Flowering ground cover plants are real treasures to fill a vacant space with a seasonal show of texture and colors to those challenging areas in your landscape where; turf grass is difficult to grow or maintain, such as dense shade and steep slopes, and poor soil.
That barren patch of soil in your garden needs a solution, and these low-growing, low-maintenance flowering perennials will suppress grass and “weeds” in garden beds and under trees and shrubs.
A wide variety of plants may be used as ground cover, including perennial herbaceous plants, deciduous and or evergreen woody plants, and varying heights from 1 inch to 3-4 feet.
Flowering groundcover plants have many functions, both in maintaining the soil fertile and keeping your garden beautiful. Flowering ones have an added value, of course, and there are many you can choose from relaxing chamomile, romantic creeping thyme, and lively and playful moss rose.
To ensure success blooming ground cover plants should not be selected on aesthetic value alone. Choosing the right plant for the proper location is the first and most important step to reducing future maintenance needs of your ground cover bed.
If adding visual interest and color to your garden year after year is your desire, there are plenty of flowering and low-maintenance varieties that will transform the garden into a sea of blooms. And, of course, you can find beautiful plants for it of all types, whether for a sunny or shady location, with a long flowering period or perennials flowers of all colors.
Why You Should Use Flowering Groundcover Plants
There are many reasons why you should use flowering groundcover plants in your garden. And they are not all just aesthetic. So… here we go!
A big principle of organic gardening is: never leave the soil without cover. Barren soil looses nutrients, moisture, useful microorganisms. It deteriorates and desertification starts. And the process starts e few hours after uncovering the soil!
Using flowering groundcover is a quick way of turning unpleasant parches into beautiful elements of your garden. Looking at a garden with a barren, or badly kept patch is a real eyesore. Groundcover is the quickest way to remedy this.
Flowering groundcover plants are low maintenance, especially when compared with flower bed plants. Most of them just need the right conditions and they will happily live with minimal care.
Flowering groundcover plants often attract many pollinators, making your garden more beautiful while at the same turning it into a little natural haven.
So now you know that flowering groundcover plants are the solution to many problems, without further ado, let’s go and meet them!
30 Flowering Groundcover Plants To Add Visual Interest
To make it easier for you to decide, we’ve separated them into five categories:
And here is the list of the 30 best flowering groundcover plants for your garden, divided up conveniently into 5 useful groups:
Flowering Groundcover Plants For Sun
Covering land in sunny spots with flowering groundcover plants is essential to keep it hydrated, but also to keep the nutrients inside the soil.
It is easy to find flowering plants for sunny positions, but still you will need to choose the right ones for you. So, here are my suggestions.
1: Sea Pink (Armeria Maritima)
Sea pink or sea thrift is an excellent pink flowering groundcover plant for energy and vibrancy. As the name suggests, it will give you a lot of deep magenta pink flowers that come in small clusters at the top of long stems. They may remind you a bit of single carnations, hence the name.
The long, blade like green leaves form very dense tufts underneath the beautiful flowers, which will cover the ground with grass like and elegant foliage.
2: Lamb’s Ears (Stachys Byzantina)
Lamb’s ears as groundcover is mainly appreciated for its foliage, but it does flower too. In fact the leaves are original, as they are very fluffy and thick, with what looks like a fur on them. The color is silver blue and they are tongue shaped. In a way, they may remind you of many sage leaves.
The flowers will come in spring and keep going for moths on top of long stems. They look a bit like sage flowers too, and they are of a magenta pink color.
3: Creeping Phlox (Phlox Stolonifera)
While phlox is mainly used in borders and beds, creeping phlox is ideal as groundcover for sunny areas in your garden. In fact, it will spread horizontally with stolons and form a wonderful carpet of green leaves to hid that barren ground…
The flowers are as beautiful as those of other phlox varieties. They come in thick groups or clusters above the foliage and they are of a very vibrant magenta purple shade.
4: Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia Nummularia)
Creeping jenny is a striking crawling carpeting plant with great foliage and blooms! The leaves come as small and round opposing leaflets along a thin and arching stem that tends to rest on the ground. They are of a bright green color that will make your groundcover very vibrant and lively indeed.
The flowers look a bit like those of buttercups; they are yellow, round in shape and very sweet looking. They mix well with the color and size of the foliage, giving a sense of proportion and harmony.
5: Veronica (Veronica Spicata)
For a showy display as well as groundcover, veronica is an excellent perennial plant that likes full Sun. The foliage is very elegant and structurally interesting in itself.
But the same stem that bears the leaves will also produce long and attractive spikes of long lasting flowers at the beginning of spring.
You can play with a range of colors too. In fact, the blooms can be white, pink, red, magenta or violet blue, maybe the most popular shade of this flower. They also make good cut flowers and they re excellent for borders and flower beds as well.
Flowering Groundcover Plants For Shade
Finding flowers for shady corners of your garden is hard but you are in luck because there are many flowering groundcover plants you can grow where light is scarce. They are mainly small plants that grow in wooded areas in Nature.
And if you have ever been to a natural (not “managed”) forest, you will know that the ground is hardly ever uncovered…
From mosses to small shrubs to creepers, it is always alive with leaves and often even flowers.
6: Wishbone Flower (Torenia Fournieri)
As a carpeting groundcover plant, wishbone flower is really beautiful. Its flowers have a lighter shade of violet blue in the middle and then areas of velvety and rich deep purple.
They will come in abundance for months on end. This means that you can have bees and butterflies visiting your garden for most of the year on top of covering that sad patch.
The foliage is green and thick, and it will form a kind of cushion in top of the soil, which then the flowers will decorate. What us more, this is another very cold hardy plant!
7: Periwinkle (Vinca Minor)
Periwinkle is a lovely small plant that will cover ground very quickly with its very shiny, rich green and elliptical leaves. It creeps sideways like strawberries do, with stolons, and it soon forms a low cushion of green and and lavender blue…
The flowers, in fact, are wonderful, with the five petals looking like they are spinning, like propellers… The overall look is that of fertile temperate forest underbrush, which makes it ideal for a nice spot in dappled shade.
8: Plantain Lily (Hosta Sieboldiana)
Hosta is an excellent flowering groundcover plant for shady places. It has broad and decorative leaves that give you an idea of great fertility and freshness. Do be careful with slugs and snails though, because they absolutely love them!
The flowers come in clusters on long stems and they are just beautiful. They look like white trumpets that end in a star shaped mouth, and they too are very suitable to the temperate woodland look.
9: Creeping Lilyturf (Liriope Spicata)
Creeping lilyturf is excellent to add some structural and architectural depth to flower beds and borders, but it will do it also if you grow it as groundcover. You will love its long, lush and deep green leaves that cover ground forming large and fertile looking tufts.
And the flowers too can be very attractive. They come in long spikes that start from the base of the plant and are scattered among the foliage. The color ranges from white to pink and violet blue.
10: Blue Leadwood (Ceratostigma Plumbaginoides)
Maybe you have never heard of blue leadwood as a blooming groundcover plant – but you should have. In fact, its elegant blue flowers with five heart shaped petals that come on top of thin and decorative purple stems are wonder to behold.
These are very plenty and late bloomers and they will a beautiful dimension to the leaves that they stud like stars.
The foliage itself is a feature: vibrant green for most of the year, it will take on purple tints later in the season.
11: Spotted Dead Nettle (Lamium Maculatum)
Spotted dead nettle is a beautiful little blooming plant that is excellent for groundcover even in shaded areas.
The mint (or nettle) shaped leaves have the advantage of having two colors: green and silver white in the middle. This makes the ensemble very beautiful, and it is an evergreen plant in mild climates.
The flowers come at the top of the leaf bearing stems. They are mauve to magenta in color and they come in small but eye catching clusters in the spring.
Evergreen Flowering Groundcover Plants
Evergreen flowering groundcover plants have two great advantages: the bloom (usually during the warm season) but they also keep the foliage on all year round.
This means that they will accomplish their carpeting and ground covering task all year round. No unsightly patches even in wintertime if you choose one of the plants you are about to meet!
12: Moss Rose (Portulaca Grandiflora)
Moss rose is by far one of may favorite and fast growing flowering groundcover succulents ever. With its showy, abundant and brightly colored flowers, it can be a real small protagonist of gardens.
It propagates fast and it has very long blooms. You can enjoy its white, yellow, orange, pink, magenta and red blooms for months in end.
Being a succulent, the foliage too is very beautiful, but unlike many succulents, it is very cold hardy and it self seeds naturally. It will cover ground all year round too, being evergreen, in most areas, even temperate ones!
13: Yellow Stonecrop (Sedum Nuttallinaum)
You can turn that sad corner with no life into a sea of bright yellow flowers if you choose yellow stonecrop as groundcover.
In fact, this evergreen flowering ground cover fills with the most vibrant star shaped yellow flowers, each only a few millimeters wide, but there are so many that the whole area will be packed, like a Van Gogh painting.
Sedum is of course a succulent, so, this drought tolerant groundcover is ideal for dry places, but it also is evergreen. This means that while the flowers will disappear in fall, the leaves will stay on all through winter.
Having said this, they may dry up a bit over this season, but don’t worry… They will be plump again as soon as spring comes.
14: Fairy Crassula (Crassula Multicava)
Crassula is a common low and clump forming evergreen succulent that lends itself to groundcover purposes and also has generous and delicate blooms.
Fairy crassula in particular takes its name from the appearance of its inflorescences. The lavender colored little star shaped flowers look like little gems scattered on a veil…
The magical look of the blooms comes on top of beautiful, oval shaped and green leaves. Crassula plants are very much appreciated for their sweet but decorative foliage indeed, and it is thick enough to function as groundcover.
15: Vera Jameson Stonecrop (Sedum ‘Vera Jameson’)
Vera Jameson stonecrop is an excellent flowering ground cover to grow on its own or mix with fairy crassula.
In fact it matches its habit, with beautiful start shaped flowers at the end of long stems. These flowers, however, are of a rich, strong and romantic pink color.
The foliage, however, succulent and evergreen, has the added value of striking colors, which range from deep bluish purple to silver green or jade.
It is a self-propagating little plant that would also look good in low flower beds and containers. This succulent too is excellent for regions with cold winters.
16: Iceplant (Delosperma Cooperi)
A wonderfully bright plant for groundcover is succulent iceplant, also known as hardy iceplant. The flowers are showy, brightly colored in shades of vibrant pink to violet purple most times, but there are white, yellow, red and orange varieties too. They look like stars with many rays, or waxy asters with a small disk.
The abundant bloom will almost totally cover the blanket of foliage underneath, which will stay on all through winter even in fairly cold regions.
Perennial Flowering Groundcovers
Planting perennials to cover ground is an excellent choice. Why? Well, simply, you will not need to replant them next year… perennials are a permanent solution to the problem of uncovered ground.
There are also so many perennials to choose from. In fact most of the plants in this article are perennials, but the following ones will give you a few more ideas for your garden…
17: Creeping Thyme (Thymus Serpyllum, Thymus X Citrodorus And Thymus Pulegioides And Other Varieties)
Creeping thyme is a sturdy little flowering groundcover plant with many pros. To start with, it is a generous bloomer, with recurrent mauve to lavender colored little flowers. The overall effect is what makes it striking.
On top of this, it is a great to protect your other plants from pests and of course, you can use it as a herb. It can turn that horrible “bald patch” in your garden into a relaxing, aromatic and useful herb garden, or as a barrier against aphids and other annoying insects.
18: Lily Of The Valley (Convallaria Majalis)
lily of the valley is a classic white flowering ground cover you will find in wooded areas. And you can easily grow it in your garden too. The blooms are short lived but beautiful. The beautiful drooping bell shaped white flowers of this plant are very famous indeed…
The foliage, however, have great decorative value. They are large, waxy and vivid green in color. They form large clumps of interest and beauty which look perfect in the dappled shade of trees. Lily of the valley will naturalize in most regions and propagate spontaneously.
19: Society Garlic (Tulbaghia Violacea)
Society garlic is an excellent plant for groundcover but also in flower beds and borders. It is very low maintenance and all it needs is that you water it regularly but never excessively. In exchange it will give you wonderful silver green long and thin foliage from sprung all the way to the first frost.
But the flowers are beautiful too. They are of a lavender pink color, funnel shaped and with six petals. These elegant blooms will come in small groups on top of a long stem.
20: Perennial Peanut (Arachis Glabrata)
This yellow flowering groundcover plant is actually a cousin of the peanuts we all like to eat, but it is a garden plant with many advantages. It is perennial, as the name suggests.
It has beautiful lush and elegant foliage with pinnate leaves. It also produces beautiful yellow flowers that will pop their heads above the foliage every year. It propagates naturally…
Finally, this little wonder has a final clenching point for many gardeners… You can actually walk on it as long as you do it sporadically and you allow it to pick up after it. Basically, it also tolerates light treading.
21: Horned Violet (Viola Cornuta)
The little horned violet is a wonderful choice as groundcover. We all know how beautiful and variegated its iconic flowers are. Yellow, white, violet and even deep purple with many patches and areas of light and attractiveness.
Few people know that this beauty is also perennial, and that once the flowers have spent, the foliage stays on, in some areas all through winter with no problems at all.
22: Pig Squeak (Bergenia Purpurascens)
Here is a classic groundcover plant with amazing leaves and beautiful flowers for you: pig squeak. With its large, glossy and semi-succulent leaves, it is guaranteed to keep the soil covered but also add great architectural interest to your garden. The look you will get is a mix between exotic and shaded temperate…
The early blooming flowers will come on stems from the base and enrich the ensemble with their many bright magenta pink and sweet looking heads.
23: Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus Repens)
Creeping buttercup is a classic short groundcover plant with the sweetest flowers you can find growing spontaneous in the dappled shade of temperate forests.
Its small but beautiful yellow flowers are well known. Sweet and innocent looking, they are a favorite with children too.
The leaves look tender and young all year round. They are round and green and the form little clumps of foliage that are excellent as groundcover.
Creeping buttercup propagates naturally and it grows fast, so it will quickly cover your unpleasant barren land.
24: Blue Star Creeper (Isotoma Fluviatilis)
Blue star creeper, also called Laurentia, is a small creeping bush with very attractive flowers.
And lots of them… The star shaped little flowers in fact will be so many that you will be forgiven for thinking that you are looking at a starry night in a pond.
Though it is called blue star creeper, the flowers cab be of different shades of blue, but also lavender and almost white.
The foliage, green and rich in small rounded leaves, forms a thick carpet that grows both on the ground and on rocks and slopes.
Low Maintenance Flowering Groundcovers
Then again, if you want flowering groundcover plants, the chances are that you don’t have much time for maintenance… As we said, most groundcover plants are at least fairly low maintenance.
But the ones that follow stand out as being very adaptable, very sturdy, and, above all extremely low maintenance. Basically these are the carpeting flowers you can plant and then almost forget about them!
25: Creeping Dogwood (Cornus Canadensis)
A lovely plant for gentle “temperate wood looking” groundcover is creeping dogwood. It has lovely, small but very sweet white flowers. Each small flower head has four petals and they appear scattered on top f the foliage, a bit like pearls on a green carpet.
While this may not be a very showy groundcover plant, it is ideal for delicate looking gardens and spots where you want to recreate a natural or even “old world” look.
26: ‘Jelly Bells’ Bellflower (Panula X Pulloides ‘Jelly Bells’)
In our shortlist of wonderful blooming groundcover plants we could not miss bellflower. It will grace your garden with its iconic, bell shaped flowers.
These showy flowers, with their purple color and their papery texture are quite abundant and they come on individual stems above the foliage.
And underneath the nodding bells you will get beautiful, texture rich and youthful looking bright green foliage that will freshen up your garden and cover unsightly patches.
27: Woodruff (Galium Odoratum)
Woodruff will give you a green blanket with many white stars on it to cover your bare ground. The effect is that of a painting, or of a brightly colored prairie…
It is actually stunning and delicate at the same time, also because the elliptical and elongated leaves are of the brightest hue of green ever.
It is a creeping plant that will soon naturally spread, and it is ideal for a small lawn because of its natural propagation abilities. It is also a very useful plant with medicinal qualities.
28: Snow In Summer (Cerastium Tomentosum)
This carpeting plant will explode in a huge bloom of white flowers that looks like snow, hence the name. But it will do it from late spring, so, the effect is very striking indeed. The flowers are actually very elegant and light, and they are really abundant.
The foliage is actually attractive too. It is rich in texture and if an interesting silver green color. This plant is ideal for areas you want to embellish your garden with light and bright colors, and it is also ideal for modern looking gardens.
29: Sun Rose (Helianthemum Mummularium)
Sun rose is a groundcover blooming plant that looks striking in sunny places. It is an evergreen low shrub that will produce a sea of bright red flowers with yellow centers. The extra value of this plant is that it blooms very profusely.
The foliage has a nice texture too and, apart from groundcover, you can use it for beds, borders and also containers.
30: Gopher Plant (Euphorbia Rigida)
A very unusual succulent, gopher plant, a.k.a. upright myrtle spurge, is an original but low maintenance choice as groundcover. It will produce long stems with a rich texture and fine foliage.
These will soon form clumps that cover the ground. The leaves are of an aquamarine color that really adds to the palette of your garden.
Then. At the top, you will get clumps of yellow flowers. These have the classical Euphorbia shape (like crown of thorns), with two round petals and an overall round complexion too.
It propagates spontaneously and it is very strong and undemanding as well. It is also virtually disease free, pest tolerant and even deer won’t eat it.
Groundcover Flowering Plants for All Your Needs
These are all amazing flowering groundcover plants, including succulents like stonecrop and classics like chamomile and horned violets. But we have also met lesser known plants like creeping jenny.
But what I hope you will take away from this article is that you really have no reason to panic if you have an unsightly “bald patch” in your garden.
You can find wonderful plants for it of all types, for sunny spots and for shade, low and very low maintenance, perennials, evergreen and flowers of all colors…
Unlike the bald patch on our heads, the one in the garden has easy and colorful solutions!
Margie and Arkansas native has an extensive background in gardening and landscaping. For the last 40 years, Margie has called the Colorado Rocky Mountains her home. Here she and her husband of 36 years raised three kids and owned a successful landscaping company. Margie has a CSU Master Gardener certification. She specialized in garden design & installation, perennial gardens, turf grasses & weeds, flower containers, and the overall maintenance of allHOA, commercial and residential accounts. She and her husband now reside in Denver and are excited about the new experiences’ city life holds.