Ground Covers For Suppressing Weeds

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Fight Plants With Plants

The Best Ground Covers For Suppressing Weeds

Ground covers are powerhouses when it comes to the garden. They effortlessly fill those tough-to-grow sites that are usually ignored, like tight spaces, gaps between stepping stones, slopes, or shady understories. We think of them as “problem-solvers” for their ability to control erosion, insulate the soil, survive neglect, and provide a habitat for wildlife. While it’s reasonable to assume more plants means more maintenance, ground covers prove that isn’t always the case!

Ground covers stretch across the soil like a living mulch, providing many of the same benefits as regular mulch. Once established, they help deter the germination of new weed seeds and prevent old weeds from returning by crowding them out. If you’re looking for an easy, organic way to control your weeds, it’s time to look into ground covers and flowering plants. Fight plants with plants and transform your garden into a lush oasis in the process with these ground covers that choke out weeds. 

Your garden is unique, and plants are not one-size fits all. Read on as we break down our top picks for ground covers with flowers, ground covers for shade, ground cover plants for full sun, and more.

Here are some of our favorite weed-suppressing ground covers that will continue to reward you year after year.

Thyme

Fragrant, Eye-Catching, and Hard-Working

Whether it’s WoolyRed, or Lemon, thyme (Thymus) is an amazing ground cover for suppressing weeds. It grows densely, like a thick mat, crowding out unwanted weeds as it spreads. It’s beautiful, too! The foliage comes in a variety of textures and colors, plus, it’s fragrant to the touch. This deer-resistant, hardy ground cover only requires a sunny spot with good drainage. Try planting a red creeping thyme lawn along pathways or as a lawn substitute for small spaces, and watch your yard become blanketed with colorful flowers. The best part? Red creeping thyme and other perennial ground covers will return year after year. 

Cranesbill

Powerful, Yet Easy To Control

'Bevan's Variety' Cranesbill

violet-blue flowers of the Rozanne Cranesbill

Rozanne® Cranesbill

Nothing can stop Cranesbill (Geranium) in the garden! They boast exceptional heat and drought tolerance, are not subject to insects or diseases, and are deer resistant. Plus, they bloom prolifically from spring to fall. Pollinators will appreciate them as much as you do. Some ground covers can be difficult to control, but not this one. It spreads slow and steady, making it easy to contain in smaller areas if needed.

Bugleweed

Durable, Reliable, and Bold

If your garden is lacking color or texture, Bugleweed (Ajuga) is your solution. Spikes of bright-blue blooms in late spring and early summer accompany the bold evergreen foliage to give your garden an eclectic vibe. It’s durable enough to handle foot traffic, so consider planting it between stepping stones or along pathways. This foolproof perennial groundcover will make gardening a breeze. It’s so low maintenance; nearly all you have to do is plant and enjoy!

Creeping Phlox

Hundreds of Flowers Instead of Hundreds of Weeds

'Violet Pinwheels' Creeping Phlox

'Violet Pinwheels' Creeping Phlox

Mountainside™ 'Crater Lake' Phlox

Creeping Phlox (Phlox subulata) forms a lush carpet that spreads vigorously and adds color year-round. It’s a stunning addition to landscapes in need of a low-growing groundcover that can grow in difficult soils. Gravelly soil, we’re talking about you. Plant ground covers with flowers in a sunny spot with well-draining soil, and you’ll be delighted when its star-shaped blooms attract butterflies each spring.

Stonecrop

Withstands Heat, Humidity, Drought, and Weeds

Stonecrop (Sedum) is one tough plant. Aside from tolerating foot traffic, it also tolerates drought, heat, humidity, full-sun, and poor soil, making it highly adaptable and virtually maintenance-free! Small succulent leaves form a colorful moss-like mat as it spreads in the garden. Plus, when the flowers bloom in summer, you’ll have a sea of colorful blooms to enjoy.

Mazus

Small Flowers, Big Impact

Some plants are useful, while others are beautiful. Thankfully, Mazus is both. It gets into the garden and covers ground quickly, forming a dense, weed-suppressing mat that grows 2″ tall and spreads 6″-12″ each season once established. It is ideal for planting between pavers or in areas that get a bit of foot traffic, as it can handle the disturbance with grace. Orchid-like blooms smother the foliage in spring, creating a whimsical display.

Creeping Speedwell

Grows Vigorously, Blooms Vibrantly

Close up of 'Tidal Pool' Creeping Speedwell (Veronica) with bright blue blooms
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Few other ground covers are as adaptable and easy to grow as ‘Tidal Pool’ Creeping Speedwell (Veronica). It’s a fast-spreading evergreen that grows up to 30″ wide in a single season. You won’t believe how quickly it takes off to make itself at home in your garden. Plus, it’s very tolerant of adversity from rain and cold to heat, humidity, and drought. Enjoy hundreds of vivid blue blooms that give this short ground cover a big presence.

Dianthus

Pink, Pretty, and Sun-Loving

Siberian Bugloss

Effortless To Grow, Tolerant of Shade

Need To Cover A Lot Of Ground?

Check Out Our Collection of Perennial Ground Covers

Written by: Miranda Niemiec, click here to read bio.

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