Succulents as ground cover


How to Choose your Groundcovers

Many perennials and bulbs ‘cover’ the ground effectively and are often included in this plant category, but, for this article, we focus on plants that typically grow close to the soil surface but can range in size from 10 cm to around 30 cm. They differ widely in foliage colour, texture, density, woodiness of stem, succulent or grassy characteristics, and so their effect, both aesthetic and environmental, varies too. And, while we so often choose plants for their attractive flowers – and why not – our focus here is, function; what does this plant need to do? Then match it to a plant’s ability to cope with the sun, wind exposure, soil type, aspect and gradient, drought and wet conditions.

For example:

  • Rocky slopes where lawn maintenance is tricky: Choose plants that need little management, spread quickly, have strong roots that will withstand the pressure of moving water and wind, are evergreen, and long-lived.

  • Between pavers: Clumping or non-vigorous species able to cope with the reflective heat off pavers, and perhaps take some light foot traffic.

  • As a no-mow lawn: Evergreen, mat-forming, plants that don’t die off from the centre, take foot traffic and trimming.

  • Beneath trees: Plants for shade and dry soils if beneath dense, evergreen canopies.

  • Between shrubs: Takes some shade, won’t compete too much with the shrub for water and nutrients and is happy to spread across the ground rather than using other plants as a jungle gym.

  • To edge a flower bed: Not too vigorous, and won’t clamber into shrubs or smother perennials.

  • On seasonally/ periodically wet ground: Choose groundcovers that cope with damp and dry conditions, preferably evergreen to prevent soil erosion, compaction and cracking in the dry season.

  • As living mulch: Dense, mat-forming leaf growth, spreads quickly, and is evergreen.

  • To prevent soil erosion: Plant with strong roots, grows readily on sloping ground, has dense, mat-forming foliage and stems that spread quickly, is evergreen, handles high winds and heavy rains.

Their variety and problem-solving versatility provide gardeners with a plant for almost every situation. But take note; while the majority are low-maintenance, they are not no-maintenance. That said correct choice reduces the management required.

Space plants according to their rate of growth and how rapidly you want to cover the soil. Consider water availability (drought conditions and water restrictions) and size of the area which affects your budget. Highly visible beds – entrance, entertainment area – may need fast cover, as will areas prone to erosion, like banks, or expansive newly landscaped beds. That said you could establish large areas gradually to limit water use and plant costs and cover the balance of the ground with thick mulch that is easily removed when you’re ready to plant again. Plus, this organic cover will provide you with crumbly, healthy soils for the new plants. Planting in staggered rows covers ground more rapidly, plus helps to reduce erosion on slopes.

Another cost-saving measure is to use cuttings of succulent groundcovers and plant them close together to ensure rapid cover. Firm around the stems to provide good soil-root contact. If planting many, water small groups as you go to prevent them drying out. Make use of cuttings only in your regions rain season as they will need regular watering for the first few weeks. High heat also affects cuttings and landscapers tend not to plant them in January and February.

Watering: It is difficult to find the balance between too much and too little water during the establishment phase; too much and plants may not establish a deep-spreading root system. Too little, on the other hand, encourages shallow rooting resulting in plants that dry out rapidly and drought-prone. So, how much is enough? Keep a watch on your regions weather report and try to establish plants just before rain is due. They will still require water as you plant out, around 2 – 3 cm of water per plant to moisten the entire root zone for the average plant. Add a thick mulch layer to prevent water evaporation.

Mulch depth: A mulch layer 5 – 8 cm deep is enough to block light and suppress weed germination, and prevent soil-borne diseases spreading onto plants from rain splash. Too thick a layer – over 10 cm – limits or blocks oxygen from getting to plant roots. This anaerobic environment suffocates roots causing root rot. Symptoms can include; yellow foliage, lack of growth, dieback, and small leaves.

Control weeds that will compete for water, nutrients and sunlight. Weeds can also suppress strong growth preventing a dense mat-forming.

Trimming and deadheading:

Pruning, or trimming, help stimulate growth by causing new buds to grow from the base or along the plant stem. Annual trimming slows the development of woody growth and keeps them attractive. Cutting back can induce repeat flowering in some species like Dianthus. Cut off infected foliage immediately.

Stonecrop Sedums for Cold Hardy Succulent Gardens

If you’re looking for a great succulent to fill the tricky areas in your yard that can survive the frosts of winter, you’ll definitely want to get some Stonecrop Sedums!

I’ve discovered that many of you, like me, live in areas where succulents will not survive outdoors. I’ve spent a great deal of time and effort cultivating succulents indoors. However, this summer, my goal was to focus on succulents that I can keep outdoors year round in my Zone 5 climate.

A few weeks ago I went to the Hidden Garden Tour in my area. I discovered some really fun ways people are using succulents, especially Stonecrop Sedums, in their year round gardens and landscaping and want to share them with you! I think you’ll find that succulents can be extremely versatile in most environments as long as you select the right varieties.

One of the first homes on the tour was an incredible cabin in the mountains. The landscaping was beautiful. As I walked down stone steps I noticed the edges were lined with these Sedum kamtschaticum. I love how lush it makes the area surrounding the steps look. These are very drought tolerant succulents and can survive a variety of temperatures.

Sedums planted in rocks were pretty common on the garden tour. These Sedum spurium had filled in a large gap between these rocks.

I love the way this mix of Sedums looked between this cement seating area and the wood wall behind it. Are you catching the trend here? Sedums can grow in just about any nook and cranny and they do really well.

One of my favorite gardens was filled with fun succulent creations. They were everywhere! One of my favorites was this old adding machine with Sedums and Sempervivums in it. I may be a bit biased, but it seems that succulents can make anything look better.

I thought this table centerpiece filled with succulents was awesome! The outdoor seating area itself was beautiful and the succulents added a nice touch of green to the display.

Sedums will also do well in containers! I love this Sedum spurium in this pot. It’s so simple but really adds a lot of interested to the table.

I’m really starting to love Sedums. There are so many varieties so you’ll find plenty of options to choose from in various colors. I’ve create a list of some of my favorites on Etsy. So, if you’re feeling inspired to try some Stonecrop Sedums in your garden take a look and pick out your favorite!

I also highly recommend you look for gardening events or garden tours in your area. It’s a great way to see how other people are using plants that are native to your area or grow well in your area. I came away from this garden tour feeling very inspired to try some new things in my container gardens and in my parents garden 🙂 Fortunately they are willing to let me take over a few places in their yard.

I’d love to know if you’ve used Stonecrop sedems in your yard or garden! Feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email. If you’ve been inspired my any of the photos please share them on you favorite social media as well!

Ground Cover Plants

Best Lowing Growing Perennial Groundcovers

Ground cover plants play a pivotal role in your landscaping; not only do they prevent erosion of the soil, and soften the hardscaped parts of your garden, they are also very beautiful. A flowering groundcover will attract bees and butterflies, to feast on the pollen and nectar.

Ground covers that are also perennial add value to your garden in many ways; you won’t need to replant these every year, and each season they get more established. If they outgrow their space, just pull a few out to put in other areas, or start your own backyard nursery.

Some of my all time favorite flowers for bees and butterflies are Sedum, that old standby in the cottage garden.

Also called Stonecrop, this wide and diverse genus contains some of the nicest and toughest little low growing perennials for a low maintenance garden.

Here are some I have a soft spot for:

Sedum spurium varieties, such as S. s. ‘Dragons Blood’, ‘Fuldaglut’ and ‘Voodoo’ – all lovely dark burgundy in color even out of bloom, and then topped with brilliant pink star shaped flowers through July and August.

Some of the other Sedum spurium types have white or pink flowers, like S. s. album ‘Superbum’, seen here with a wild bee.

Sedum is a great fast growing ground cover, as well as a plant for bees.

Sedum pluricaule, S. niveum, S. sexangulare and S. reflexum ‘Angelina’ are all robust in growth but never aggressive.

They all form a compact, low growing clump to plant in groups or a tapestry of many kinds together, or combine perfectly in a mixed container.
See this page for some more of my favorite Sedum for groundcovers.

Other low growing perennials that make perfect ground cover plants are some of my favorite little Sempervivum, the hens and chickens.

The cobwebs or arachnoideum are so small and compact, and tend to make a tightly clustered colony. They’re grown mostly for their great texture, and ever changing colors. As one of the most easy to grow perennial plants, you can’t go wrong with these little guys.

Don’t ignore the larger forms of Sempervivum, from a wide array of genera such as tectorum and others. These are so diverse in color and texture and growth habit, but many will form a great ground cover by the way they produce chicks at the end of stolons. In time, they can make a large colony; these are sun loving plants and prefer droughty, well drained soil.

Have a look at the Sempervivum Picture Gallery to get an idea of how many different kinds there are.

Similar to the Sempervivum, Jovibarba are a much neglected genus, and one which deserves wider use. These look similar, and in fact they are closely related. Succulent low growing perennials like these are a mainstay in my xeric garden.

I have become quite attached to these plants for in the rock garden, succulent crafts such as topiary, and for mass planting as ground covers.

These are just a few of the best low growing ground covers. Thyme is renowned as a lawn substitute, and there are many other drought tolerant plants that make excellent groundcovers. See this page for more recommended groundcovers for xeriscaping – choose wisely, don’t make the same mistakes that I have.

The topic of a succulent ground cover is an interesting one.

If you’ve been thinking of using succulents as a water-saving, easy-care groundcover, you’re in good company.

These versatile plants are an excellent choice for many uses in your home, yard, and garden, so why not try them as a water-saving lawn and landscape alternative?

There are many types of succulents available for use in the landscape.

However, some succulents are better for use as a ground cover than others.

In this article, we will introduce you to a wide variety of choices and succulents making excellent ground covers. Read on to learn more.

Stonecrop or Sedum

These evergreen perennial succulents make an excellent groundcover because they are low growing and tend to sprawl and spread enthusiastically.

There are many different types of Sedum plants to choose from, and they can all do quite well in a wide variety of light settings.

Generally speaking, sedum prefers full sun, but you do have some wiggle room with some types.

There is also some variation in their temperature tolerance.

Some types of Stonecrop are very frost hardy and can live in the northernmost settings in the United States.

Other types are better suited to more temperate zones.

Some of the best choices in sedum groundcovers include:

Sedum Spurium Or Red Carpet

Sedum spurium or Red Carpet is also known as Caucasian Stonecrop or Dragon’s Blood Stonecrop.

This native of Eastern Europe is one of the cold-hardy varieties, and its leaves turn a beautiful shade of burgundy or reddish-purple with the changing of the seasons.

It can tolerate both extreme heat and extreme cold, and it is cold hardy down to USDA hardiness zone 3.

Even after extreme winters with temperatures as low as -40° degrees Fahrenheit (-40° C), this rugged plant will return.

Throughout the growing season, this pretty groundcover is blanketed with pink, star-shaped flowers which are quite attractive to pollinators.

Caucasian Stonecrop attains a height of no more than 6” inches and may attain a spread as wide as 2’ feet.

Sedum Reflexum Blue Stonecrop or Jenny Stonecrop

Sedum reflexum Blue Stonecrop is also called Jenny Stonecrop or Blue Spruce.

The foliage is bluish-green and transitions to attractive shades of yellow and pink in the cooler months.

Full sunlight will also cause this transition. These low growing succulents attain a height of no more than 5” inches.

They are good companions for Red Carpet because they, too, are quite frost hardy.

Sedum Japonicum Or Tokyo Sun

Sedum Japonicum or Tokyo Sun is a lime green variety of sedum only growing to be about 3” inches high.

This attractive, eye-catching sedum is best suited for more temperate climates as it is not particularly cold hardy and cannot tolerate very extreme winters.


Hen & Chicks is a common name for Sempervivum of all sorts.

These plants propagate themselves easily and enthusiastically by sending out miniatures of themselves all around, hence the common name, Hen & Chicks.

These hardy, easy-care plants do their very best in full sunlight but can tolerate some shade.

There are many different types of sempervivum in a wide variety of colors, sizes, and shapes.

All of them are very good as groundcovers. Some Sempervivums exceling as ground covers are:

Sempervivum Arachnoideum Cobweb Hen & Chicks

Sempervivum arachnoideum Cobweb Hen & Chicks are easy to recognize because it is covered by fine white hairs which look like cobweb covering the entire plant.

The rosettes of this attractive plant change colors as winter approaches and become a very pretty shade of burgundy.

This sempervivum can tolerate very high and very low temperatures and thrives in full sunlight.

Sempervivum Moss Rose

Sempervivum Moss Rose has very pale green leaves edged by a little bit of magenta.

This sempervivum also has very small, fine soft hairs along the leaf edges.

Moss Rose grows to be about 6” inches high, and each plant may spread as far as a foot.

This is a frost hardy succulent which likes to be planted in very bright light or full sun.

Sempervivum Calcareum Or Fire Dragon

Sempervivum Calcareum or Fire Dragon has very good looking bluish-green rosettes with deep burgundy tips.

This succulent is a little bit taller and typically grows to be about 4” – 6” inches high.

Fire Dragon likes to be planted in full sun and is frost tolerant.


Agave plants are a genus of desert plants coming in a wide variety of sizes and colors. All grow in a distinctive rosette shape and have very pointed leaves.

Some desert species can grow to be 10’ feet high and are a bit of a threat to be around.

Many dwarf species are small, easily managed, and make good ground covers.

Care of agaves varies depending upon the climate and condition in which the plant originated.

Good groundcover agaves include:

Agave Parryi Or Parry’s Agave

Agave parryi or Parry’s agave makes a very interesting groundcover, especially for a xeriscaped yard.

This native of Mexico and the American Southwest is an excellent choice as a groundcover in a desert yard.

It does very well planted in full sun and is extremely tolerant of intense heat.

Even so, it is also quite cold tolerant and can survive temperatures as low as -20° degrees Fahrenheit (-29° C).

Parry’s agave grows to be about a foot high and may spread as wide as 3’ feet.

Blue Glow Agave

Agave Blue Glow is a small type of agave forming a solitary rosette.

This attractive garden plant likes to be placed in full sunlight and is tolerant of frost.

The bluish-green leaves are quite wide and have attractive red margins.

These plants can grow to be 2’ feet high and may spread as far as 3’ feet.

In a large area without any foot traffic or with paths cut through, they can make an interesting groundcover.

Alternately, a blue glow agave makes a nice specimen plant amidst smaller groundcover succulents.

Agave Victoriae-Reginae or Queen Victoria Agave

Agave Victoriae-Reginae is a more compact plant with an interesting green, geometrical rosettes marked in white.

The slow-growing agave only attains a height of about 1’ foot and may spread as far as 2’ feet.

They do well in full sun and cannot tolerate harsh winters.

Mild frost is tolerable.

Agave Titanota or Rancho Tambor Agave

Agave Titanota or Rancho Tambor Agave has a solitary growth habit, so it is ideal as a specimen plant.

It does not produce pups aggressively.

This attractive agave has wide bluish-green/silvery leaves with serrated edges.

This plant is tall and slim, growing to a height of about 2’ feet but a width of only about 6” inches.

Plant this attractive agave in full sunlight, but shelter it from frost.


We are all familiar with Aloe Vera plant, which makes a nice house plant in most North American climates.

There are also many outdoor aloes which are dwarves of an abundant species of tree-like plants growing to be as tall as 30’ feet.

The smaller Aloe species do well both as container plants and in the landscape, planted in full sunlight.

Smaller species tend to be less frost tolerant than larger species.

Good groundcover Aloes include:

Aloe Cameronii or Red Aloe

Aloe Cameronii or Red Aloe hails from Zimbabwe and Malawi.

This plant grows to be about 1’ – 2’ feet high and can spread as far as 4’ feet.

The leaves are pale green when kept in a shaded location with ample water.

If kept in a sunny location and given less water, the leaves turn an attractive shade of coppery red.

In full sunlight, this Aloe will stay red year-round.

The plant is quite cold hardy and can tolerate temperatures as low as 20° degrees Fahrenheit (-7° C).

Aloe Nobilis or Gold Tooth Aloe

Aloe Nobilis or Gold Tooth Aloe is a South African native.

It grows in an attractive, compact rosette shape and produces beautiful blossoms during the growing season.

The serrated leaves are lime green with white edges.

Although this white edging looks a bit dangerous, it is quite soft and harmless.

Given a full sun setting or a very hot ambient temperature, the leaves change color and become an attractive shade of orangish-red.

Gold tooth Aloe tolerates both very high and very low temperatures and is cold hardy down to 20° degrees Fahrenheit (-7° C).

Aloe Humilis or Spider Aloe

Aloe Humilis or Spider Aloe is a remarkably hardy member of this family.

Hailing from South Africa, this plant has very pale, bluish-green leaves edged with white serration.

The plant grows in low, compact clusters spreading as far as a foot.

Spider Aloe is an extremely carefree succulent which does well when left pretty much to its own devices.


These succulents are available in many sizes, shapes, and colors.

They grow well in extremely harsh growing environments and thrive when left on their own as a groundcover.

Here are some of the best choices in Crassula plants as groundcovers:

Crassula Muscosa Or Lizard’s Tail

Crassula muscosa or Watch Chain plant is a South African native sometimes called Lizard’s Tail.

This plant has a branching and creeping growth habit and may reach a height of one foot.

It produces very small yellow blooms during the growing season.

The small leaves are pale green and grow very close together in a chainlike or scale pattern.

They are tolerant of both heat and cold, prefer a full sun setting yet can withstand winter temperatures as low as 20° degrees Fahrenheit (-7° C).

Crassula Capitella or Red Pagoda

Crassula Capitella or Red Pagoda is sometimes called Campfire Crassula or Crassula Erosula.

The growth habit of this Crassula is very similar to Lizards Tail, but the plant only grows to be about 5” inches high.

The leaves of this plant are quite long and are an attractive shade of lime green when the plant is kept in a shaded or partial shade setting.

More sunlight or exposure to cold temperatures cause the foliage to transition to a reddish-purple color.

Red Pagoda is cold hardy down to 20° degrees Fahrenheit (-7° C).

Crassula Multicava or Fairy Crassula

Crassula Multicava or Fairy Crassula is an excellent, Evergreen groundcover producing a very thick carpet of glossy foliage in various shades of green.

Flowers are star-shaped, pink and quite small.

Fairy Crassula does well in all lighting conditions ranging from shade to all-day sunlight.

This drought-resistant, hardy little plant tolerates both high and low temperatures and is cold hardy to 20° degrees Fahrenheit (-7° C).


There are more than 2000 different Euphorbia species within the genus which is also known as “spurge”.

These rugged plants adapt well to a wide variety of settings.

They are intriguing plants which are unusually attractive; however, they are also a bit hostile as all of them are just filled with toxic sap, and many bristles with dangerous thorns.

Even so, if you have a remote setting and do not have kids or pets, Euphorbia may be the succulent ground cover for you.

Some Euphorbias suitable as ground covers are:

Euphorbia Myrsinites Or Donkey Tail Spurge

Euphorbia myrsinites or Donkey Tail Spurge is a succulent, perennial evergreen with a sprawling and trailing growth habit.

The attractive leaves are bluish-green and grow in a spiral formation along the stems.

This plant adds lots of texture and interest to any garden and does well as a groundcover or as a container plant.

During the growing season, Donkey Tail Spurge produces pretty yellowish-green flowers transitioning to an attractive shade of red with maturity.

This drought and cold resistant plant likes to be positioned in a full sun setting and is cold hardy down to USDA hardiness zone 4.

Euphorbia Milii Or Crown Of Thorns

Euphorbia Milii or Crown of Thorns hails from Madagascar but has adapted quite well to many different growing environments.

This plant makes a good house plant, container plant, bedding plant or rather threatening groundcover.

It can grow to be 2’ – 3’ feet high, and as the name implies, it is covered with thorns about half an inch long.

The plant is adaptable to all lighting conditions, but it is not cold hardy.

It can thrive outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 9 through 11 year-round.

Otherwise, it must be kept as a houseplant, covered or moved indoors during cold weather.

Euphorbia Rigida Or Upright Myrtle Spurge

Euphorbia Rigida or Upright Myrtle Spurge is also known as Silver Spurge.

This blue-gray, perennial evergreen hails from the Mediterranean.

Like Donkey Tail Spurge, its leaves grow in an interesting spiral fashion around the long stems.

Leaves transition from bluish-gray to brownish red during the autumn months.

During spring and summer, pretty, pale greenish-yellow flowers emerge above the leaves.

These plants can grow to be 1’ – 2’ feet high and make a nice low growing shrub or groundcover.

They grow best in full sun and are winter hardy down to USDA hardiness zone 7.

Euphorbia Rainier Or Resin Spurge

Euphorbia rainier or Resin spurge is a native of Africa which looks rather like a columnar cactus.

The thick stems are light green and square-shaped with brown spines along the stems’ sides.

These perennial plants are extremely drought tolerant and do well in a desert setting in full sun.

They can tolerate extremes in both high and low temperatures and are winter hardy to 20° degrees Fahrenheit (-7° C).

Plants attain a height of no more than 3’ feet and may spread to 5’ feet.

Euphorbia Antisyphilitica Or Candelilla

Euphorbia antisyphilitica or Candelilla is a slow-growing Euphorbia spreading by sending shoots and stems out along the edges of the plant.

It has an upright growth habit and adds a great deal of interest to your yard and garden with its waxy stems adorned by very small, pale pink flowers on the upper halves of the stems.

Interestingly, the plants’ leaves are so small as to be unnoticeable and are dropped almost as soon as they appear.

This drought-tolerant plant is a native of Mexico and Southwest Texas.

It grows to be 1’ – 2’ feet high and may spread as wide as 3’ feet.

The plant likes full sun or bright light and is cold tolerant to 10° degrees Fahrenheit (-12° C).

Miscellaneous Flowering Succulent Groundcovers

Carpobrotus, Drosanthemum, Malephora, are all commonly called Ice Plant and can generally be described as pretty, trailing succulents with grayish-green, fleshy leaves.

These plants produce abundant daisy-like blooms in shades of red, yellow, and orange throughout the springtime and the summer.

This plant is an excellent choice as a groundcover for sunny slopes, and it is often used alongside highways in the warmer parts of the United States.

This drought-resistant plant likes full sun, tolerates extreme heat and is also quite cold tolerant.

Although it may freeze back during extreme winters, it typically returns cheerily in the springtime even in USDA hardiness zone 3.

Drosanthemum Speciosum or Royal Dewflower

Drosanthemum speciosum or Royal Dewflower is a South African native producing a dense groundcover 6” – 12” inches high.

The leaves are narrow and grayish-green, and the flowers are abundant and eye-catching in shades of red, purple, and pink.

This ice plant ground cover spreads and propagates enthusiastically as it takes root anywhere the leaves or stems come in contact with the soil.

Royal Dewflower likes full sun to partial shade setting and is tolerant of a wide range of temperatures from extreme heat to extreme cold.

It can tolerate temperatures as low as 20° degrees Fahrenheit (-7° C).

The Rosea ice plant (Drosanthemum floribundum) is another low-growing Drosanthemum suitable as a succulent ground cover.

Senecio Serpens or Bluechalk Sticks

Senecio serpens or Bluechalk sticks is a South African native with a spreading, low growing growth habit.

It’s long, and chalk stick-shaped leaves are an attractive shade of silvery blue-green.

This drought-tolerant plant does well in extreme heat and bright sunlight, but it cannot tolerate cold.

It is winter hardy in USDA hardiness zones down to 9.

Calandrinia Spectabilis Or Rock Purslane

Calandrinia spectabilis or Rock Purslane has a mounding growth habit and may grow to be a foot high and 3’ feet wide.

Its grayish-green leaves grow in dense clumps, and the plant produces pretty magenta flowers throughout its growing season, which lasts from early in the springtime until deep into the autumn.

Short-lived blossoms appear in rapid succession with old ones taking the place of new ones every day.

Deadheading is unnecessary.

This native of Chile is tolerant of heat and likes full sun but is not at all frost tolerant and does best in hardiness zones no lower than USDA zone 9.

Use Succulent Ground Cover Plants To Create A Water Saving Lawn Alternative

All of the succulents included in this guide make good groundcovers on their own or in combination as they are all quite tough and able to withstand a wide variety of growing conditions.

Choose to cover your entire yard or garden with one type or mix-and-match for an interesting, easy-care lawn alternative.

Choose from any of the interesting choices listed here, secure in the knowledge as long as you provide high quality, well-draining soil the right ambient temperature, plenty of sun and supplementary water as needed you’ll be able to enjoy a beautiful, interesting groundcover which is far less labor and resource-intensive than grass.

Succulents also make excellent groundcovers in desert settings.

Perennial Groundcovers

Perennial Groundcovers for SUN

Baby’s Breath, Creeping Types (Gypsophila repens)

Height: 4”

Spread: 8”-10”

Bloom Color: White or pink baby’s breath blossoms.

Season of Bloom: Summer

Other Notes: MUST be planted in well drained soil. Drought Tolerant. Dislikes wet feet in the winter—so plant in a full sun location where snow tends to melt off quickly.

Alba (white)

Bellflower, Carpathian/Groundcover Types (Campanula) –

Dickson’s Gold

Height: 6-12″

Spread: 18″-20″

Bloom Color: Profuse white, lavender or purple

Season of Bloom: Late spring into early summer (and longer if you shear/deadhead blooms)

Other Notes: Neat, mounding habit. Does well in well-drained, consistently moist soil.

Deep Clips Blue
Rapido Blue

Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia)

Height: 1″-3″

Spread: 2′-6’—can be an aggressive spreader

Bloom Color: Yellow

Season of Bloom: Summer

Other Notes: Grown for foliage which hugs the ground in a dense mat. Plant shade, bright shade, or sun.


Creeping Mazus (Mazus reptans)

Height: 1-2″

Spread: 12″

Bloom Color: White or lavender

Season of Bloom: Spring

Other Notes: This dainty little groundcover will grow in both shade and sun. It can take moderate foot traffic (as between a flagstone pathway). Pretty in fronts of beds or borders too. Blooms cover the plant in late Spring. The bright green foliage forms a dense mat.


Creeping Phlox (Phlox subulata)

Candy Stripe Drummond’s Pink

Height: 4″-6″

Spread: 12″-24″

Bloom Color: White, pinks, blue, lavender

Season of Bloom: Spring

Other Notes: Forms a dense mat of color in spring. Foliage tends to brown out later in the season.

Emerald BluePurple Beauty

Candy Stripe
Crimson Beauty
Drummond’s Pink
Emerald Blue
North Hills
Purple Beauty
Red Wing

*Note: Best availability for this perennial is in Spring. We often sell out by summer.

Evening Primrose (Oenothera)

Pink Primrose

Height: 8”-12”

Spread: 18”-24”

Bloom Color: Large profuse yellow or pink cups followed by interesting seed pods. Blooms close during the heat of the day.

Season of Bloom: Summer

Other Notes: Nice deep green leaves. Drought tolerant. Self sows and can be invasive especially in sandy soils. However this quality makes it a great plant for difficult areas such as sunny slopes.

Missouri Yellow (Oenothera missourenis) AKA (Ozark Sundrops)
Twilight Pink (Oenothera berlandieri)

Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum)

Sunset Traditional in Cool Weather

Height: 2″-6″

Spread: 6″-18″

Bloom Color: Star-shaped flowers form on upright stalks from the mother ‘hen’

Season of Bloom: Summer

Other Notes: Succulent rosette shaped groundcover. Drought tolerant. Spreads by ‘chicks’ from the mother ‘hen.’ Does well planted between stepping stones. An easy-care perennial to plant in containers.


Chocolate Kiss
Cinnamon Starburst
Cosmic Candy
Pacific Blue Ice


Ice Plant (Delosperma)

Firespinner Photo Courtesy Plant Select

Height: 2″-4″

Spread: 12″-24″

Bloom Color: Showy, profuse flowers in yellow, pink, purple, or peach.

Season of Bloom: Summer

Other Notes: Succulent plants that must be planted in soil with excellent drainage. Not for clay.

Firespinner Photo Courtesy Plant Select

Cooperi: Bright pink
Yellow (D. nubigerum): one of the hardiest with dainty yellow blooms

Colorado Plant Select Iceplant:
Alan’s Apricot (D. ‘Alan’s Apricot’): peachy pink flowers
Fire Spinner: vibrant flowers with orange outer edge and magenta/purple ringed inner ‘eye’
Granita Orange: orange flowers with yellow centers
Granita Raspberry: Magenta flowers
Lavender Ice (D. ‘Psfave): pastel lavender flowers
Mesa Verde: light salmon/pink flowers
Red Mountain Flame: Red flowers
Table Mountain (D. cooperi ‘John Proffit’): magenta flowers

Lavender Ice Photo Courtesy Plant Select Mesa Verde Photo Courtesy Plant Select Red Mountain Photo Courtesy Plant Select

Lamb’s Ear (Stachys)

Height: Foliage 6″ Flowers 15″

Spread: Yes! 12″+

Bloom Color: Small lavender flowers on fuzzy silver stems.

Season of Bloom: Summer

Other Notes: Fuzzy pale gray foliage. Very soft. Wonderful for children’s gardens. But! A word of caution—this plant travels! Keep it deadheaded so that it does not self sow or it will take over an area.

Mount Atlas Daisy (Anacyclus)

Height: 4″

Spread: 12″

Bloom Color: White daisy-like blooms

Season of Bloom: Late Spring to Summer

Other Notes: Ferny, mat-forming foliage. Short-lived but re-seeds easily.

Ornamental Strawberry (Fragaria x anannasa)

Height: 6″

Spread: up to 36″

Bloom Color: Bright pink

Season of Bloom: Late Spring to Fall. Long bloom time!

Other Notes: Forms a dense mat of green foliage. Older beds produce small strawberries but the plant is primarily grown for ornamental use. For fruit production, plant a traditional strawberry plant.


Partridge Feathers (Tanecetum densum)

Height: 3″-5″”

Spread: 15″-24″

Bloom Color: Yellow

Season of Bloom: Summer

Other Notes: Drought tolerant. Likes sun and a hot spot. Striking silver leaves are great for contrast. A Colorado Plant Select perennial.

Poppy Mallow / Winecups (Callirhoe involucrata)

Photo Courtesy Plant Select

Height: 4”-6”

Spread: 12”-36”

Bloom Color: Magenta

Season of Bloom: Late Spring to Summer with potential to bloom most of the summer

Other Notes: A Colorado Plant Select perennial. Sun to Part Sun. Note: do not plant next to grass, it will intermingle. A Plant Select plant.

Rockcress, Alpine (Arabis)

Variety: Red Sensation (A. blepharophylla)

Height: 6″

Spread: 18″

Bloom Color: Pink

Season of Bloom: Spring

Other Notes: Abundant, fragrant flowers and attractive foliage make this a wonderful small-scale ground cover. Attractive cascading over stones or as edging near the front of the garden. Shear after blooming to encourage new growth and a neat appearance. Zone 4.

Sedum / Stonecrop Low Growing Types (Sedum)

Angelina Blue Spruce

Height: 2″-6″

Spread: 6″-24″

Bloom Color: Starry flowers in shades of pink, white, or yellow.

Season of Bloom: Summer

Other Notes: Succulent foliage is very drought tolerant. Sunny, hot, dry—it can take it.

Angelina (S. rupestre): BRIGHT yellow foliage tinges red/orange in fall.
Blue Spruce (S. reflexum): Unique gray-green foliage shaped like pine needles. Yellow flowers.
Dragon’s Blood: Green foliage turns red in Fall. Magenta/red flowers.
Gold Moss: (S. acre) small leaves covered in yellow flowers in summer.
Lemon Ball – low growing yellow type with pine-needle shaped leaves
Mossy Stonecrop (S. lydium)
Old Man’s Bones (S. divergens): Oval leaves are stacked on each other to give a unique texture. Yellow flowers.
Red Carpet
Sunsparkler Blue Elf
Sunsparkler Dazzleberry: blue-grey foliage with mauve-rose flowers.
Sunsparkler Firecracker
Sunsparkler Lime Twister: Decorative green leaves edged in cream. Pink flowers.
Sunsparkler Plum Dazzled
Tricolor (S. spurium): White, pink, and light green foliage is striking. Pink flowers.
Yellow Stonecrop (S. acre): Green succulent foliage. Yellow flowers.
Variegated Stonecrop (S. kamtschaticum): Green succulent foliage has a slight white tinge. Yellow flowers.

Old Man’s Bones S. kamtschaticum Sunsparkler Lime Twister Sunsparkler Dazzleberry Tricolor

Snow in Summer (Cerastium tomentosum)

Height: 6″-12″

Spread: 24″-36″

Bloom Color: White

Season of Bloom: Late Spring to Early Summer

Other Notes: Silvery foliage brightens the front of the border even when not in bloom. Can be sheared after flowering to freshen up the foliage.

Soapwort (Saponaria ocymoides)

Height: 6”-9”

Spread: 12”-18”

Bloom Color: Prolific, small, pink blossoms cover this plant.

Season of Bloom: Spring

Other Notes: Pretty mounding habit works well at the front of a border or on the edge of a wall/raised bed where it can trail over the edge. Sun to Part Sun.

Speedwell, Creeping (Veronica)

Turkish Veronica Photo Courtesy Plant Select Wooly Veronica

Height: 1″-3″

Spread: 12″-20″

Bloom Color: Blues, pinks, or whites.

Season of Bloom: Late Spring to Early Summer

Other Notes: Wooly or glossy, low-growing green foliage. Extremely drought tolerant once established.

Crystal River Sunshine

Crystal River: tiny sky blue flowers, profuse bloomer
Snowmass: white with blue Eye. Plant Select Perennial
Sunshine Yellow: yellow foliage with blue flowers
Tidal Pool: Violet Blue flowers with a white eye
Wooly: dense habit with deep blue flowers


Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum)

Height: 6″

Spread: 24″

Bloom Color: Dainty, fragrant white flowers held above bright green foliage

Season of Bloom: Spring

Other Notes: Excellent ground cover for dry shade. Nice when paired with taller bulbs or perennials that grow up through it.

Thyme, Creeping (Thymus sp.)

Height: 2″-12″

Spread: 18″+

Bloom Color: Small white, pink, or red flowers

Season of Bloom: Summer

Other Notes: Some varieties are ornamental while others can be used for culinary purposes too.

Doone Valley
Pink Chintz
Red Creeping

Wooly Thyme

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *