Ground covers are low-growing plants that have a mat-forming and trailing ability. They are often used along a bank or slope to help with erosion, or grown among a rock or perennial garden to enhance the landscape. Ground covers are ideal plants to grow because they reduce the amount of lawn maintenance, yet provide unusual textures and colors to the space. They are also ideal along roadsides to provide color without obstructing views of incoming traffic.
The bushy aster is a low-growing, perennial ground cover that creeps and meanders through the fall landscape. The daisy-like blooms are pinkish-purple with yellow centers and begin their emergence in early fall. Blue aster grows up to 3 feet high and wide and prefers full sun. This aster is often used on steep slopes for helping control erosion while providing bright color to the landscape. Blue aster requires medium moisture to flourish and thrive. It also attracts wildlife like birds and bumblebees. The recommended USDA hardiness zone is 4 to 8.
This evergreen ground cover has slow to moderate growth, reaching a 4-inch maximum height. The leather-like dark green leaves are teardrop shape and prefer sun to light shade to grow. Bearberry also requires well-drained and slightly acidic soils. The small, urn-shaped white to pink flowers adds color to the landscape and the green fruit turns red in the fall for a sea of red and green. Bearberry is also a drought-tolerant ground cover with a USDA hardiness zone of 3 to 7.
Wild ginger is a green, deciduous ground cover. Its kidney-shaped leaves have a slow growth rate and only reach 6 inches in height. This low-growing ground cover prefers light to moderate shade and rich, acidic soil. The mat-forming foliage is a perfect addition around a shade garden to help fill in low areas of the garden. The recommended USDA hardiness zone is 3 to 8.
The Serbian bellflower is a low-maintenance, fall-loving ground cover. Its showy blue flowers look lovely nestled along a rock garden or among a perennial bed for a bright splash of color. This perennial has 1-inch star-shaped blossoms that bloom into early fall. The bright green foliage of the Serbian bellflower remains evergreen into the winter, ideal for adding a bit of color to a gray winter day. Serbian bellflowers are capable of spreading throughout the garden year after year.