Here’s how to choose the best low-maintenance ground cover plants for a beautiful Albquuerque garden that almost takes care of itself. If you want a lush-looking garden but don’t have time to keep pulling weeds and watering, the best thing to do is pick the best low-maintenance ground cover plants for your plot. These plants spread as they grow, making a thick mat of strong leaves that holds water, keeps weeds from growing, and keeps pests away. In return, they don’t ask for much.
Add some of the best low-maintenance ground cover plants to your planting scheme to cut down on the time you spend pulling weeds and taking care of your plot.
As a no-nonsense evergreen, this compact North American conifer will produce a dense carpet of spiny, green leaves no more than 10 centimeters in height and blanket the ground (20cm). It is one of the best plants to handle drought and grow in places with poor soil and slopes.
The periwinkle, or vinca minor, is hard to beat if you want an all-around plant that proliferates and does well in almost any setting. It has long tentacles of evergreen leaves and flowers that are always purple, white, or blue from spring to fall. Don’t plant perwinkle if you have dogs or cats because it can kill them.
This member of the mint family has rosettes of dark green/bronze evergreen leaves and short spikes of blue flowers at the beginning of summer. It proliferates on horizontal stems that creep along the ground and cover it with leaves. This is how it got the name “carpetweed.” It is considered invasive in some parts of the US, so you will need to keep an eye on it to keep it from taking over, but it is easy to pull out of places where it doesn’t belong.
This is one of the best plants for covering the ground. It’s an excellent all-arounder with rich, glossy evergreen leaves that form neat, dense cover mats all year long. In early summer, it has groups of tiny white flowers. This one is good for filling in bare spots under trees or bushes where grass won’t grow. It grows in any soil and can stand up to deer, pests, and drought. Every three to four years, divide it into the fall or spring.
An evergreen shrub grows about 6 inches (15 cm) tall and needs little care. It has dark green, leathery leaves that turn red in winter. It comes from North America and is very hardy. In the summer, it has tiny flowers that look like bells.
When planted in groups, low-growing grasses that stay green all year are great for the best low-maintenance ground cover plants. Care-free Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’, or black mondo grass, is a dramatic choice that works well in a modern garden. It grows in groups of narrow, dark purple leaves. In the summer, it has small violet flowers, followed by black berries.
Because this plant is a perennial, it buries itself underground throughout the winter. However, during the growing season, it makes a beautiful, easy-to-grow ground cover with bright green leaves that catch raindrops like pearls and sprays of tiny lime-green flowers in the summer.
This fragrant shrub will take over rock gardens and make ugly pavers and patios look better. It has low mounds of tiny green leaves and clusters of small purple flowers that grow close to the ground.
You are looking for a ground cover plant that doesn’t need much care and will do well even if you don’t take care of it? Look no further than this evergreen perennial that forms a mat and has fleshy leaves with a hint of red. It is also called “stonecrop,” a good name since it grows best in dry, rocky soil in full sun or partial shade.
Its common name, “Elephant’s Ears,” is a good description of the shape of its large, leathery, round leaves. This evergreen perennial has leaves that look like elephant ears. It’s a great plant to have all year because the leaves change color in winter but keep their shape.
Heathers is a low-maintenance plant that will cover the ground with a mat of evergreen leaves if you have acidic soil. There are many different kinds, but Calluna vulgaris ‘Gold Haze’ has yellow-green evergreen leaves and small white flowers from late summer to fall. Calluna vulgaris ‘Silver Knight’ leaves are grey-green and purple in the winter.
Geranium ‘Rozanne’ is a hardy geranium that is easy to grow. It blooms for a long time in the summer with big, clear blue flowers that pollinators love. It can grow up to 1 meter per plant, so put it somewhere with a lot of space. This plant lives for more than one year and comes back every year. Our expert guide has a lot of tips on how to grow hardy geraniums.
Gypsophila repens is a beautiful flower that grows around established perennials and looks soft and “frothy,” which is hard to find with many other plants. Nemophila ‘Five Spot’ is a charming plant that you can sow directly along the edges of borders. This one is great for a ground cover that doesn’t need much care.
The most important thing a good ground cover plant needs to do is cover the ground quickly and densely, stop weed seeds from germinating and growing, and eliminate the need for weed control.