22 Popular Fast Growing Ground Cover Plants

Ground cover plants are simply the best when it comes to landscaping. They provide the necessary fortification to the outermost layer of soil saving it from erosion and drought conditions. Typically speaking, fast-growing ground cover plants consists of a group of low-growing perennial plants that requires negligible maintenance. These shrubs always have a habit of creeping and spreading across a substantial part of the ground.

Ground Cover Plants

List of the Best Fast Growing Perennial Ground Cover for the Backyard

All the plants mentioned below are drought-tolerant evergreens.

16 Fast Growing Ground Covers That Can Tolerate Partial to Full Shade

1. Golden Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’ )
Golden Creeping Jenny Plant

Otherwise known as Moneywart, this is a plant with circular bright golden-yellow leaves. Usually, in the summer season, numerous intense yellow inverted concave-shaped flowers blossoms on this shrub.  One can easily walk on them, as it tolerates foot movement, while retaining its color. They prefer fertile organic and moist, well-drained soil.

Blooming season: Early to late spring and early to late summer.

Sunlight conditions: Full sun to partial-shade

Height/Width (cm): 7-15/30-60

USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-9

2. Common Periwinkle (Vinca minor )
Common Periwinkle Ground Cover Plant

Otherwise known as lesser or dwarf or trailing periwinkle or myrtle, it is a fast growing ground cover perfect for slopes and hillsides. The charming flowers are generally deep blue, but sometimes can be lilac, lavender or white. These creepers can spread widely up to 18 inches in length. It needs sandy to clay type, moist, fertile well-drainage soil.

Blooming season: Late spring and early summer.

Sunlight conditions: Full sun to partial-shade

Height/Width (cm): 30-60/30-60

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-8

3 . Creeping Phlox (Phlox stolonifera)
Creeping Phlox Ground Cover Plant

This carpeting herbaceous shrub blooms in upright stalks of sweet-scented clusters with beautiful colors of purple-blue, red, pink, lilac, and white flowers. The thick partial-evergreen oval-shaped leaves aids as a mat covering ample space. It is a very tolerant plant thriving well in sandy or poor soil. However, it also grows in loamy and well-drainage soil.

Blooming season: Mid to late summer

Sunlight conditions: Full sun to partial-shade

Height/Width (cm): 7-20/22-60

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-8

4. Creeping Mazus (Mazus reptans)

Creeping Mazus Ground Cover Plant

These mushrooming shade-perennials produce tiny attractive purple-bluish lilac flowers with white and yellow specks. Besides, the glossy leaves are tapered and spiked in shape. This shrub, also known as cupflower, likes to be in a fertile loamy, moist but well-drained soil.

Blooming season: Mid to late spring and early summer

Sunlight conditions: Full sun to partial-shade

Height/Width (cm): 5-10/30-45

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-9

5. Carpet Bugleweed (Ajuga Reptans)
Carpet Bugleweed Ground Cover Plant

This perpetual plant, also known as common bugle or carpetweed, is typically hardy and from the mint genre with mauve-colored shiny leaves. These shrubs form vibrant ground covers with its small cute bluish-violet, magenta, white to pink flowers standing on erected spikey stalks. It prefers loamy to sandy to clay-type, wet, but well-drained soil.

Blooming season: Mid to late spring

Sunlight conditions: Full sun to partial-shade

Height/Width (cm): 10-20/15-60

USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-10

6.  Canada Anemone (Anemone canadensis)
Canada Anemone Ground Cover Plant

This perpetual robust plant is native to the US and southern Canada, acting as an excellent flowering ground cover. Tagged also as meadow anemone and round-leaf thimbleweed, it blossoms with single erected white-colored flowers. The leaves are tapered and pointed. Soil requirements for this plant are a moist, organic and well-drained type.

Blooming season: Late spring to mid-summer

Sunlight conditions: Full sun to partial-shade

Height/Width (cm): 30-60/30-60

USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-8

7. Horned Violet (Viola cornuta)
Horned Violet Ground Cover Plant

This clustered plant, also known as ‘Halo Violet,’ is circular with large aromatic deep violet-bluish to lilac, and brilliant-yellowish centered blossoms. The dimensions of these flowers are about 1.5 inches across. These deer-resistant shrubs grow perfectly in loamy to sandy to clay-type moist but well-drained soil.

Blooming season: Early to late spring, early to late summer, and fall.

Sunlight conditions: Full sun to partial-shade

Height/Width (cm): 20-25/25-30

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-9

8. Big Root Geraniums (Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Bevan’s Variety’)
Big Root Geraniums Ground Cover Plant

Also known as Bulgarian geranium, these semi-evergreens proliferate as a weed-killing ground cover plant. They produce scented foliages which transform into the red in the fall season. During the blossoming season, magenta-pinkish colored flowers with deep-red petals spread across the entire shrub. The soil requirements for this plant are loamy to sandy, moist well-drainage soil.

Blooming season: Late spring to early to mid-summer

Sunlight conditions: Full sun to partial-shade

Height/Width (cm): 20-30/30-60

USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-8

9.  Little Gem Evergreen Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens ‘Little Gem’)
Little Gem Evergreen Candytuft Ground Cover Plant

This glossy dwarf foliage acts as a perfect ground cover. The slow-growing shrub features a mass of charming aromatic snowy white flowers in clusters displaying just like a foam. While the narrow-shaped green leaves stay the same throughout the year, forming a dense snow cover. The soil requirements of this plant are sandy and suitable drainage type.

Blooming season: Mid to late spring and early summer

Sunlight conditions: Full sun to partial-shade

Height/Width (cm): 15-20/30-60

USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-9

10. Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum)
Sweet Woodruff Ground Cover Plant

These mat-growing long-lasting species of plants act as excellent ground covers for shaded areas, although mostly it does not survive the cold winter season. It is characterized by attractive star-shaped, heavily aromatic white blossoms on erected stalks above six to seven leaves in a spiral formation. The plant favors only loamy, sandy, compost-rich, moist, and well-draining soil.

Blooming season: Late spring to early to mid-summer

Sunlight conditions: Part-shade to full-shade

Height/Width (cm): 12-15/25-30

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-8

11. Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia)
Common Blue Violet Ground Cover Plant

These are low-growing ground covers with exotic blue flowers densely spotted with violet or lilac dots. The circular heart-shaped leaves stay green all the year round and house the stalkless blossoms. The soil type required by these plants is loamy, clayish, moist organic-rich, and of good-drainage category.

Blooming season: Mid to late spring and summer

Sunlight conditions: Full sun to partial-shade

Height/Width (cm): 15-25/15-30

USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-7

12. Blue Star Creeper (Isotoma fluviatilis)
Blue Star Creeper Ground Cover Plant

It is an attractive moss like ground covers sustaining an even low-lying shape. Also known as swamp isotome, this plant is an aggressive spreader acting as an alternate for lawns. The star-patterned light blue colored flowers rise in small stems from tiny intense green oblong-shaped leaves. It favors moist and well-draining soil.

Blooming season: Mid-spring to late spring, early to late summer, early to late fall, and early winter

Sunlight conditions: Full sun to partial-shade

Height/Width (cm): 3-4/15-30

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-11

13. Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)

Roman Chamomile Ground Cover Plant

They are creeping ground covering plants and are used as an annual herb for one’s courtyard. It has small, vibrant daisy type flowers with white petals surrounding a yellow central disk. The stalks housing the scented blossoms are not so strong and droops down when the herb grows taller. Soil requirements are sandy, organic, well-drained variety.

Blooming season: Spring and summer

Sunlight conditions: Full sun to partial-shade

Height/Width (cm): 15-30/15-30

USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-9

14. Busy Lizzie (Impatiens walleriana)

Busy Lizzie Ground Cover Plant

Otherwise known as the sultan’s balsam, it is a natural growing shrub native to eastern Africa. The flowers bloom in vibrant hues of lilac, pink, magenta, orange, and in whites from a foot long, fragile stalks. The leaves are also in a variety of shades from dark to light green, to a variegated tone. The required soil type is moist, fertilizer-rich well-drainage variety.

Blooming season: Spring and summer

Sunlight conditions: Partial-shade to full-shade

Height/Width (cm): 15-30/15-60

USDA Hardiness Zone: 10-11

15. English Ivy (Hedera helix)

English Ivy Ground Cover Plant

Also known as the common or european ivy, this vine act as an excellent ground cover spreading horizontally. The flower clusters in spherical-shape of tones from greenish-white in the fall season into a yellowish-orange. This hardy plant has the capability to thrive in shaded areas. Soil requirements are sandy to loamy to clayish type, with moist and well-draining variety.

Blooming season: Early to mid to late spring, early to mid to late summer, fall, and winter

Sunlight conditions: Partial-shade to full-shade

Height/Width (cm): 50-80/90-450

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-11

16. Lily-Of-The-Valley (Convallaria majalis)
Lily-Of-The-Valley Ground Cover Plant

Commonly known as Conval lily or Mayflower, this is a perpetual spreading ground cover. They have oval-shaped narrow leaves with slight bending clusters of intensely aromatic bell-shaped pure white flowers. The plant favors to be in a loamy to clayish type, moist but well-drainage soil.

Blooming season: Mid to late spring

Sunlight conditions: Partial-shade to full-shade

Height/Width (cm): 15-30/22-30

USDA Hardiness Zone: 2-7

6 Fast Growing Ground Covers for Full Sun Areas

1. Creeping Juniper ‘Golden Carpet’ (juniperus horizontalis ‘Golden Carpet’)
Creeping Juniper ‘Golden Carpet’ Ground Cover Plant

This fast growing junipers are evergreen conifers resembling a moss overflowing the backyards with a vivid display throughout the year. Sometimes called creeping cedar, it is almost flat at just inches above the ground. The beautiful golden-yellow foliages do not blaze in full sun, transforming into scarlet color in winter. The required soil conditions are clay to loamy and sandy but well-drained soil.

Blooming season: Early spring to summer, and fall to late winter.

Sunlight conditions: Full sun

Height/Width (cm): 7-10/90-120

USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-9

2. Purple Gromwell ‘Heavenly Blue'(Lithodora diffusa ‘Heavenly Blue’)
Purple Gromwell 'Heavenly Blue' Ground Cover Plant

This shrub is a horizontal carpeting plant producing furry oval-shaped small deep green leaves. Moreover, the flowers have an intense deep blue tone with purplish centers and a funnel-shaped structure. The plant loves to be in sandy to loamy compost-rich moist, well-drained soil.

Blooming season: Late spring to summer

Sunlight conditions: Full sun

Height/Width (cm): 10-50/10-50

USDA Hardiness Zone: 6-9

3. Silvermound Artemisia (Artemisia schmidtiana)
Silvermound Artemisia Ground Cover Plant

It is a beautiful silvery soft, hairy leaves forming a satin, mat-like cover. This fast spreader is deer-resistant variety. The blossoms are no so charming, though the leaves are aromatic. Besides, the plant loves to be in sandy but well-drained soil.

Blooming season: Summer

Sunlight conditions: Full sun

Height/Width (cm): 20-25/25-40

USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-7

4. Sedum ‘Angelina’ (Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’)

Sedum ‘Angelina’ Ground Cover Plant

These carpeting shrubs, known better as stonecrop and love links are low, maintaining succulent evergreen ground covers. The vibrant golden-yellowish foliages of acicular-shaped leaves look spectacular, transforming into a bronze-orangish color in the winter season. On the erected stems, tiny star-shaped bright yellow blossoms develop in clusters. The required soil type is sandy to loamy to clayish, moist, but well-draining variety.

Blooming season: Early to mid to late spring, early to mid to late summer, fall, and winter

Sunlight conditions: Full sun

Height/Width (cm): 10-15/30-60

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-9

5. Caraway Thyme (Thymus herba-barona)
Caraway Thyme Ground Cover Plant

It is the fastest growing ground cover thyme known for its taste and aroma, shaping in a cushion-like mound. The stems are filled with tiny, tapered shiny deep green leaves, generally used for flavoring foods. The dark pink to lavender tiny cylindrical-shaped flowers grow in clusters. Soil requirements are sandy to loamy, well-drained variety.

Blooming season: Mid to late summer, early fall

Sunlight conditions: Full sun

Height/Width (cm): 7-15/22-30

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-10

6. Wall Germander (Teucrium chamaedrys)
Wall Germander Ground Cover Plant

This plant is a broadleaf evergreen attractive subshrub with deep green scented leaves. The beautiful flowers are light-pink to intense magenta in color. This herb attract bees in huge numbers. Soil requirements of the plant is sandy but well-draining type.

Blooming season: Summer

Sunlight conditions: Full sun

Height/Width (cm): 20-30/30-60

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-9

The spreading and creeping habits of these unique low-growing plants requiring minimum maintenance makes them the perfect ground cover for any gardens and backyard. Besides, they are chosen for their ornamental and artistic displays to cover the landscape with subtle textures and colors.

by | Updated : February 14, 2020



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