Are you tired of looking at bare patches of soil in your yard or garden? Do you want to add some color and texture to your landscape without spending hours on maintenance?
Look no further than fast-growing ground cover plants. These mat-forming, low-growing plants are perfect for covering large areas of bare soil or ground, preventing soil erosion, and keeping weeds under control.
But with so many options out there, which ground cover is the fastest growing? In this article, we’ll explore some of the top contenders and help you choose the best one for your needs.
So sit back, relax, and get ready to transform your yard into a lush tapestry of colors and textures with the fastest growing ground cover plants.
What Is The Fastest Growing Ground Cover
When it comes to fast-growing ground cover plants, there are several options to choose from. One of the most popular and fastest-growing ground covers is Creeping Myrtle, also known as periwinkle. This evergreen perennial can grow up to 6 inches tall with trailing vines up to 18 inches long. It is low-maintenance, pest-free, and tough, making it an excellent choice for any garden.
Another fast-growing ground cover plant is Creeping Jenny. This plant can be grown in full sun or partial shade and its vibrant green color adds dimension and texture to any landscape. It can quickly spread up to two feet, but it needs a lot of water to thrive and is not suitable for drought-prone areas.
Flowering candytuft is another fast-growing ground cover plant that is perfect for full sun. Despite its vigorous growth, it’s not considered invasive and quickly covers the ground with clusters of white flowers.
For shade, Periwinkle ‘Bowles’ Variety’ is a great option. This hardy cultivar is less invasive than other periwinkles and produces stunning purple flowers in the shade.
Benefits Of Using Fast-Growing Ground Cover Plants
Using fast-growing ground cover plants in your landscape can provide numerous benefits. One of the most obvious benefits is that they quickly cover bare soil, preventing erosion and weed growth. Fast-growing ground covers can also help to reduce maintenance costs by eliminating the need for frequent mowing or weeding.
In addition to their practical benefits, fast-growing ground cover plants also offer aesthetic value to your landscape. They can add color, texture, and interest to areas that might otherwise be dull or unattractive. With so many different options to choose from, you can select a ground cover that complements the rest of your landscape design.
Fast-growing ground covers are also environmentally friendly. They help to reduce soil erosion, which can be a major problem in areas with heavy rainfall or steep slopes. Ground covers also help to conserve water by reducing evaporation and keeping the soil moist.
Another benefit of using fast-growing ground cover plants is that they can help to regulate temperature in your landscape. Plants absorb sunlight, and this helps to create a cooler and more pleasant climate by reducing temperatures by up to 3°C in the city. This can be particularly beneficial in urban areas where temperatures tend to be higher than in rural areas.
Finally, using fast-growing ground cover plants supports the local ecosystem by providing habitat for wildlife and insects. Ground covers can provide food and shelter for pollinators like bees and butterflies, as well as other beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings.
Top Contenders For Fastest Growing Ground Cover
If you’re looking for the fastest-growing ground cover plants, there are several top contenders to consider. One of the best options is creeping thyme, which is considered one of the finest ground covers for filling in between flagstones. This petite herb comes in many varieties, all with tiny, rounded fragrant leaves in shades of dark green, lime green, and even yellow with a white edging. Elfin or woolly thyme are especially good varieties that will grow in difficult soils, stay flat and are frighteningly easy to grow.
Dymondia is another great option for fast-growing ground cover. Its phenomenally flat, tidy appearance bears slender leaves that are green on top and gray underneath. A slight upward curl on each leaf edge provides a frosted, two-tone look and it occasionally bears small yellow daisy flowers.
Lamium maculatum, also known as spotted deadnettle, is another fast-growing ground cover plant that forms a dense mat over areas, making it an excellent choice for out-competing weeds. It’s fully hardy in many regions and produces lots of small flowers in the spring. There are many different varieties of Lamium with different leaf variegations and bloom colors. This plant thrives in part shade to full shade.
Ajuga reptans, or bugleweed, is another common ground cover that’s well suited to covering slopes. It’s very winter hardy, fast spreading and low maintenance. Ajuga tolerates full sun to part shade and produces short, stocky spikes of purple-blue flowers early in the spring. It’s inexpensive to purchase and can be planted very densely.
Creeping sedum is another fast-growing ground cover that is perfect for sunny areas with well-draining soil. This succulent plant spreads quickly, forming a dense mat of foliage and producing clusters of small pink or white flowers in the summer.
How To Choose The Right Fast-Growing Ground Cover For Your Needs
Choosing the right fast-growing ground cover for your needs can be a daunting task, but with a little research and consideration, you can find the perfect plant for your landscape. Here are some tips to help you choose the right fast-growing ground cover:
1. Consider the climate: Different ground cover plants thrive in different climates. Make sure to choose a plant that is suitable for your area’s temperature and weather conditions.
2. Determine the amount of sunlight: Some ground cover plants require full sun, while others prefer shade. Make sure to choose a plant that is suitable for the amount of sunlight in your landscape.
3. Determine the soil type: Different ground cover plants thrive in different soil types. Some prefer well-drained soil, while others do well in moist soil. Make sure to choose a plant that is suitable for your soil type.
4. Consider maintenance requirements: Some ground cover plants require more maintenance than others. Make sure to choose a plant that fits your maintenance schedule and abilities.
5. Look for non-invasive options: Some fast-growing ground cover plants can be invasive and take over your landscape. Look for non-invasive options that won’t cause problems down the line.
6. Consider aesthetic appeal: Fast-growing ground cover plants can add color and texture to your landscape. Choose a plant that fits your aesthetic preferences and complements other plants in your landscape.
By considering these factors, you can choose the right fast-growing ground cover plant for your needs and create a beautiful, low-maintenance landscape.
Tips For Planting And Maintaining Fast-Growing Ground Cover
1. Choose the right ground cover for your area: Before planting any fast-growing ground cover, make sure it is appropriate for your hardiness zone and soil conditions. It’s only going to grow fast if it’s in the correct climate and conditions for growth.
2. Prepare the planting area carefully: Though ground covers are tough, they’ll grow and spread more quickly if you prepare the planting area carefully. Remove weeds, amend the soil with compost or well-rotted manure, and broadcast a complete fertilizer over the area (follow the package directions for amounts). Work in amendments and fertilizer with a shovel or tiller, then rake to level the soil.
3. Planting: Ground cover plants are sold in small pots, cell-packs, or 1-gallon containers, or as rooted cuttings in flats. When planting ground covers purchased in smaller pots or flats, set them in holes just deep enough for and slightly wider than the root ball. To plant from gallon containers: dig a hole that tapers outward at the bottom to accommodate the loosened roots, leaving a “plateau” of undisturbed soil in the middle. The root ball rests on the plateau; the crown of each plant should remain slightly above the soil surface to prevent rot.
4. Spacing: The spacing to allow between ground cover plants depends on the particular plant and how quickly you want the area covered with growth. Check with knowledgeable nursery personnel for ground covers not discussed in this article.
5. Watering: Most varieties need supplemental water until established. As they become established over the next several weeks, water every few days, keeping the soil moist but not soggy.
6. Mulching: After planting, top the bed with a 2-inch-deep layer of mulch to help keep down weeds and hold in moisture.
7. Maintenance: Getting the plants to grow into a solid stand of ground covers will require a bit of effort and diligence in the first couple of years of establishment. This is the critical time to keep up on weeding and watering and to monitor plants for nutritional needs. Remove damaged or dying foliage by pruning as needed. If some plants are not growing as well as expected or not accomplishing your design vision, don’t hesitate to remove or shift them around until you have achieved an assemblage that is satisfying.
By following these tips, you can successfully plant and maintain fast-growing ground cover plants that will add visual interest, keep weeds away, and cover areas other plants can’t.
Creative Ways To Use Fast-Growing Ground Cover In Your Landscape Design
Fast-growing ground cover plants are not only practical, but they can also be used creatively in your landscape design. Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Sloping hills: If you have a sloping area in your garden, fast-growing ground covers can be an excellent solution to prevent soil erosion while adding visual interest. Creeping Phlox, Creeping Myrtle, and Creeping Jenny are all great options for this purpose.
2. Rock gardens: Fast-growing ground covers like Creeping Thyme and Sedum can be used to fill in gaps between rocks and create a lush, low-maintenance rock garden.
3. Under trees: Many ground cover plants thrive in the shade, making them perfect for planting under trees where grass may struggle to grow. Hostas, Pachysandra, and Lamium are all excellent choices for this purpose.
4. Pathways: Fast-growing ground covers like Irish Moss or Corsican Mint can be used to create a soft, cushiony pathway that releases a pleasant fragrance when stepped on.
5. Mixed borders: Ground covers can also be used as a border around your garden beds to create a seamless transition between your lawn and garden. Ajuga and Veronica are both great options for this purpose.
In conclusion, fast-growing ground cover plants are not only practical but can also add beauty and creativity to your landscape design. With a little bit of planning and creativity, you can use these plants to transform your garden into a lush and vibrant oasis.