If you’ve been trying to find a way to make the barren patches in your garden look more lively, ground cover plants may be the solution. These plants have leaves that stay green all year long.
Evergreen plants that grow horizontally across the ground are great for adding year-round appeal, preventing weeds, and avoiding erosion during the winter months when other groundcovers die back and go dormant.
Most cacti are forgiving and low-maintenance, so you don’t have to worry about them if you walk on them. Even better, there are evergreen varieties of groundcovers for almost any need and space, some offer spectacular blooms, some are not, some good for sunny spots, others can tolerate shade. Some roses are better suited for northern landscapes while others can withstand droughts.
They can be grouped into: -Crawling conifers with colored foliage like dwarf junipers and cypresses -Succulents like stonecrop, hens and chicks, and moss rose -Shrubs -Herbaceous plants
Even though they are easy to grow and spread rapidly, they do need some attention. The most important part of choosing the foundation of your landscape is thinking about your growing zone, sun exposure, rainfall and frost.
You will need to narrow down your selections of varieties to incorporate into your dreary winter landscapes based on your conditions. We love these low-maintenance ground cover plants that stay green all year long! Here’s some information on how to care for each one.
Best Evergreen Ground Covers
The dwarf lingonberry goes by the scientific name of Vaccinium vitis-idaea minus. This ground cover that stays green all year spreads by runners and only gets 4-6 inches tall. The plant produces pink bell-shaped flowers in the spring, which turn into edible red berries in the fall. The oval-shaped leaves stay glossy throughout the year. This plant does best in areas where the summers are not scorching hot, and it can tolerate cooler temperatures found in zone 8 and below. In the wild, lingonberry provides an important source of nutrition for black bears, moose, caribou, and hares.
The English ivy plant is a fast and aggressive perennial ground cover. They consider it to be invasive in some areas and it poses a threat to both humans and animals because it is toxic. This plant is hardy in zones 4-9 and makes a great ground cover for areas that need to be quickly filled. English ivy is a plant that has long, cascading stems. It is known for its ability to climb, and has waxy, leathery leaves with white veins. It produces small yellow-green flowers in the late summer that turn into berries that birds enjoy.
Creeping rosemary is a fast-growing ground cover. It is also known as trailing or prostrate rosemary because it can spread up to 8 feet. The leaves of this plant are gray-green and lance-shaped, and they have a pleasant aroma. You can eat them. The flowers are pale blue and grow in clusters. They appear during the warm summer months. Creeping rosemary is a plant that originates from the Mediterranean. It is only able to withstand cold temperatures in zones 8-10.
I love moss rose because it is an evergreen groundcover plant. This succulent has thick leaves that create a continuous, bright green blanket for your garden. People especially love moss rose for the way its flowers seem to explode out of its petals. The flowers have large petals and there are double varieties. They come in all different colors including white, yellow, pink, magenta, orange and red. You can wear as few or as many colors as you want – from spring to fall! Yes, because this tiny beauty just can’t stop blooming.
Its name is derived from the large, heart shaped leaves which resemble an elephant’s ears. With its large, heart-shaped leaves reminiscent of an elephant’s ears, Elephant’s ears is a very popular evergreen ground cover plant. This plant is good for filling in empty spaces because it has big leaves. This is a plant that you can forget about because it doesn’t need much care, but it will still add beauty to your garden all year with its hard-to-miss foliage. Sometimes the leaves of the plant can turn red or deep purple, depending on the light and climate conditions. In spring, you will be reminded of it more than any other time! The plant will grab your attention with its bright red to purple flowers coming out on top of the stems. Most varieties of this plant are pink to magenta, with some being brighter than others. Some varieties have a lilac color. This plant is also good for rock gardens, gravel gardens, and low flower beds.
The horizontal branches of the creeping juniper make it a popular choice for those who want a ground cover plant that doesn’t require much attention. Creeping juniper has blue-green foliage that develops a reddish tinge in the winter. The plant is best suited for growing in zones 3-9 and the female plants will produce inconspicuous flowers that turn into blue-gray berries. The size of these evergreen plants varies depending on the cultivar, but they typically spread between 6-8 feet and can get as tall as 2 feet. The blue star juniper is a strain that does well in rock gardens and helps to keep dirt from being eroded.
Thymus serpyllum, or creeping thyme, is a semi-evergreen plant that will remain evergreen in areas with mild winters. This plant is able to survive in dry conditions and has stems that are woody with small, oval-shaped leaves that are bluish-green in color. Even though it has fragrant leaves, creeping thyme is not good for cooking. This plant’s bell-shaped purple flowers attract pollinators in the summer months. It is hardy in zones 4-8.
Hens And Chicks
Hens and chicks are a type of succulent that does well as groundcover. They have beautiful rosettes that grow low on the ground and come in many colors, including silver green, purple, and various shades of green. The plant will spread quickly and fill in any gaps on its own. The size of rosettes varies depending on the species, with some reaching a maximum of one foot (30 cm), such as Sempervivum ‘Hart 8’. This succulent can be found growing on rocky slopes high up in tall mountains like the Alps. It’s able to withstand snow and cold temperatures.
The Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’ is perfect for use as an evergreen groundcover. Ice Plant is a perfect small plant for filling in spaces and it can easily propagate in small cracks and corners. The leaves are thick and beautiful; they look a bit like tiny fingers or swollen needles. The flowers have very bright colors, including white, magenta, red, orange, purple, and pink. They look like asters. The flowers have a shiny, waxy quality that reflects light well. They are everywhere and so many that you will have difficulty seeing the leaves on the ground.
There are many different kinds of succulents in the Stonecrop genus that make great ground cover. The leaves of these plants are green, blue, red, purple, or yellow, depending on the species, the season, and the amount of light they receive. There are also many different colors of sedum, like the cream and green ‘Autumn Charm’ for example. These plants spread quickly and offer a wide range of colors and personalities to cover bare ground. You can use rocks in flower beds, containers and rock gardens. The flowers come in bunches at the top of tall stems, usually pink. The fact that stonecrop is both a garden and container plant increases its value.
Japanese spurge, pachysandra terminalis, is a shrubby, evergreen groundcover that is native to Japan. This plant is able to withstand harsh conditions in areas 4-8 and can grow up to 10 inches in height. This plant is a semi-evergreen ground cover in colder climates. You should plant this species in an area where it won’t be able to spread its seeds and cause problems. This plant has small leaves that are finely toothed and blooms dainty white flowers in the early spring. The Japanese spurge prefers areas that are partially shaded instead of being in full shade. It also does well in soil that doesn’t retain water.
Bearberry is tolerant of freezing conditions or poor soils. Source: Matt Lavin
One of the best ground covers that requires minimal care and stays green year-round is bearberry. The plant known as kinnikinnick or bearberry is a source of food for animals such as bears. This plant does well in sandy soil and soil with few nutrients. This ground cover plant is perfect for freezing climates in zones 2-7. It prefers full sun but will tolerate dry shade. Bearberry grows by sending out rhizomes, and it forms a thick ground cover with deep green leaves that have a waxy surface. The bell-shaped pink flowers not only provide seasonal interest, but also a lovely fragrance.
Siberian Carpet Cypress
This shrub comes from the Siberian mountains and looks like a cypress. Although it is technically a conifer, it is not a cypress. Its ability to withstand very cold temperatures makes it ideal for use in locations with severe winters. This species of plant does not grow upwards like most plants, instead it forms thick carpets of green foliage on the ground in wind-swept Siberian mountains. The Siberian carpet cypress is a plant that is very sturdy and able to withstand harsh conditions. It is also very easy to take care of. It looks great when contrasted with gravel or different colored wood bark mulch. It will give you permanent and long term groundcover. One single plant can actually cover a large area.
Creeping Thyme (Thymus Coccineus)
There’s no way we could miss creeping thyme when looking at the best evergreen groundcover plants. The plants are great because they have a lot of small leaves on thin branches. They don’t require much care and will spread quickly. The blooms need to be long and intense, usually lavender, but magenta and other shades of purple or white are also possible. The events mentioned in the text are long-lasting and appear as if somebody has spilt paint on the garden. Additionally, the author mentions that thyme is a noteworthy herb with a distinctive flavor and it has great medicinal properties. The Royal Horticulturatal Society has awarded this plant the Award of Garden Merit, so it must be a worthy winner.
The plant known as creeping phlox (Phlox subulata) forms a low, thick mat that is less than a foot tall and is semi-evergreen. The flowers are pink and star-shaped, and they bloom in the early summer. The foliage is evergreen and dainty. Creeping phlox is not tolerant of colder climates and does best in zones 5 through 9. This plant can grow in many different types of soils, from acidic to alkaline. It does best, though, in soils that have good drainage. This ground cover plant is low maintenance and does best in full sun.
Black Mondo Grass
This ground cover plant has black leaves that stay on the plant all year. This grass does best in full sun and can grow in temperate climates. It prefers moist soil and average 6 inches in height. Although it takes a while for it to bloom, the purple flowers that appear in the summer make the wait worthwhile. “Mini mondo grass” is a kind of grass that has dark green leaves, and is usually only four inches tall.
Prostrate Rock Cotoneaster
This plant can withstand cold winters and is a good option for ground cover. The Cotoneaster horizontalis ‘Perpusillus’ plant is best grown in full sun, but it can also tolerate partial shade. It is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 4-7. Cotoneaster has small leaves and bright red berries that grow in clusters on its branches. This plant is 1-2 feet tall, but has a spread of 5-7 feet wide. The plant blooms small white flowers in the late spring, which turn into striking red berries.
The plant known as spotted deadnettle (Lamium maculatum) will only retain its green color in areas where the climate is relatively mild and does not experience a freezing winter. It is a plant that will last for many years and can tolerate cold weather in zones 4-8. These plants prefer areas with full to partial shade, and can tolerate wet soil as long as the water drains well. The leaves of this plant have serrated edges and a silvery tinge. In the summer, the plant blooms with purple flowers. The plants will form a mat as their stems touch the soil. The average height of this plant is less than a foot, with a spread of 2-3 feet.
Western Wild Winger
Western wild winger is a groundcover plant that is not well known, but it is very striking. This plant, which is not cold hardy, is ideal for warmer regions. It has beautiful emerald green heart shaped leaves, which are a bit like those of cyclamens, but veined and very thick. This plant does well in shady areas, similar to where cyclamen flourish, such as beneath trees and bushes or in a corner where a wall blocks sunlight throughout the day. This plant will also bloom with very exotic looking, unusual flowers in late spring. The flowers are a deep purple color with long petals that resemble strings. The center of the flower is bell-shaped with yellow parts inside. Really striking.