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8 Ground Cover Plants and the Benefits of Growing Them

Do you want to change the look of your backyard without investing too much time, effort, and money into the process? Are you afraid that your backyard might get invaded by weeds and you want to prevent that from happening? Then you’ll be happy to find out that you can do that by planting some Ground Cover Plants. Ground cover plants, as the name suggests, are different types of plants that you can use to cover your backyard or lawn and protect the soil without too much trouble. Today, we’re going to talk about 5 types of ground cover plants and a few of the benefits of growing them.

8 Ground Cover Plants to Grow in Your Backyard

1. Thyme

If you’re looking for drought tolerant ground cover plants, then thyme is definitely one of the options you should consider. It has woody stems, it emanates a lovely fragrance, and you can grow it in borders, beds, and even containers. The great thing about thyme is that it’s also part of the category of ground cover plants that you can walk on. Still, we recommend you to try to avoid doing this if you can. Thyme requires a lot of sunlight and a well-drained soil to develop properly. If you’re interested in buying thyme seeds, you can find some on Amazon for $4.49.

thyme ground cover plants

2. Sedum

Sedum is another type of ground cover plant that is tolerant of drought. It actually thrives in places with low-water, having succulent stems and leaves. It doesn’t grow too tall, but it’s quite dense, which makes it a great cover plant. The blooms will bring a touch of color to your backyard, depending on the variety you choose. You can get white, red, pink, yellow, purple, or orange blooms. Even though sedum adapts rather easily to almost any type of weather conditions, it develops its best when planted in areas with a lot of sunlight or partial shade, and where the soil is well-drained. Buy your sedum seeds for $6.99 on Amazon.

sedum ground cover plants

3. Sweet Woodruff

Sweet woodruff is one of the most shade-tolerant ground cover plants that you could grow in your garden. This plant can develop even in areas with dense shade, so you can plant it under shrubs and trees as well. It can grow up to 12 inches, forming clumps of upright stems with green foliage. The foliage is deciduous, so it sheds annually. Sweet woodruff also grows lovely flowers which are white and tiny. You can order sweet woodruff seeds on Amazon.

sweet woodruff ground cover plants

4. Bishop’s Weed

One of the most popular varieties of ground cover plants, bishop’s weed is part of the category of ground cover plants for slopes. That doesn’t mean that you can only plant it on slopes, because it actually also works pretty well in large areas where it can spread freely. The most important attribute of bishop’s weed is the fact that it grows extremely fast, even if you plant it in shaded areas. You can also grow it in smaller areas and contain its aggressive growth, such as in between a sidewalk and a building. Snag some bishop’s weed seeds for $15.99 on Amazon.

bishop's weed ground cover plants

5. Ajuga

If you’re looking for ground cover plants which won’t only protect the soil in your backyard, but also bring some beauty to the entire area, then you might want to consider growing some aruga varieties. These plants are easy to maintain and control. Plus, you can even grow them in places where you know you’re going to walk through every now and then. The attractiveness of the ajuga plant is in its flowers, which can bloom pink, blue, white, or lavender. Even without the flowers, this plant is still gorgeous to look at. Its foliage can be bronze, maroon, purple, green, white, or even pink. It can reach between 4 and 9 inches. If you’re interested in purchasing ajuga seeds, you can do that on Amazon.

ajuga ground cover plants

6. Brass Buttons

Another great option to cover your backyard or lawn with are evergreen cover plants. For instance, brass buttons is a low growing ground cover plant, reaching only 3 inches. Its foliage is feathery and quite textured, and it can come in different shades, from purple-gray to bronze-black. Its blooms are also lovely, usually yellow-green, and shaped like tiny buttons, which explains the name of the plant. Brass buttons blooms from late spring up to early summer. You can grow it both in places where it gets full sunlight and in areas with partial shade. Moreover, it thrives in soil that is moist, but that drains well nonetheless.

brass buttons ground cover plants

7. Mondo Grass

Even though the name and appearance of this ground cover plant can trick people into thinking it’s actually a type of grass, that’s absolutely false. However, it does grow strappy, slender, and sometimes multicolored leaves. They can go from different shades of green to multiple shades of black. Depending on the type of mondo grass that you plan on growing, you should know that you can get leaves that grow as little as 3 inches and as much as 24 inches tall. This plant develops nicely both in areas with full sun and in areas with partial shade. Moreover, it thrives in moist soil. Usually, people use it as edging. You can find mondo grass seeds on Amazon for $11.00.

mondo grass ground cover plants

8. Lamb’s-ear

This funny sounding type of ground cover plant gets its name from the texture of its fuzzy leaves. This is a type of perennial that you can grow in full sun and partial shade. Its leaves are silvery-green, and its flowers can bloom in a multitude of colors, from pink, to white, violet, purple, and red. They’re quite tiny, and usually bloom in the summer. Since the leaves of this plant tend to be the main attraction, you’re free to cut off the blooms and only keep the leaves. When the weather is too hot, you’ll notice that the leaves look as if they’re about to melt away. If this happens, don’t worry – they’ll go back to their natural state once the weather gets cooler. Order some lamb’s ear seeds right now on Amazon.

lamb's ear ground cover plants

Benefits of Growing Ground Cover Plants

1. Controlling Soil Erosion

One of the most important benefits of growing ground cover plants is the fact that they prevent the soil from getting eroded. Especially if your backyard or lawn has steep slopes, you understand how difficult it can be to grow something on this type of soil. This problem is solved by ground cover plants, since they require low-maintenance. You can basically just plant them and only check on them very rarely. You don’t even have to worry about watering them, since they’re water resistant, thus controlling the erosion of the soil.

2. Protecting Against Weeds

Not only do ground cover plants protect your soil from erosion, but they also guard it against weeds that might take over if you don’t plant anything for a while. Most ground cover plants are extremely dense. This means that weed seeds will be unable to germinate, as there’s literally no more room for them to grow in.

3. Retaining Moisture

Ground cover plants don’t need a lot of water or fertilizer. They are in themselves an insulating cover and a type of mulch for the soil. This means that in the summer, they keep the soil cool, and in the winter, they keep it warm. Thus, they don’t only save you a lot of maintenance efforts and costs, but they also retain water, which decreases your water consumption.

4. Acting as Lawn Replacement

A lot of people prefer to grow ground covers instead of lawn, because the latter is much more high-maintenance and expensive to take care of. In order to grow a successful lawn, you need a lot of water, constant attention, and the use of lawn mowers, pesticides, herbicides, and so on. This is not only much more expensive for you, but also much more damaging to the environment. A single household consumes about 60 gallons of water each day to take care of the lawn. Plus, pesticides and herbicides are known to be toxic. By allowing them to seep into the water we use for the lawn, we run the risk of them infiltrating water streams.

5. Keeping Away Pests

If you’re worried that your backyard is going to get invaded by pests if you don’t plant anything in it, then some ground cover plants are your safest bet. They help keep away pests, but also protect the ground from frosts and act as a fire retardant.

6. Attracting Birds, Bees, and Butterflies

Ground covers are usually rich in pollen and nectar, thus acting as great pollinators for bees, butterflies, and birds. These tiny creatures are attracted to the wonderfully colored blooms and the sweet nectar of the plants. This means they’re going to visit your garden all year round. By planting ground cover plants, you don’t only help butterflies, birds, and bees, but you also support the ecosystem’s health as a whole.

7. Filling in Gaps

Finally, another really important benefit of ground covers is that they help you get rid of those annoying gaps between the stones in your pavement, or between the pathway and your house. Wherever you feel like your backyard looks patchy and unattractive, you can always plant some ground covers to help improve its look.

No matter the reason why you want to grow some ground cover plants in your backyard or garden, we hope today’s guide has managed to provide you with some useful ideas and tips.

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8 Ground Cover Plants and the Benefits of Growing Them


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