leaves that store water, allowing sedum to thrive with very little moisture once established. In summer, sedum produces clusters of star-shaped flowers in a variety of colors depending on the species.   

Sedum spreads quickly as the stems creep along the ground, the roots forming wherever they come into contact with the soil. Division or trimming of clumps in early spring is recommended to control the spread and produce fuller, bushier growth.  

Sedum prefers hot, sunny conditions and very well-draining soil. The thick succulent leaves allow sedum to withstand long periods of drought once established, making it ideal for difficult locations like walls, slopes, and other dry sites.   

The low, mat-forming habit of sedum combined with its colorful flowers and fleshy leaves make it an attractive groundcover option. Sedum’s extreme drought tolerance and ability to thrive in poor soil conditions contribute to its ease of care. Periodic division and pruning help maintain the plant’s vigor and shape while promoting denser growth.   

11. Ajuga

Ajuga s Blue Tiny Leaves Plant America

🏵️Key Points
  • Growing season: Spring, Fall
  • Leaf shape: Oval, Spade-shaped
  • Specific needs: Shade, Moist, Well-drained soil
  • Common pest: None

Ajuga or bugleweed is an attractive evergreen groundcover appreciated for its adaptability, low maintenance requirements, and ornamental appeal. The plant forms dense mats through creeping stems that root wherever they come into contact with the ground. The succulent spade-shaped leaves provide a lush carpet of foliage. In spring through fall, ajuga produces spikes of small blue or pink flowers that rise above the deep green leaf carpet. 

Ajuga thrives in partial to full shade and prefers moist yet well-draining soil. Division of established clumps every two to three years in spring helps maintain a full ground cover by containing spread and promoting bushier growth.

The combination of dense foliage mats, spilling flowers, and adaptability make ajuga an ideal ground cover for shaded beds, slopes, and containers. Plants require little care beyond the occasional division. The thick succulent leaves allow ajuga to tolerate dry periods once established.

With reliable performance, low demands, and decorative appeal, ajuga makes a valuable addition to shaded gardens. Regular division keeps Ajuga’s spreading habit in check while promoting vigorous growth for years of durable seasonal interest.

12. Pachysandra

Pachysandra Green Leaves Plant America

🏵️Key Points
  • Growing season: Spring, Summer
  • Leaf shape: Oval, Heart-shaped
  • Specific needs: Shade, Moist, Well-drained soil
  • Common pest: None

Pachysandra forms a thick carpet through horizontal stems that root at the nodes. It is also notorious for its aggressive spreading habit that can crowd out other plants. The shiny oval leaves emerge in dense mats that smother weeds. In early spring, inconspicuous yellow-green flowers spikes appear above the foliage but are not showy.                 

This ground cover prefers partial shade and consistently moist yet well-draining soil. Division of established clumps every three to five years in spring helps maintain fullness, control spread, and reinvigorate older plants.

Regular hand weeding is crucial to prevent pachysandra from overcrowding and choking out other favored plants in the landscape. Without proper management, pachysandra can quickly spread to dominate garden beds.

While the dense evergreen foliage and shade tolerance make pachysandra an attractive groundcover option, its invasive nature requires diligent monitoring and division. Pachysandra is best used in contained areas where its spread can be limited. Regular maintenance is important to balance pachysandra’s benefits with its tendency to crowd out other vegetation.

13. Bishop’s Weed

Bishop s Weed Plant America

🏵️Key Points
  • Growing season: Spring, Fall
  • Leaf shape: Twice compound
  • Specific needs: Part shade, Moist, Well-drained soil
  • Common pest: None

Bishop’s weed (Aegopodium podagraria) is a rapidly spreading groundcover plant admired for its ornamental foliage but disliked for its invasive tendencies. The plant forms dense mats through underground stems called rhizomes that produce ascending stems with ferny divided leaves. In summer, small flat-topped clusters of small white or yellow blooms appear.

Bishop’s weed prefers partial to full shade and rich, consistently moist yet well-draining soil. Pruning the foliage back severely after flowering helps control spread and encourages bushier regrowth. Without regular pruning and division, Bishop’s weed can quickly dominate garden beds.

The ferny foliage and rapid growth make Bishop’s weed a suitable ground cover for shaded areas like underneath trees, in crevices in walls, and in large patio containers. However, its invasive nature requires diligent monitoring and division to prevent it from choking out other plants.  

Regular and hard maintenance is needed to balance Bishop’s weed’s benefits with its tendency to crowd out other vegetation. Still, when properly managed, Bishop’s weed’s dense mats of ornamental foliage can provide effective weed suppression and greenery in patios, under trees, and in cracks in walls.

14. Wooly Thyme

Wooly Thyme Plant America

🏵️Key Points
  • Growing season: Spring, Fall
  • Leaf shape: Oval, Oblong
  • Specific needs: Full sun, Dry, Well-drained soil
  • Common pest: None

Wooly thyme is an aromatic evergreen groundcover prized for its drought tolerance, dense foliage, and ornamental appeal. As the common name implies, the tiny leaves of wooly thyme are covered in fine hairs that give the foliage a fuzzy texture. The stems creep along the ground, rooting wherever they come into contact with the soil and forming a thick mat. In summer, wooly thyme is covered in cheerful purplish-pink flowers.      

Wooly thyme prefers hot, sunny conditions and very well-draining soil. Regular pruning after flowering has finished helps maintain the plant’s shape and encourages fresh new growth. Hard pruning in early spring can also be performed to control the spread.   

Though low growing, wooly thyme spreads rapidly, making it well suited for dry areas with poor soil like rock gardens, between stepping stones or pavers, and in sloped banks where other plants struggle. The dense mat of foliage helps suppress weeds and prevent erosion.

With its attractive foliage, colorful blooms, and adaptability to poor conditions, wooly thyme makes an attractive option for low-maintenance, drought-tolerant groundcover. Regular pruning is important to control wooly thyme’s rapid spreading and maintain a neat appearance while encouraging dense growth.   

15. Yellow Globe Allium

Yellow Globe Allium Plant America

🏵️Key Points
  • Growing season: Spring
  • Leaf shape: Tubular, Hollow
  • Specific needs: Full sun, Well-drained soil
  • Common pest: None

Yellow globe allium forms a dense mound of grass-like leaves. In spring, crowded stalks bearing golden yellow spherical flower heads emerge. After blooming, plants go dormant until fall. Allium spreads slowly by underground bulbs. It prefers full sun and well-drained soil.

Cut back foliage after flowering and water sparingly in summer dormancy. Yellow globe allium makes a striking colorful ground cover when in bloom in the spring.

16. Candytuft

Candytuft Beauty In The Garden Plant America

🏵️Key Points
  • Growing season: Spring, Fall
  • Leaf shape: Linear, Filiform
  • Specific needs: Full sun, Dry, Well-drained soil
  • Common pest: None

Small tufts of fine threadlike leaves form a dense mat. In spring through fall, numerous stems bear fragrant red, pink, or white flower clusters. Candytuft quickly spreads via stolons that root where they touch the ground.

This ground cover prefers full sun and extremely well-draining soil. Prune after flowering to maintain a bushy habit and control spread. Candytuft is ideal for rock gardens, between stepping stones, and in sloping banks.

17. Lily of the Valley

Lily Of The Valley Plant America

🏵️Key Points
  • Growing season: Spring
  • Leaf shape: Linear
  • Specific needs: Shade, Moist, Well-drained soil
  • Common pest: Scale insects

Lily of the valley forms dense clumps of slender, dark green leaves. In spring, sweetly fragrant white bell-shaped flowers dangle from arching stems. After blooming, bright red berries form. Lily of the valley spreads slowly via underground rhizomes.

This ground cover prefers partial shade and consistently moist but well-drained soil. Dividing clumps every three to four years in spring helps delicate plants grow and keeps them vigorous. Lily of the Valley makes a lovely ground cover for shady nooks and woodland gardens.

18. Pinks

Pinks Garden Design Plant America

🏵️Key Points
  • Growing season: Spring, Fall
  • Leaf shape: Lance-shaped, Filiform
  • Specific needs: Full sun, Well-drained soil
  • Common pest: None

Pinks produce rosettes of fine grayish-green leaves. Throughout the growing season, cup-shaped red, pink, white, or bicolor flowers emerge on short stalks. Pinks spread by stolons that root where they touch the ground.

This low-growing groundcover prefers full sun and well-draining soil. Prune back after flowering to encourage bushier growth and to keep plants neat. Pinks make an excellent drought-tolerant ground cover for rock gardens, between stepping stones, roof gardens, or on dry banks.

19. Snow-in-summer

Snow White In Summer Plant America

🏵️Key Points
  • Growing season: Spring, Fall
  • Leaf shape: Linear, Filiform
  • Specific needs: Full sun, Well drained soil
  • Common pest: None

Snow-in-summer forms a dense mat of fine gray-green threadlike leaves. Throughout the growing season, creeping stems bear clusters of insignificant flowers followed by puffs of cottony white “seed pods” that resemble fallen snow. This ground cover spreads quickly by stolons rooting at the nodes.

It prefers full sun and sharply drained soil. Prune severely after seed heads form to maintain a compact shape. Snow-in-summer makes an excellent ground cover for rock gardens between paving stones and other dry, sunny areas.

20. Dianthus

Dianthus Flower Ground Plant America

🏵️Key Points
  • Growing season: Spring, Fall
  • Leaf shape: Linear, Threadlike
  • Specific needs: Full sun, Well drained soil
  • Common pest: None

Dianthus spreads slowly via above-ground stems that root where they touch the soil. Fine leaves form a dense mat of foliage. Throughout the season, showy fringed flowers in shades of pink, red, and white emerge.

Dianthus prefers full sun and sharply drained soil. Prune after blooming to maintain shape and size. Due to its tolerance to poor soils, Dianthus makes an excellent ground cover for rock gardens between stepping stones and dry banks.

21. Lamium

Colorful Beauty Lamium Plant America

🏵️Key Points
  • Growing season: Spring to Fall
  • Leaf shape: Heart-shaped
  • Specific needs: Partial, Full shade, Moist, Well-drained soil
  • Common pest: None

Lamium spreads via underground stems to form dense mats of heart-shaped leaves in shades of green, purple, or variegated colorations. Throughout the growing season, pink, purple, or white snapdragon-like flower spikes appear.

Lamium thrives in partial to full shade and moist but well-draining soil. Pruning after bloom encourages fuller growth. Lamium makes a lovely evergreen ground cover for shaded beds, under trees, and around the base of shrubs.

Conclusion

Flowering ground cover plants can really switch up the look in your garden. Here are some of our best picks. 

  • Creeping phlox (Phlox subulata) is a drought-resistant perennial groundcover known for its low maintenance requirements and vibrant springtime flowering display. 
  • Pachysandra, also known as Japanese spurge, is a popular evergreen groundcover plant admired for its dense foliage mats and shade tolerance. 
  • Moneywort (Lysimachia nummularia) is an attractive evergreen trailing groundcover valued for its low maintenance requirements and ability to thrive in a variety of conditions. 

Small beginnings often lead to remarkable endings. With patience, perseverance and a little bit of dirt under your fingernails, there’s no end to what you can cultivate in your own backyard, so get growing!

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