Groundcovers fulfill many needs within a garden space. They can fill bare spots with greenery, add blooms and color to an otherwise dull area or simply cut down on unwanted weed growth. Regardless of their purpose, gardeners have quite a few choices in plants that act well as groundcovers. Whether requiring a groundcover for a shady or sunny area in the garden, there are plants to fulfill your gardening requirements.
Blue daze (Evolvulus glomeratus Grandiflorus) works well as a perennial and medium-fast growing groundcover in USDA planting zones 9, 10 and 11. Cooler regions should use blue daze as an annual as it will not tolerate freezing temperatures. Plants bloom best if situated in full sun but will tolerate partial sun conditions.
The plant has a mounding habit of smallish leaves and fills with tiny blue flowers throughout spring and summer. Plants grow 1 to 2 feet in height, with a spreading habit of 1 foot. Blue daze works well in coastal landscapes as it has a high tolerance to salt spray. Plants will perform best with regular watering especially during hot, dry conditions.
Liriope (Liriope muscari), also called border grass or lily turf, is not an ornamental grass, but instead a member of the lily family. Long spikes of deep-green foliage grows up to 18 inches in height, with mounds spreading up to 1 foot or more. It grows best and is a perennial in USDA planting zones 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 and works well as a groundcover on slopes or in borders. Plants produce purple or white flowers born on spikes and blooms throughout summer.
Gardeners will find plants are tolerant to even the poorest soils, but grow quickest when planted in rich, fertile soil mediums. Liriope works well in both sunny or shady gardens as well as coastal areas due to its high salt tolerance. Liriope has a variegated cultivar that produces white flowers with white and light green striped foliage.
Periwinkle (Vinca major) works well as a groundcover due to its fast growth habit. It grows best in USDA planting zones 8 and 9 where it acts as a perennial. Gardeners with small gardening spaces will find periwinkle will quickly fill in bare areas with a dense mat of green foliage. Plants tolerate both sunny and shady areas, but thicken up quicker when grown in partial sunny conditions. Bluish-purple flowers fill the plant throughout summer.
Plants grow up to 2 feet in height with a variable spreading habit. Periwinkle has a low salt tolerance making it a poor choice in coastal gardens. Gardeners will experience the best growth and flower production by watering periwinkle plants regularly, as they do not tolerate growing in hot, dry weather conditions.