The right groundcover can simplify your life and beautify your landscape – all in one attractive, easy-care package. Low-maintenance groundcovers are great assets, especially when massed under trees or on hard-to-mow slopes and erosion-prone sites. You'll love the low-maintenance magic these five favorites can bring to your landscape.
Photo credit: Fossil Creek
Give cranberry cotoneaster well-drained soil, and this striking, shrubby groundcover rewards with year-round beauty. Bees and butterflies enjoy it, too. Perfect for sites with full sun to light shade, this dense, mounded plant grows 2 to 3 feet tall and up to 5 feet wide. Pink spring flowers complement arching branches of small, glossy leaves that mature from dark green to beautiful autumn red. Plentiful red berries persist into winter and stand out against snowy backdrops. (Hardiness zones 4 through 7)
Call it wintercreeper or euonymus, Blondy adds light and landscape excitement to sites with partial to full shade. Dark green leaves with bright yellow centers accentuate this evergreen groundcover's eye-catching yellow stems. Developed in the Netherlands, Blondy wintercreeper forms a colorful mound about 18 to 24 inches tall and wide. From mass hillside plantings to foundation accents, this outstanding low-maintenance plant delivers. (Hardiness zones 5 through 8)
Common periwinkle was a long-time favorite for difficult planting sites, but this improved form won hearts over. Bowles periwinkle offers glossier, darker leaves and larger azure-blue flowers than its predecessor – and it excels in partial to full shade. For a vigorous, 6- to 8-inch tall groundcover, space these spreading plants about 4 to 5 feet apart in well-drained soil and control weeds while they become established. This groundcover resists deer, but it attracts butterflies and bees. (Hardiness zones 4 through 8)
Wisconsin Horizontal Juniper
As its name suggests, Wisconsin horizontal juniper was introduced to the nursery trade by the University of Wisconsin. A tough, attractive groundcover, this outstanding deer-resistant plant excels in full sun. The feathery, trailing stems offer interesting texture and attractive dark blue-green summer color. In winter, the foliage takes on a slight plum hue. Wisconsin juniper grows just 6 inches tall, but it spreads to form a dense, uniform groundcover up to 6 feet wide. (Hardiness zones 3 through 8)
Green Carpet Japanese Spurge
Green Carpet Japanese spurge offers an appealing combination of white spring flowers – favored by bees – and glossy, dark green leaves. Perfect for sites with full to partial shade and well-drained soil, this evergreen groundcover grows just 6 to 8 inches tall, but it spreads freely via above-ground stems, forming a dense mat of foliage and new plants as it grows. Once established, Green Carpet Japanese spurge tolerates dry conditions better than many other groundcovers. (Hardiness zones 4 through 8)
With low-maintenance groundcovers like these five favorites, you can enhance your landscape and have more time to enjoy it, too. For home delivery anywhere in the continental United States, shop our online selection of groundcovers and other plants. If you're near the Madison, Wisconsin area, stop in at Winterland Nursery, our new retail garden center, for an up-close dose of groundcovers and garden inspiration.