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Weeds are the most unpopular growths in the garden. After all, who wants to weed or hoe again and again? There are many ways to prevent weeds from growing. One of them is the planting of ground covers. Because in most cases they are perennial, very robust, easy to care for and form dense cushions relatively quickly. This way they don't give unwanted weed growth a chance. And the selection of suitable ground covers is huge.

Ground cover in the fight against weeds

There are a variety of plants with ground covering properties. These can form impenetrable plant carpets, grow expansively and thus fight weeds. Not only do they displace weeds, they can also make areas in the garden that are difficult to access green or bloom and protect the soil from drying out. When choosing the right ground cover, you should therefore consider their location requirements.

Ground cover for sunny locations

from B - P

Alyssum Bergsteinkraut montanum 'Berggold'

With its intense golden-yellow flower color, this evergreen perennial becomes a real eye-catcher in the sun. The Bergsteinkraut grows cushion-like and decumbent to upright and reaches heights of growth of up to 15 cm. Its deep yellow, umbel-shaped flowers appear from April to May. Plant ten to twelve per square meter.

Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon)

  • Cranberry related to the lingonberry
  • Growth height up to 20 cm
  • Low-maintenance, hardy and fast-growing ground cover
  • Pink flowers rather inconspicuous
  • Bright red, gooseberry-sized and very healthy fruits invite you to snack
  • Can be harvested between mid-September and late October
  • Plant about six to eight per square meter

ice plant (Delosperma cooperi)

The ice plant captivates with small, radiating flowers in violet purple with an almost white center. They appear on this cushion-forming and creeping groundcover from June to August. In the midday sun, the flowers then open and reveal their intense flower colour. The ice plant grows between 10 and 15 cm high. Plant about 10-12 specimens per square meter.

tip: The leaves are water-storing and can therefore survive longer periods of drought without any problems.

Cushion phlox (Phlox subulata)

This richly flowering phlox forms wonderful cushions, sometimes also overhanging flower cushions. It spreads quickly and can therefore effectively displace weeds. Growth heights are between 5 and 15 cm. The green, needle-like leaves are also rich in contrast. Its white, pink or light purple, crimson, crimson or lavender blue flowers appear between April and June.

from S - W

Vancouver Gold broom (Genista pilosa)

This light and warmth-loving broom impresses with a strong, golden-yellow bloom. It has no thorns, is conditionally hardy and only thrives on light soil. With growth heights of 10 to 30 cm, it remains relatively low. Flowering time is from May to June. Plant five to seven plants per square meter to cover a large area.

Rockrose (Helianthemum) 'Red Orient'

The sun rose is an attractive cushion plant for sunny borders or rock gardens. Rather inconspicuous until it blooms, its blood-red bowl flowers attract everyone's attention in May. The silvery-green foliage forms compact cushions that tolerate pruning well. The growth height is 25 cm and the flowering period is from May to August.

Cranesbill (Geranium wallichianum) 'Rozanne' (R)

This cranesbill is very vigorous, grows cushion-like to cushion-forming with growth heights of 40 to 50 cm. Cranesbills generally convince with a long flowering period from June to October. The cupped, purple-blue, dark-veined flowers are borne on long, branched stalks. The green leaves are slightly hairy with a roughly serrated edge.

Wollziest (Stachys byzantina)

Wollziest belongs to the ornamental foliage perennials. It grows creeping and carpet-like. The entire plant has felty to woolly hairs. It forms large cushions with growth heights of 30 to 40 cm. Leaves and stems are off-white to silvery and the paniculate flowers are single and purplish-pink. Flowering time is from July to August.

Ground cover for sunny to shady locations

by F - K

Fingerbush 'Goldcarpet' (Dasiphora fruticosa)

This plant grows as a small shrub and ground cover. With a height of up to 50 cm, it becomes comparatively high, grows densely bushy and prostrate. Both the grey-green, fingered leaves and the numerous golden-yellow flowers, which appear from May to October, are decorative. In order to combat weeds effectively and to achieve area-wide growth, five plants are counted per square meter.

Small-leaved periwinkle (Vinca minor)

This evergreen, carpet-like ground cover is undemanding and very decorative. This is partly due to the dark green foliage, but above all to the violet-blue flowers. Because these decorate the plant from April to May. The small-leaved periwinkle grows 10-15 cm in height and needs loose soil.

from N - W

Low fat man 'Compacta' (Pachysandra terminalis)

  • Fat man grows compact and mat-like
  • Quickly forms a lush green carpet
  • Invigorates even shady areas in the garden
  • Flowering time is between April and May
  • Delicate white flower spikes on upright stems between the leaves
  • Remains rather low with growth heights of 8-12 cm
  • Copes well with root pressure from larger trees
  • Per square meter, eight to ten plants
Pachysandra terminalis, fat man

tip: The shadowy green reacts sensitively to compaction of the topsoil.

Variegated Creeping Spindle 'Variegatus' (Euonymus fortunei)

The graceful creeping medlar is not only an easy-care, slow and creeping growing ground cover, but also particularly decorative. On the one hand, this is due to the green-white variegated leaves, but also to the green-yellow flowers and the yellowish fruits. If these burst open, the intensively orange-colored seeds become visible. Six to eight specimens per square meter are recommended for growth heights of 30 to 50 cm.

White Periwinkle (Vinca minor) 'Alba'

Another ground-covering representative that can be used to control weeds is the white periwinkle with its bright white flowers. They appear in May and form a striking contrast to the dark green foliage. The plant keeps producing new flowers until well into September. It grows between 10 and 30 cm high, is very robust and easy to care for. However, the soil should be well drained and rich in humus. Eight plants per square meter are recommended.

Ground cover for partial shade and shade

from E - F

Partridge berry (Mitchella repens)

  • Impresses with leaf and fruit decoration and white flowers
  • Small, dark green leaves have strikingly light veins
  • They sit on dark purple shoots
  • The white flowers appear between May and June
  • The spherical, dark red and edible fruits ripen from July to October
  • Partridge berry grows between five and ten centimeters high
  • 12-16 plants are needed per square meter

Woodruff (Galium odoratum)

The real woodruff is a flat, upright growing ground cover and reaches heights of growth of 10 to 30 cm. It spreads quickly through foothills, giving weeds no chance. Both the fresh green, whorled and fragrant leaves and the umbel-shaped, white, star-shaped flowers enhance any shady spot. Plant 15 to 17 pieces per square meter.

tip: Real woodruff feels particularly at home under large trees and on the edges of trees. The soil should be rich in humus and fresh.

Spring Commemorative (Omphalodes verna)

The Spring Memorial is highly adaptable and resilient. It forms dense stands and can quickly displace weaker neighboring plants. What is striking about this carpet-like, creeping plant are the small, bright blue flowers that tower on graceful flower stalks above the green foliage from April to May. It grows eight to twelve centimeters in height. 15-17 specimens are expected per square meter.

by H - W

Heartleaf foam flower (Tiarella cordifolia)

The heart-leaved foam flower is also characterized by a carpet-like, flat growth and reaches a height of up to 20 cm. The lime green, heart-shaped and finely hairy leaves turn bronze to copper-red in autumn. The white, panicle-shaped flowers then appear from April to May. Planting distances of about 25 cm are recommended for planting.

tip: The heart-leaved foam flower does very well next to rhododendrons and generally feels very comfortable under sparse trees.

Canadian hazel (Asarum canadense)

The Canadian hazel root is particularly popular as a decorative leaf plant. This is due to its kidney-shaped leaves, which are initially light green and later dark green and can be up to 18 cm in size. However, the cup-shaped, brown-red flowers are rather inconspicuous and remain hidden under the foliage. The hazel root grows between 15 and 20 cm high, forms dense green carpets and is therefore very good at displacing weeds. It prefers lime-poor soils.

Red carpet berry (Gaultheria procumbens)

The red carpet berry impresses with its green foliage, which takes on a bronze-red hue in winter. The light pink flowers are also very decorative, as are the red, aromatic berries, which are inedible. The carpet berry has a dense, creeping and carpet-like growth with growth heights of up to 20 cm. Eight plants per square meter are sufficient for an extensive planting.

Waldsteinia / Trefoil Golden Strawberry (Waldsteinia ternata)

This evergreen groundcover brings color to shady areas from April to May with its golden yellow, cupped flowers. It spreads out over short foothills and forms dense carpets. With a maximum growth height of 15 cm, it remains relatively small. The leaves are glossy green and, together with the bright yellow flowers, set accents that are visible from afar. About eight to twelve of these perennials are planted per square meter.

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