24 Groundcover Plants for Sun

Learn about groundcover plants that will thrive in natural sunlight and grow successfully in your lawn and garden spaces.

Gold Plate Special DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Gold Plate (Achillea filipendulina)

This traditional border plant is useful for covering expanses of the garden due to its large feathery foliage and wide, flat flowerheads. It produces bright golden flowerheads over 6 inches (15 cm) across and combines well in meadow or prairie planting. This fully hardy plant prefers well-drained to moist soil and full sun. H: 4 feet (1.2 m); S: 18 inches (45 cm)

Lady's Mantle Ground Cover DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla mollis)

Coping with both dappled shade and full sun, lady's mantle has light green, ruffled, fan-shaped leaves and small, lime-green flowerheads. This attractive herbaceous perennial is effective when used to underplant around taller shrubs. This fully hardy plant prefers well-drained to moist soil and full to partial sun. H: 24 inches (60 cm); S: 18 inches (45 cm)

Pearl Everlasting Groundcover DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Pearl Everlasting (Anaphalis triplinervis)

An herbaceous perennial with tiny white sprays of flowers, pearl everlasting has a neat, clump-forming, and spreading look. It has attractive gray-green, thin, elliptical foliage and white hairy stems. It is ideal for the front of a sunny border. This fully hardy plant prefers well-drained soil and full to partial sun. H: 20 inches (50 cm); S: 3 feet (1 m)

Silver Queen Offers Groundcover Option for Sunny Area DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Silver Queen (Artemisia ludoviciana)

Commonly grown for its attractive, silvery white leaves rather than its insignificant late-summer, brown-yellow flowers, this semi-evergreen is a good foliage plant for gravel gardens or in Mediterranean borders. This fully hardy plant prefers well-drained soil and full to partial sun. H: 30 inches (75 cm); S: 30 inches (75 cm)

Dense Lilac Groundcover DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Peter Sparkes (Calluna vulgaris)

This heather produces dense clusters of bell-shaped, bright lilac flowers and gray-green foliage. It requires an acidic soil for successful growth. Heathers are popular with beekeepers since they have a reputation for providing the tastiest honey. This fully hardy plant prefers well-drained soil and full sun. H: 18 inches (45 cm); S: 20 inches (50 cm)

Blue Cushion is Groundcover Used in Sunny Area DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Blue Cushion (Ceanothus)

This dwarf California lilac bears a mass of bright blue flowers in clusters all along its branches from mid- to late summer. It has glossy, evergreen leaves and requires a warm, moderately sheltered, well-drained site, where it will rapidly spread. This fully hardy plant prefers well-drained soil and full to partial sun. H: 18 inches (45 cm); S: 3 feet (1 m)

Hardy Plumbago for Sunny Spots DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Hardy Plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides)

Perfect for rock gardens and as groundcover in warm, sheltered sites, this spreading subshrub bears masses of tiny, bright blue flowers in late summer. The mid-green oval leaves are carried on reddish stems; foliage becomes red-tinted in the fall. This fully hardy plant prefers well-drained soil and full sun. H: 18 inches (45 cm); S: 4 feet (1.2 m)

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

Treneague (Chamaemelum nobile)

This is the best variety for use in a chamomile lawn because it is non-flowering. Its finely divided, feathery leaves make an attractive, fragrant, evergreen carpet. The plants knit together by sending out sideshoots, which form rosettes. This fully hardy plant prefers well-drained soil and full sun. H: 6 inches (15 cm); S: 12 inches (30 cm)

Coral Beauty is Groundcover Used in Sunny Area DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Coral Beauty (Cotoneaster dammeri)

A great plant for year-round interest, this vigorous, spreading shrub is an effective groundcover when grown under taller plants. It has attractive, evergreen foliage with small, white flowers in early summer followed by masses of red berries in the fall. This fully hardy plant prefers well-drained to moist soil and full to partial sun. H: 8 inches (20 cm); S: 6 feet (2 m)

Vivellii is Groundcover Used in Sunny Areas DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Vivellii (Erica carnea)

When planted in groups, this is an excellent groundcover heather with attractive, dark green, needlelike foliage tinged with purple and pink to magenta tubular flowers. This is a popular choice for sunny, exposed sites with light, acidic soil. This fully hardy plant prefers well-drained soil and full sun. H: 8 inches (20 cm); S: 14 inches (35 cm)

Emerald-N-Gold Provides Sunny Groundcover DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Emerald 'n' Gold (Euonymus fortunei)

This evergreen shrub is grown for its spectacular bright green, oval leaves with striking golden edges. It has a scrambling style but can also be trained to climb upward if given support. Its flowers are insignificant. This fully hardy plant prefers well-drained to moist soil and full to partial sun. H: 24 inches (60 cm); S: 3 feet (1 m)

Splendid Spurge DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Spurge (Euphorbia polychroma)

This evergreen perennial forms a rounded clump of attractive mid-green foliage and produces clusters of lime-green flowers in the spring. Spurge is a great filler for spring-flowering borders but beware of the milky sap, which can irritate skin. This fully hardy plant prefers well-drained to moist soil and full to partial sun. H: 16 inches (40 cm); S: 24 inches (60 cm)

Spanish Gorse is Groundcover Used in Sunny Area DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Spanish Gorse (Genista hispanica)

Spanish gorse produces yellow flowers and is densely packed with twigs and tiny green spines. Despite its evergreen appearance it is actually a deciduous shrub and benefits from hard pruning if it becomes too straggly. It thrives in warm sites. This fully hardy plant prefers well-drained soil and full sun. H: 28 inches (70 cm); S: 20 inches (50 cm)

Colorful Ground Cover DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Flame (Houttuynia cordata)

A versatile groundcover plant that thrives in both damp or well-drained soil, this vigorous, deciduous, fast-growing perennial has upright stems and impressive multicolored leaves. Insignificant sprays of small white flowers are produced in the summer. This fully hardy plant prefers well-drained to wet soil and full to partial sun. H: 14 inches (35 cm); S: 3 feet (1 m)

Rose of Sharon in Sunny Area DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Rose of Sharon (Hypericum calycinum)

A valuable and quick-spreading groundcover plant, rose of Sharon provides interest over many seasons due to its attractive foliage and long flowering period. It produces bright yellow, star-shaped blooms with impressive red-tipped anthers. This fully hardy plant prefers well-drained to moist soil and full to partial sun. H: 24 inches (60 cm); S: 5 ft (1.5 m)

Sprawling Creeping Juniper DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Creeping Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis)

Creeping juniper is a prostrate, evergreen shrub with a spreading style; it forms an attractive carpet of gray-green foliage that turns purplish in the winter. It is a useful plant for covering difficult areas like steep banks where mowers cannot reach. This fully hardy plant prefers well-drained soil and full to partial sun. H: 14 inches (35 cm); S: 8 feet (2.5 m)

Fluffy White Flowers of Snowy Woodrush Cluster Together DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Snowy Woodrush (Luzula nivea)

An evergreen, tufted, ornamental grasslike perennial, snowy woodrush makes great groundcover for both shady sites or in full sun. It produces a profusion of pale white flowers from early to midsummer, which can be dried and used in flower displays. This fully hardy plant prefers well-drained to moist soil and full to partial sun. H: 24 inches (60 cm); S: 18 inches (45 cm)

Dynamic Corsican Mint DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Corsican Mint (Mentha requienii)

An interesting alternative to chamomile or thyme when creating a scented, non-grass lawn, Corsican mint produces a mass of tiny, very aromatic leaves that smell of peppermint. It also bears tiny, purple flowers in late summer. This fully hardy plant prefers well-drained to moist soil and full to partial sun. H: 6 inches (15 cm); S: 18 inches (45 cm)

Six Hills Giant DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Six Hills Giant (Nepeta)

Called catmint because cats seem to love rolling in it, this plant bears mint-like, grayish, aromatic leaves and produces a profusion of bright blue flowers. It thrives in arid, infertile, and well-drained soils and is attractive to bees and butterflies. This fully hardy plant prefers well-drained soil and full sun. H: 18 inches (45 cm); S: 18 inches (45 cm)

Golden Marjoram DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Golden Majoram (Origanum vulgare \"Areum\")

Golden marjoram has highly aromatic leaves that can be used in cooking. Ideal groundcover for a sunny bank or in a herb garden, this bushy perennial produces tiny golden-yellow leaves and small pink flowers in the summer. This fully hardy plant prefers well-drained soil and full sun. H: 12 inches (30 cm); S: 12 inches (30 cm)

Fluffy Fleece Flower DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Superba (Persicaria bistorta)

This fast-growing semi-evergreen produces dense, cylindrical, pink flowerheads from early summer through to fall, held high above leaflike foliage. It is a vigorous plant and may need regular cutting back to keep it a good size. This fully hardy plant prefers well-drained to wet soil and full to partial sun. H: 28 inches (70 cm); S: 3 feet (1m)

Jerusalem Sage Groundcover DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Jerusalem Sage (Phlomis russeliana)

This striking, upright, herbaceous perennial produces hooded, pale yellow flowers along its stem from late spring right through into late fall. The foliage is pointed, hairy, and mid-green and grows in opposite pairs along the stem. This fully hardy plant prefers well-drained soil and full to partial sun. H: 3 feet (1 m); S: 30 inches (75 cm)

Severn Sea DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Severn Sea (Rosmarinus officinalis)

A popular culinary and medicinal herb, rosemary is an evergreen shrub bearing small, dark blue flowers in the summer. The foliage is dark green and needlelike, borne on arching stems. Native to the Mediterranean, it prefers light, sandy soils. This fully hardy plant prefers well-drained soil and full sun. H: 24 inches (60 cm); S: 24 inches (60 cm)

Lambs Ear Ground Cover DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Lambs' Ears (Stachys byzantina)

Commonly known as lambs' ears or bunnies' ears due to the soft, velvety texture of its leaves, this plant produces small tubular pink flowers on white, woolly, upright stems in summer. The foliage is evergreen, thick, and very hairy. This fully hardy plant prefers well-drained soil and full sun. H: 12 inches (30 cm); S: 24 inches (60 cm)

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