10 perennial ground covers, ideal for protecting and beautifying your garden

A ground cover is a plant that covers quickly flowerbeds, rockeries, dry embankments or even around trees… It opposes strong competition to weeds, which does not displease gardeners who are resistant to weeding. This is not its only advantage. Both protective and aesthetic, it naturally finds its place in the garden. Let’s see what are its strengths and paint a quick portrait of 10 perfect ground cover plants to plant for protect in beauty other plants as well as the soil against drought, cold and leaching.

The advantages of ground covers in the garden

Ground cover plants are essentials in the garden because of their innumerable assets, namely:

  • Great covering power,
  • Rapid growth,
  • Very resistant,
  • Not very demanding in care,
  • Suffocate weeds,
  • Protect the soil against erosion,
  • Limit watering,
  • Available in a wide range of species and varieties which offers an incredible choice,
  • Flowered and / or decorative flower …

So this large pallet of ground cover plants allows you to choose according to the soil type (acidic, neutral, poor, difficult …) andexposure (sunny, half-shaded, shaded, dark…).

Which ground cover to choose for a protected and aesthetic garden?

Everyone can choose ground cover plants adapted to their land or according to the flowering period, of the flower color even also according to their hardiness. Before purchasing, it is obviously important to learn about the needs of each of them and their particularities.

here is the top 10 maintenance free ground cover plants which bring a very decorative note to the garden and multiply year after year. They are ideal for enjoying a stunning carpet of flowers.

Ground cover plant





1 – Lily of the valley

(Convallaria majalis)

Asparagaceae (Phylogenetic classification),

Convallariaceae (classic classification)

From -12 to -15 ° C

End of September to very beginning of November

April May

2 – Soft Lady’s mantle

(Alchemilla mollis)

Mantle of Notre-Dame,

Lion paw


Down to -15 ° C

In spring, or from late summer to mid-fall


May to August

3 – Wild thyme

(Thymus seryllum)


Aromatic and medicinal ground cover plant (edible flowers and leaves)


Down to -14 ° C

In spring in the nursery

In place in May or June or even at the end of summer

White, pastel pink, hot pink to purple,

June to August

4 – Perennial geranium



From -15 to -18 ° C

Between March and April or between September and October

Mauve rose

All summer

5 – Witch’s claw

(Carpobrotus edulis)

(Succulent plant)


Not very hardy (-2 ° C)

Not before May for a planting in the ground

Fuchsia, pale pink, mauve, purple, red, white, yellow (depending on the variety)

May until frost

6 – heather

(Mainly Gender Calluna and Gender Erica)

Over 800 species


-20 ° C

Spring (after Ice Saints) or very early fall

White, purple, mauve, pink,

In any season depending on the species and varieties

7 – Cyclamen of Naples

(Cyclamen hederifolium)


-15 to -17 ° C

Mauve rose,

August to November

8 – Campanula

(of the kind Campanula)

(more than 250 species)


From -15 to -20 ° C

For acidic soil

In spring

In autumn for a planting in the ground

In bells available in a wide range of colors

From March until the frost

9 – Ibéris

(Iberis sempervirens)

Money Basket


Fears frost (plant in a well sheltered area)

In autumn

White-silver gray

February to September (depending on the species)

10 – Odorous Woodruff

(Galium odoratum)


Down to -24 ° C

In spring


May to June

All these planting periods get along outside the frost period.

Of course, there are many other perennial ground cover plants which also deserve a detour. Among them are, for example:

  • The Periwinkle major,
  • The Epimedes,
  • Ivy,
  • The violet,
    The spotted dead nettle (on wet ground),
  • Aubriétia,
  • Hellebore,
  • Bear’s Ear,
  • The Nepeta,
  • Sedum which prefers sandy soils,
  • Symphorine,
  • The Creeping Bugle,
  • The Céraiste …

The gardener therefore has something to embellish his garden with perennial ground covers and take advantage of their protective assets in all seasons. The good idea is to multiply species to be able to enjoy a staggered flowering and bring touches of different colours to its natural space.