Ground covers for landscaping – Best ground cover for hillside (slopes)

Let’s dive into the wonderful world of ground covers for landscaping and discover the best options for tackling those challenging hillside landscapes. 

If you’ve ever dealt with slopes in your yard, you know they can be a bit tricky to manage. But fear not! We’ve got your back with the perfect solution! Fast-growing ground covers for slopes are essential to prevent erosion and stabilize the soil. 

These versatile plants not only add a touch of beauty to your landscape but also work wonders in stabilizing those hillsides. So, get ready to explore: what is ground cover? How to plant ground cover as well as types of ground cover plants to transform your slopes into stunning natural masterpieces!

What is Ground Cover

Ground cover plants are an essential addition to any landscaping project, offering a delightful combination of aesthetic appeal and practical benefits.

As the name suggests, ground cover refers to a diverse group of plants that spread across the ground, providing a natural carpet-like covering.

They play a crucial role as landscaping  ground cover for gardens, as they offer a variety of options for different purposes. Did you know there are many types of them? Yes, some species are annual as well as perennial. Also, some of them are fond of the sun, while others prefer shades.

Types of Ground cover plants: Low-Maintenance Ground Covers

If you’re looking for friendly and versatile ground cover options, check out these fantastic choices:

Aubrieta (False rock cress)

Aubrieta is a hardy plant that doesn’t need much attention. It loves well-draining soil and sunny spots. Plus, it’s not bothered by bugs or hungry deer. Once it takes root, it can handle dry spells without any trouble.

Lewisia (Rainbow Lewisia)

Looking for a resilient and stunning plant that can thrive in tough conditions like sandy or rocky soils? This little beauty – Lewisia (Rainbow Lewisia – Bitterroot plant) is the perfect choice for those challenging areas. Not only is it durable, but it also adds a touch of gorgeousness to your landscape.

These succulent-like perennials will blow your mind with their stunning blooms. From late spring to early summer, you’ll be treated to an array of colors. Think vibrant yellows, pure whites, mesmerizing magentas, delightful salmons, and fabulous fuchsias. It’s like having a rainbow right in your backyard!

Lewisia is a tough and resilient plant that can thrive in USDA zones 3 to 8. You can create a stunning alpine garden, rockery, or even spruce up your planters with Lewisia. It’s so versatile that it can even add charm along a gravel path.

Brunnera “Jack Frost” (Siberian Bugloss)

Brunnera is a fantastic plant to cover the ground in shady areas or spots with partial shade. It’s a tough perennial with charming little blue flowers that can brighten up even the gloomiest corners during springtime. If you want something that really stands out, give ‘Jack Frost’ a shot. Its leaves are heart-shaped and silvery, adding an extra touch of beauty to your garden.

Brunnera is a fantastic option if you’ve got a slug and snail problem in your garden. Plus, it’s deer and rabbit-resistant, making it even more convenient to care for. You can use it in various areas like beds, borders, slopes, and even underplanting shrubs and roses. It’s a low-maintenance plant that’ll make your gardening life easier!

Creeping Jenny:

Ground covers for landscaping

Need a ground cover that can thrive in full sun or partial shade? Creeping Jenny is your go-to plant! This perennial beauty is fast-growing and low-maintenance, making it a breeze to care for. Its ground-covering vines and cheerful yellow flowers will add a touch of sunshine to your garden.

Japanese Spurge:

Ground covers for landscaping

Looking for an evergreen perennial ground cover for those shady spots? Japanese spurge is your answer! With its low-growing habit, it creates a beautiful carpet-like effect and remains green all year round. The lush foliage of Japanese spurge is sure to enhance the aesthetics of your landscape.


Ground covers for landscaping

Here’s another perennial ground cover that adapts well to both sunny and partially shaded areas. Sedum is not only low-maintenance but also features ground-covering vines that add a delightful touch to your garden. With options for pink, red, or yellow flowers, it brings vibrant colors to your outdoor space.

Vinca Minor:

Ground covers for landscaping

If you’re dealing with shaded or partially shaded areas and want a ground cover that can handle them, Vinca Minor is an ideal choice. It spreads rapidly, filling in empty spaces in your landscape or garden. As an added bonus, it’s deer-resistant! You’ll also enjoy lovely blue or purple flowers to complement the greenery.

Creeping Thyme:

Ground covers for landscaping

This perennial ground cover is perfect for sunny areas. It’s fast-growing, so you’ll enjoy a lush carpet of foliage in no time. Plus, it offers beautiful flowering options in purple, pink, or white, adding a pop of color to your landscape. With its low maintenance needs, you can spend less time worrying and more time enjoying your garden!

Ajuga reptans (Buggleweed):

Ground covers for landscaping

If you have shaded or partially shaded areas, Ajuga is an excellent pick. This perennial ground cover may be a little invasive, but it spreads quickly, providing excellent coverage for your landscape or garden. Its foliage is simply stunning, and you can expect charming blue, purple, or pink flowers to brighten up your outdoor space.

Remember, when selecting ground covers, it’s important to consider factors like sunlight requirements, growth habits, and maintenance needs. With these friendly and diverse options, you’ll have a beautiful ground cover that suits your unique needs.

Fast growing ground cover for slopes

When it comes to slopes, finding a fast-growing ground cover is essential to prevent erosion and provide stability to the terrain. Here are some of the best options for fast-growing ground covers for landscapingthat are perfect for slopes:

Carpet Bugleweed:

Ground covers for landscaping

With its dense, low-growing foliage and vibrant blue or purple flowers, carpet bugleweed is an ideal ground cover for slopes.

Dwarf Fountain Grass:

Ground covers for landscaping

This ornamental grass is known for its graceful, arching foliage and fluffy plumes that add texture and movement to a hillside.

Japanese Forest Grass:

Ground covers for landscaping

Japanese Forest Grass is a graceful ornamental grass with cascading, golden foliage that adds a touch of elegance to your garden, perfect for brightening up shady spots!

Sedum ‘Angelina:

Ground covers for landscaping

This low-growing succulent ground cover is drought-tolerant and thrives in full sun. Its bright yellow foliage adds a pop of color to the hillside.

Woolly Thyme:

Ground covers for landscaping

With its fuzzy gray-green foliage and small pink flowers, woolly thyme is an excellent choice for sunny slopes.

When to Plant Ground Cover

If you’re itching to get your hands dirty and plant some ground cover, timing is everything! So, when is the perfect moment to start this green adventure? Well, the good news is that ground cover can be planted throughout the year, but there are a few factors to consider.

Spring and fall are generally the best times to get started, as the mild temperatures and increased rainfall help the plants establish their roots. However, if you’re living in a warmer climate, you can also plant ground cover during the cooler months to give it a head start before the scorching summer hits.

Ground Covers for Landscaping – Assessing Your Garden

When it comes to landscaping, incorporating ground covers for landscaping can truly transform your garden into a stunning and functional space. But before diving into plant selection, let’s take a friendly approach to assessing your garden’s unique characteristics. Here are some key steps to consider:

Ground covers for landscaping

Analyze soil conditions:

Get to know your soil! Is it clay, sandy, loamy, or a mix of everything? Each soil type has its quirks, so it’s important to find ground cover plants that can handle your soil’s personality. If you have clay soil, worry not—we’ve got some fantastic ground cover ideas for you! Examples include creeping phlox (Phlox subulata), bugleweed (Ajuga reptans), and creeping juniper.

Climate Compatibility:

Take a moment to assess your garden’s climate. What’s the average temperature like? How much rainfall do you usually get? When does frost make a surprise appearance? By understanding your climate and hardiness zone, you can select ground cover plants that are perfectly suited to your local weather conditions.


Let’s be real—we all have different levels of green thumb dedication. So, consider the amount of time and effort you’re willing to devote to maintaining your ground cover. There are numerous low-maintenance groundcover plants available. Examples include Sedum varieties.

The Growth Game:

Picture your dream garden layout. Understanding the growth habits of potential ground cover plants will help you achieve the desired effect. Whether it’s a spreading superstar or a clumping showstopper, choose the growth habit that perfectly complements your garden’s layout.

How to Choose the Right Ground Cover Plants

Now that you’ve assessed your garden’s unique personality, it’s time to embark on the exciting journey of selecting the perfect ground cover plants. Here are some friendly tips to guide you along the way:

Sunlight requirements:

Match the sunlight exposure in each area of your garden with groundcovers that thrive in those conditions. Embrace the sun-loving plants for those radiant spots, and welcome the shade-tolerant darlings for the cozy nooks.


Find ground cover plants that are true companions for your soil type. Look for those special plants that can handle clay soil or any other soil challenges that your garden might throw their way. For Zone 7 with full sun conditions, some ground cover options are Creeping Thyme, Sedum, Ice Plant

Growth Habit and Coverage:

Picture how you want your ground covers to grow and spread their leafy love. Whether you’re dreaming of a luscious carpet or delightful clumps, choose plants that align with your vision and available space.

Aesthetic Allies:

Let’s add some visual pizzazz to your garden! Look for ground covers that tickle your aesthetic fancy. Consider their foliage colors and textures, and if they boast beautiful blooms, it’s like a friendly bonus to your landscape canvas.


Time is precious, and we want you to spend it enjoying your garden, not just maintaining it. Choose ground covers that harmonize with your preferred level of maintenance.

Consider local native species:

Don’t forget to embrace your local flora! Incorporating native ground cover plants can add a touch of authenticity to your garden. These plants are resilient, adapted to your local climate, and often provide valuable habitat for local wildlife—a true win-win!

By taking a friendly and thorough approach to assessing your garden and considering these factors, you’ll be well on your way to choosing the perfect ground cover plants. Get ready to watch your garden blossom and transform into a haven of natural beauty and charm. Happy gardening, my green-thumbed friend!

How to Plant Ground Cover (Step by Step)

Let’s Get Groundcovers Growing:

Prepare the soil: Clear out those pesky weeds, rocks, and debris. Loosen the soil with a garden fork or tiller to a depth of 6–8 inches. This creates a root-friendly texture and improves drainage.

Ground covers for landscaping

Plan it out: Determine spacing and arrangement based on mature size and growth habits. For faster coverage, plant them closer together. Get creative with patterns or groupings to amp up the visual appeal.

Ground covers for landscaping

Dig those holes: Make individual planting holes slightly larger than the root ball or container. Space them according to your layout plan. Loosen tightly bound roots gently.

Ground covers for landscaping

Plant with care: Set each ground cover plant in its hole, making sure the top of the root ball is level with or slightly above the soil surface. Backfill the hole, gently firming the soil around the roots. Don’t pack it too tightly.

Ground covers for landscaping

Watering: After planting, water the ground cover plants thoroughly to settle the soil and help them establish. Water them enough to reach the root zone, but don’t go overboard and drown them.

Ground covers for landscaping

Mulch matters: Apply a layer of organic mulch around the plants. Mulch keeps moisture in, weeds out, and helps moderate soil temperatures. Just keep it a few inches away from the plant’s base to avoid rot.

Keep an eye out: Regularly check soil moisture and provide additional water as needed. Tackle weeds that try to steal the spotlight. Trim or prune the plants to maintain their shape and keep growth in check.

And enjoy the view! Give your ground cover plants time to settle in and flourish. Keep an eye on their progress and evaluate how they’re doing in your garden.

How to Maintain your Ground Cover

To ensure your ground covers thrive and look their best, follow these maintenance tips. Regular weeding is essential to keep unwanted vegetation from competing with your ground covers. Provide sufficient water while avoiding overwatering, adjusting the frequency based on each plant’s needs. Apply a layer of mulch to suppress weeds and conserve moisture.

Now, let’s dive into specific care instructions for different ground cover types.

Creeping thyme:

This is suited for USDA Zones 4–9 and prefers well-draining soil and regular watering. It thrives in full sun, blooms in spring and early summer, and has a low-growing and spreading habit.


It is suitable for Zones 3–9. It tolerates various soils but prefers good drainage. Water it regularly, especially in hot and dry periods. Ajuga grows in partial to full shade and blooms in the spring and early summer.

Vinca minor:

This is perfect for Zones 4–9 and prefers well-draining soil and regular watering. It thrives in shade to part shade, blooms in spring to early summer, and has a low-growing and spreading nature.


It is adaptable to Zones 3–10 and requires well-draining soil and sparse watering. It grows in full sun to part shade, blooms from summer to fall, and has a low-growing and spreading habit.

By following these care instructions for your specific ground cover plants, you can maintain their health and beauty while enjoying a stunning ground cover display in your garden.

Ground covers for landscaping: Key Takeaways

Finally! You’re now equipped with a wealth of knowledge about ground covers and their transformative power in tackling those challenging hillside landscapes. From understanding the different types of ground covers to selecting the best options for slopes, we’ve covered it all. Remember, fast-growing ground covers are your allies in preventing erosion and stabilizing the soil.

But our journey doesn’t end there! We also have some pro tips to share with you:

Get creative with your groundcover selection.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match different ground cover plants to create a stunning and diverse landscape. It’s like building a team of plant superheroes with unique powers and colors!

Arrange your heroes strategically:

Depending on the look you’re going for, you can plant your ground covers close together for a speedy takeover or leave some space for a slower, gradual spread. It’s like planning a superhero battle strategy, but with plants!

Keep those capes in check:

Keep an eye on your groundcovers’ growth to make sure they don’t take over the neighborhood. Regular trimming and pruning will keep them looking neat and tidy, like a well-groomed superhero team.

Read More: 20 of the Best Invasive Ground Cover with Purple Flowers


What is the most inexpensive ground cover?

Some wallet-friendly choices to consider are moss, clover, creeping thyme, and common vinca. Not only are they budget-friendly, but they also require minimal maintenance and can quickly spread to cover the ground.

What is the best ground cover to prevent weeds and grass?

Ah, pesky weeds and grass invading your garden! To keep them at bay, you’ll want dense and vigorous ground covers that act as natural weed and grass suppressors. Carpet bugle, creeping juniper, and creeping phlox are fantastic options.

What is the fastest-growing ground cover plant?

If you need speedy coverage for your ground, Japanese pachysandra and creeping myrtle are known for their impressive growth rates. These ground cover champions will quickly fill in spaces.

What ground cover plants can you walk on?

Creeping thyme, woolly thyme, chamomile, and elfin thyme are delightful choices. You can enjoy walking on these ground covers without worrying about damaging their beauty or compromising their health.