Fast Growing Ground Cover Plants

The Best Fast Growing Ground Cover Plants

Fast-growing ground cover plants are an excellent addition to any flower bed and landscaping design. Besides being beautiful groundcover plants, they provide an excellent foundation for other colorful plantings. Ground cover is also helpful to the homeowner because it helps to choke out weed growth in the flower beds. Fast-growing ground cover is also great to plant on a steep slope and hill and will prevent soil erosion. Ground cover is also excellent around the base of trees or in shady areas where nothing else will grow. Be careful to choose less aggressive ground cover plants for these areas.

Before choosing the best ground cover plants for your bed, ensure you have prepared the soil by amending it. Amending the soil provides better nutrition for the plants, better aeration of the soil, and helps the soil retain moisture. All of these soil improvements provide a much better environment for the roots of your plants. When the roots are healthy, so are the top of your bedding plants.

You can add a wide variety of things to your acidic soil, such as grass clippings, mulch, compost, manure, etc.

Once your well-drained soil is prepared for your low-growing plants, you will need to choose plants based on the size of your area, the desired height of plants, and the amount of shade and sun in the area. Some low-maintenance plants thrive in sunny areas, and some can't tolerate much direct sunlight.

A good thing to know about many ground covers is, “The first year they sleep, the second year they creep, and the third year, they leap.”

Some of the more popular and little maintenance ground covers are:

Vinca Minor Is A Good Choice

This evergreen, fast-growing plant produces tiny purple flowers in the early spring and fall of the year. Because it is evergreen, you have something green all year long. However, this is a more aggressive ground cover, so plant it within a well-contained area.

Creeping Phlox

This little low-maintenance plant is always a favorite. It grows to about 6 inches and comes in various colors.


This plant is much larger, with heights from 6-24 inches. This is one of the most maintenance-free plants I have found. It is an evergreen perennial which starts producing new growth each spring. Just break off the dried growth from last season and allow the new plant to shoot out. Sedum blooms in the fall, and it is straightforward to create new plants simply by breaking off a piece (including the root) and sticking it in the ground. I love the Stone Crop Sedum because of its pretty color in the fall and because it attracts butterflies. My hummingbirds also seem to love it.

Creeping Thyme

This is an herbaceous ground drought-tolerant plant. It is also low-growing and evergreen, producing late spring to early summer blooms.

English Ivy

English ivy will cover large areas quickly but watch it because this ground cover can be aggressive. Although less than an inch high, English ivy will grow up walls, trees, and other barriers so that pruning may be necessary. This ground cover will thrive in either full sun or full shade.

Variegated Goutweed

Variegated goutweed proliferates in either full sun or moderate shade. It can be aggressive, so keep your eye on it if you place it near other plants. This ground cover will grow up to 6 inches tall and produce white flowers in June. Plant it in well-drained, moist soil. Water frequently, as it can scorch in dry soil.

Creeping Lily Turf

Creeping lily turf will spread quickly, producing light blue flowers in the late summer and blackberries in the fall, with 6- to 8-inch-tall foliage. You can plant your creeping lily turf where it will receive full sun to light shade. This ground cover is drought-tolerant, so do not water excessively.

Golden Creeping Charlie

Golden creeping Charlie has bright yellow oval leaves. It grows 1 to 3 (aff) inches tall and quickly fills full sun areas to moderate shade. This ground cover needs moist soil and regular watering.

Lily of the Valley

Consider the lily of the valley when you want a fast-spreading ground cover for a big area. This plant needs light to dense shade and works well under shrubs and trees. Growing 6 to 8 inches tall, it produces white flowers in the spring and orange or red berries in the fall.

Fast Growing Ground Cover Plants

Fast-growing ground-cover plants are an option when you want to cover a large area quickly for erosion control, decorative purposes, or simply because grass won't grow there. Ground covers also stop most weeds from taking root. They spread by themselves and can grow from an inch to 4 feet tall.

Fast Growing Drought Tolerant Ground Cover

Those who live in dry climates can save time and water by installing drought-resistant ground covers. These hardy, low-maintenance plants flourish in sites hostile to other flora, adding year-round texture and visual interest to complex landscapes. The best ground covers for arid climates are ground-hugging, no-fuss plants that can be used as decorative edging in place of traditional lawns or to stabilize steep slopes and sandy dunes.

Grasses Are The Ideal Choice

Nothing turns a bare patch of ground into a lush, green carpet faster than grass seed or sod, but many traditional lawn grasses struggle in hot, dry climates. However, low-growing ornamental grasses, such as ribbon grass and blue fescue, are well suited to life in arid conditions. These rapidly spreading perennials produce beautiful flashes of green that endure throughout the year, as the foliage tends to retain its color all winter long. Those who insist on establishing a conventional lawn will have the best luck with robust, hardy buffalo grass. Though it may not be the most eye-catching shade of green, it withstands temperatures up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit and grows without additional water in areas that receive less than 20 inches of annual rainfall.

Herbaceous Ground Covers

Drought-resistant herbaceous plants bear soft, pliable stems and store their food in fleshy roots, tubers, or bulbs. Use aromatic, herbaceous favorites for larger areas, such as creeping rosemary or wild thyme, to fill dry, sunny spaces. Their silvery-green foliage enhances the landscape's appearance, and their seasonal flowers attract bees and other beneficial insects to the garden each spring. As a bonus, these herbs release a richly fragrant aroma when trod upon. Create a less pungent landscape by filling barren sites with bugleweed. This low-growing perennial covers the yard in beautifully textured foliage and spiked clusters of dusky lavender late-spring flowers.

Woody Ground Covers Are A Great Option

A thin layer of hard bark covers the stems of woody plants. This is a protective measure; woody plants store most of their food in their stems. While technically classified as evergreen shrubs, the long-branched, ground-hugging growth habits of the firethorn shrub and the chokeberry bush make them excellent candidates for use as woody ground covers. These heat-tolerant, drought-resistant plants perform well in arid climates, rapidly filling vacant spaces with glossy green leaves and clusters of fragrant flowers. The seasonal blooms of the low-growing shrub are followed by gorgeous bunches of scarlet berries, adding color to the landscape well into the winter.

Vines For The Outdoor Space

Though they are customarily used to cover walls, arbors, fences, and trellises, when left on the ground, sun-loving vines such as Virginia creeper and Boston ivy rapidly take root in the surrounding soil, covering the landscape in a loose layer of fine-textured foliage as fast-growing groundcover. Additionally, drought-tolerant vines and ground coverings, such as the trumpet creeper and trumpet honeysuckle, create a living carpet of green foliage and bright blossoms that draw butterflies and hummingbirds into the garden.

Happy Gardening!

Lisa Martin

In April 2006, Lisa began blogging to stay connected with distant relatives and friends. As she delved into blogging, she discovered the potential to assist others by sharing her experiences. Lisa has actively engaged in numerous exclusive media ventures. Notable among these are her participation in events such as the Sony Mommy Bloggers Event, the Pampers Mommy Bloggers Event, the Epson Event in Chicago, the Stouffers Event, a memorable yacht excursion with Lands End, collaborations with 1-800-Baskets, an exclusive tour for bloggers by Mrs. Prindable’s, partnerships with Hallmark, PopCap games, Chicago Cubs Mastercard Priceless Events, and Rug Doctor. In addition, she has collaborated with Nutrisystem on a weight loss initiative, teamed up with Buick and Chevy, and served as a brand ambassador for Sprint. Lisa's collaboration portfolio also extends to Disney, where she has participated in press trips for significant movies such as Frozen, Guardians of the Galaxy, McFarland USA, The Good Dinosaur, The BFG, and Cars 3. Notably, for projects like Frozen, The BFG, and Cars 3, she was granted the privilege of walking the red carpet and conducting interviews with celebrities. The impact of Lisa's blog has gained recognition, with The New York Times referencing her content. Moreover, she has been featured in interviews by respected publications such as the Southtown Star, The Chicago Sun Times, and inside.

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