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Ground covers in the garden inspire with their effective uses and the dense foliage. Whether the plants resemble a carpet, upholstery or cushion, they keep weeds back and ensure good soil conditions. In addition, there are suitable species and genera for every location from sun to partial shade to completely dark corners, which can cope well with the respective light supply. If these should also be fast-growing and undemanding, nature and breeders have also taken care of this.

ground cover

usage tick

If you're looking for fast-growing ground covers that are undemanding, you probably won't want to wait long for a closed plant cover. In most gardens, ground covers are used to plant individual beds or entire sections of the garden, especially when there is no lawn in sight. Ground cover plants play a major role in Asian garden concepts in particular, as they are used as a perennial element. In the home gardens, undemanding and fast-growing ground cover plants can green other locations:

  • walls
  • rockeries
  • roadsides
  • raised beds
  • pond and stream edges

This is just a small selection of areas of application for which the plants are suitable. Since these grow quickly, you have to deal with weeds even less, since the plant cover is formed quickly without you having to do a lot of work yourself. In winter, these plants do just as well, as they are in most cases evergreen and thus present their foliage under the snow even during the cold season. Ground cover plants are also suitable for different location light conditions:

  • Sun
  • penumbra
  • the shade

This way you can plant even the darkest corners of your garden without worrying about a lack of light, which could seriously damage the plants.

tip: When planting ground cover, make sure that you plant the right density, otherwise light problems can quickly arise if they are planted too close together. It also takes a long time for a uniform carpet to form if the individual specimens are too far apart and have to grow together first.

25 ground covers for the garden from A - Z

Because of their growth and weed suppression properties, ground covers have become popular plants that you can easily plant in your garden. As mentioned above, there are special species and some genera that are ideal for quick and easy planting in the sun, partial shade and shade. The following list of 25 ground covers that are fast growing and undemanding will help you choose suitable specimens.

Ground cover from A - G

Andean cushion

Even the name of the Andean cushion (bot. Azorella trifurcata) indicates its function as a ground-covering species. The dense cushions are deep green and can even be planted in partial shade to freshen up darker locations.

elf flower

Elf flowers (bot. Epimedium) are particularly useful if you choose a clump-forming variety, as they grow into a dense cushion faster. Its attraction lies above all in its unpretentiousness and in the picturesque flowers.

Elf Flower 'Frohnleiten', Epimedium perralchicum


Ivy (bot. Hedera helix) is ideal for shady places and is one of those plants that spread quickly and even need to be restricted in growth. Ideal when things have to be done quickly.

Common ivy, Hedera helix


The beautiful flowers and the width of 80 centimeters make the cinquefoil (bot. Potentilla fruticosa) a popular groundcover for that certain something.

Potentilla fruticosa, cinquefoil

Lady's Mantle 'Thriller'

This variety of lady's mantle (bot. Alchemilla mollis 'Thriller') is hardy, easy to care for and suitable for a wide variety of light conditions. It forms clumps that reach a maximum height of 40 centimeters and are completely hardy.

Large periwinkle

The large periwinkle (bot. Vinca major) is just as undemanding as the small one, has the same requirements and differs only in the size of the flowers. These are four to five centimeters in the big ones and two to three centimeters in the small ones. The shape stays the same.

Ground cover from H - I

hazel root

The domestic hazel (bot. Asarum europaeum) is known as a ground cover that prefers partially shaded locations and has deep green leaves that immediately catch the eye due to their characteristic round shape. If you have problems with voles, hazelroot is of interest as the peppery smell of the flowers is said to deter them.

Asarum europaeum, hazel root


Houseleeks (bot. Sempervivum) are well-known and popular ground covers that do not tolerate shade, but dry, hot or extremely cold locations. Its undemanding nature makes it easy to keep and due to its tall growths, it does not always look like classic, ground-covering plants at first glance. The best: The genus is available in numerous species that you can put in the garden.

Large-flowered houseleek, Sempervivum grandiflorum

sacred herb

The holy herb (bot. Santolina) is an undemanding plant that reaches up to 40 centimeters in height and is a real sun worshiper. If the soil is permeable and there is plenty of sun, the intensively scented plant will grow incessantly.

High St. John's Wort

Another, undemanding plant that forms an extremely dense carpet of yellow flowers within a short time is St. John's wort (bot. Hypericum moserianum).

Evergreen creeper

A representative of the ground cover species that is very popular because of its creeping growth is the evergreen creeping spindle (bot. Euonymus fortunei). The plant is undemanding, fast-growing and even feels at home in semi-shade.

Evergreen candytuft

Undemanding and quickly reaching a maximum height of 30 centimetres, Iberis sempervirens is ideal for your sunny rock gardens and walls. The plant from the Mediterranean region only needs to be trimmed every few years and otherwise requires little care.

Ground cover from K - N

Small periwinkle

Lesser periwinkle (bot. Vinca minor) loves shade and moisture and is not necessarily the fastest of plants, but it is extremely easy to care for.

creeping gorse

This extremely decorative ground cover species, with the botanical name Cytisus decumbens, is kept because of its undemanding nature and the two centimeter long, golden yellow radiant flowers. It is best planted on a small scale, as this will make the carpet of yellow flowers more effective.

Creeping medlar 'Coral Beauty'

This Cotoneaster variety (bot. Cotoneaster dammeri 'Coral Beauty') is recommended not only for its white flowers and red berries, but also for its rapid growth. It reaches a full 15 centimeters in the year of planting.

Low Purpleberry

The Symphoricarpos chenaultii is your ground cover if you have a garden with different light offers. Regardless of whether it is sunny or fully shaded, the plant with its berries thrives without any problems.

groundcover with S

Black Crowberry

An undemanding perennial that is in a hurry to grow and tolerates almost all light conditions to light shade. The slight toxicity of black crowberry (bot. Empetrum nigrum) should be noted. As a precaution, do not eat the berries.

mountain avens

Mountain avens (bot. Dryas) is a low-growing plant that is ideal for planting as ground cover. They feature white flowers and reach their greatest extent in a short time, making them ideal for sunny locations that need a quick green cover.

prickly nuts

The prickly nuts (bot. Acaena) are a genus of carpet-forming plants that grow to a height of around 20 centimeters within a short period of time. They are extremely popular for their exotic character, which manifests itself in small flowers that can take different shapes depending on the species or variety.

Prickly Nuts, Copper Carpet, Acaena

stone seed

A good mix of half shade and sun is important for the location of the stone seed (bot. Lithodora diffusa). The low-growing shrub does not hold back in growth and delights with the beautiful flowers throughout the summer.

Rockseed, Lithodora diffusa

Ground cover from T - Z

Carpet Gold Strawberry

One of the most popular ground covers that is fast growing and planted for its short runners is the golden strawberry (bot. Waldsteinia ternata). As a result, a dense cover with numerous, small flowers is formed shortly after planting from mid-spring to the beginning of summer.

Golden strawberry, Waldsteinia, Waldsteinia ternata

Carpet Verbena

This species from Japan, which is a maximum of four centimeters high, wants a sunny location. It is not only an undemanding, but also a sturdy ground cover. Its botanical name is Phyla nodiflora.

peat myrtle

At first glance, the undemanding peat myrtle (bot. Pernettya mucronata) could be confused with the heather. However, it is a distinct species that can reach heights of up to 150 centimeters, even in the shade, although partial shade and sun are also tolerated. It forms berries of various colors.


The fat man is the champion among the ground covers that tolerate shade. Ysander (bot. Pachysandra terminalis) can even grow under trees that hardly let any sun on the ground and spread accordingly. You don't even have to care for the fat man extensively.

Pachysandra terminalis, fat man


Also a well-known species that is one of the classics in the garden. Although the cotoneaster (bot. Cotoneaster) needs a little more care and a location in full sun, it will offer you fast growth and lots of joy.

tip: If you are a fan of roses, you can plant various ground cover roses (bot. Rosa) in the garden as an alternative, as they have a similar function to the typical ground cover. With these, however, it is important to know that, despite their high growth rate, they are quite poor against weeds.

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