15 Best Ground Cover Perennials

ground cover perennials

If you have a garden space that is anything like mine, it is likely that you have some space that has harder soil that is difficult to incorporate into your garden. You could grow grass in those areas, but to help create a fuller garden atmosphere, it is an even better idea to cover these areas with a ground cover perennial that will be able to grow in your hardiness zone all year long.

After searching for quite a while to find different ground covers that could work for my space, I decided to make a list of 15 of the best option that I found. Let’s take a look!

1. Moss Rose

Portulacas Moss

This plant creates a ground cover that resembles the needles of an evergreen tree. When the plant blooms, the yellow, pink, red, orange, and white are rather stunning to look at. It will grow well in poor soil and full sun. In general, the plant will remain between three and eight inches, and it can grow easily in zones two through 11.

2. Sun Rose

sun rose

Also known as helianthemum, this is a plant that will grow to a height that is less than a foot tall. With well-drained soil and full sun, you can expect the plant to create bright blooms that are orange, pink, red, yellow, and white in color. This plant grows in USDA zones five to nine.

3. Sweet Woodruff

Sweet Woodruff

This is a very fragrant perennial that has tiny, star-like bloom that you can see during May and June. This is a plant that likes to grow in moist conditions, but it still needs to have well-drained soil so that the roots do not rot. It also will grow well in full shade in zones four to eight.

4. Creeping Thyme

Creeping Thyme

Creeping thyme is a woody perennial that is hardy in zones four to eight. It is an herb that releases a wonderful smelling minty aroma, and it will only grow to be about three inches. The plant will grow best in an area where it gets full sun and in soil that drains well. The blooms are tiny pink or purple blossoms that you can see in June and July.

5. Brass Buttons

This is a plant that will only grow to be half an inch to two inches in height, so it makes the perfect option for ground cover. It can grow in partial shade or full sun, and it will be able to tolerate most soil conditions. This is a plant that only grows in zones five to 10.

6. Creeping Phlox

Creeping Phlox

Creeping Phlox tends to do well in most parts of the country, and it will grow best in zones three through nine. The plant is only about six inches from the ground, which makes it look like shaggy pink, blue, and purple carpet. When the plant is not in bloom, it will typically be only two inches in height.

7. Bugleweed


For gardeners that have a large space that they need ground cover for, this is an ideal option, but it may be difficult to control. It is a perennial that is most commonly grown in zones three through 10. It does well in soil that is slightly moist and in full or partial sun. In general, this is a plant that will only grow to be six inches tall.

8. Candytuft


Candytufts are small perennials that will only grow to be up to a foot in height. They have green foliage that is covered with white flowers that bloom from April until May. This plant will grow in zones three through eight, and it will do best with soil that drains well and full sun. It is a drought tolerant plant that will do well in a rock garden.

9. Deadnettle


This is a plant that seems to thrive in zones three to eight. They do great in full or partial shade because this is a plant that prefers cooler temperatures that are at low humidity levels. In general, the plant can grow to be a few inches from the ground, but some variations can grow up to two feet tall.

10. Angelina Sedum

Angelina Sedum

The Angelina sedum is a stonecrop plant that makes an excellent ground cover. Many gardeners prefer not to keep the flowers on the plant when they bloom. Since it is a plant that is native to a rocky area, it can be grown in zones three through 11. It can grow in full sun or partial shade and needs to have well-draining soil.

11. Pachysandra


If you have an area that needs ground cover that is shaded under a tree, then this is a great option to consider. The plant is drought tolerant, so it will not need to fight with the tree for water, and it can also grow in full shade. It is a plant that will do best in hardiness zones five through eight.

12. Wild Violets

Wild Violets

Wild violets are really pretty flowers that can make excellent grounds cover. These delicate plants that produce purple flowers can be seen growing in hardiness zones five to nine. The plant requires very little maintenance, but it multiplies so quickly that it can easily take over your entire lawn or garden. It tends to grow best with growing conditions that include well-drained soil and full sun.

13. Snow-in-Summer

snow-in summer plant

Snow-in-summer is a perennial that requires full sun and soil that is well-draining to grow properly. It will grow to be about six inches tall, and it has a spread that will increase in width quite quickly. The plant can be found in USDA zones three to seven; in fact, it will not do well in warmer regions of the country.

14. Mazus


Mazus is a plant that will only grow to be one to five inches tall. It is a hardy perennial, so it can easily be grown in zones five through nine. The flowers that it produces are tubular and can be found in blue, white, or violet. It is a drought tolerant plant that prefers to be grown in full sun.

15. Dianthus Sternkissen


Also often called star cushion, this is a small herb-like plant that will make the perfect ground cover. It will grow best in well-drained soil that is slightly acidic. It needs full to partial sun, and it will help to bring bees, butterflies, and other pollinators to your outdoor space. This small plant with pink, clover-like flowers can be found growing in zones three through nine.