Choosing Groundcover Plants for Sun

Learn about groundcover plants that will thrive in sunlight and grow successfully in your lawn and garden spaces.
Silvery Groudcovers Ideal for Sunny Sites

Silvery Groudcovers Ideal for Sunny Sites

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover , 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

This shimmering silver design is ideal for sites that receive a lot of sunshine. The dominant groundcover plant is Artemisia schmidtiana "Nana", which runs through the design like a river, pooling around the taller structural plants at the rear. In the foreground the ornamental blue grasses create a textural contrast with their long, spiky blades of foliage. Ornamental pink thrift (Armeria maritime "Splendens") flowers from spring until early summer and adds a splash of color. You will need approximately 6x5 feet (1.8x1.5 m) of space to grow these plants. These grasses, which are best-suited for warm, sheltered gardens, prefer sharply draining soil and full sun.

Materials Needed:

  • 7 Blauglut (Festuca glauca) plants
  • 3 Valerie Finnis (Artemisia ludoviciana)
  • 7 Nana (Artemisia schmidtiana)
  • 3 Silver Spear (Astelia chathamica)
  • 9 Splendens (Armeria maritima)
  • horticultural grit
  • gardening shears
  • horticultural fabric (optional)

Planting and Aftercare

These plants are typical of Mediterranean planting designs and thrive in dry, arid conditions. Add horticultural grit to the soil if it is heavy, and cut back surrounding shrubs and tree branches if they block out any sunlight. Plant the tall Astelia and cut-leaved Artemisia at the back to give the plan some height and plant drifts of the colorful Armeria in front of them. Plant the Artemisia 'Nana' in a zigzag pattern across the center of the bed and finally the grasses in the front. Plant in spring so that the slightly tender Astelia have a chance to establish before the onset of winter. The design is relatively low maintenance: cut back the dead stems of the pink thrift after flowering. The Astelia may need covering with horticultural fabric in cooler areas during winter, and you may need to remove some of the dead grass foliage in spring.

Blauglut Ideal for Sites Receiving Lots of Sun

Blauglut Ideal for Sites Receiving Lots of Sun

Blauglut (Festuca glauca)

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover , 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Blauglut (Festuca glauca)

Sunny Valerie Finnis

Sunny Valerie Finnis

Valerie Finnis (Artemisia ludoviciana)

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover , 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Valerie Finnis (Artemisia ludoviciana)

Heat Tolerant Nana Groundcover

Heat Tolerant Nana Groundcover

Nana (Artemisia schmidtiana)

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover , 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Nana (Artemisia schmidtiana)

Silver Spear Ideal for Sites Receiving Lots of Sun

Silver Spear Ideal for Sites Receiving Lots of Sun

Silver Spear (Astelia chathamica)

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover , 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Silver Spear (Astelia chathamica)

Soft Sea Pink Splendens

Soft Sea Pink Splendens

Splendens (Armeria maritima)

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover , 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Splendens (Armeria maritima)

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