Fast-growing ground cover plants have strong development and grow as mat-forming low plants. Several plants, when given enough space, may cover vast sections of bare soil or ground at an unbelievably quick pace. Soil erosion on slopes or hillsides is prevented by growing plants that spread quickly over the ground, as well as keeping weeds under control. Fast-growing ground covers require little upkeep and can therefore grow quickly.
The drawbacks of particular quickly spreading plants may be their spread. Some invasive ground cover plants have spread too quickly. Ground covers, in fact, are considered fast- spreading weeds in certain areas. Blooming vibrant ground cover plants for sun or shade, on the other hand, may enhance the beauty of your garden when planted in regions limiting their development.
Flowering candytuft is one of the quickest expanding ground cover plants for full sun. It isn’t considered invasive, despite its rapid expansion. Nevertheless, it spreads quickly and creates white flowers clusters. Periwinkle ‘Bowles’ Variety is the finest fast-spreading ground cover for shade. It’s less invasive than other periwinkles and grows quickly. In the shade, the leafy, rapid spreading plant produces gorgeous purple flowers.
Advantages of Planting Fast-Growing Ground Covers
Growing fast-growing ground cover plants in your yard for a variety of reasons is a good idea. Year-round fascination may be found in many spreading evergreen ground covers, particularly those that are also flowering.
Fast-spreading plants also help retain ground moisture, preventing soil erosion, and keeping weeds at bay. Also, to thrive, ground-hugging plants that spread quickly in both sun and shade need little care and maintenance.
Where to Plant Fast-Spreading Ground Covers
Plant ground cover plants carefully away from flower beds or lawns since they may be invasive. In a nutshell, vigorous ground covers need a lot of room to spread. The aggressive spreading character of certain ground cover plants is problematic. The mat-forming plants quickly take over the places that you want them to, but they eventually take over other regions of your garden.
Select locations away from flower beds or lawns when selecting the best location to plant invasive ground cover plants. It’s also a good idea to check with local state regulations before planting any invasive spreaders in your yard. English ivy, bugleweed, evening primrose, and creeping Jenny are some of the most aggressive ground cover plants that may become invasive.
Fast-Growing Ground Cover Plants for Full Sun
Let us examine several of the quickest spreading plants for full sun that will quickly create a natural carpet over bare ground in further depth. For full sun, most ground cover plants can tolerate some shade as well.
Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens)
Candytuft is a flowering fast-growing ground cover plant that has a shrubby appearance. This low-growing bushy plant produces clusters of tiny white flowers in early summer and is a spreading evergreen perennial. Candytuft is a popular ground cover for gardens, and it grows well in raised beds.
Despite its quick spread and tendency to clump, candytuft is not considered an invasive or aggressive ground cover. USDA zones 3 through 9 are home to Candytuft.
Creeping Phlox (Phlox stolonifera)
Creeping phlox is a stunning fast-spreading ground cover that thrives in the sun. It’s a flowering full sun ground cover. The foliage of this mat-forming plant remains green for the majority of the year. Creeping phlox produces a colorful floral carpet while blooming, with masses of white, violet, blue, or rose-colored flowers covering the ground.
Because of its thick foliage and vigorous development, Phlox can cover large areas of ground quickly. Creeping phlox is a non-invasive plant that creates a colorful carpet in your garden. Wild phlox, on the other hand, is classified as an invasive species. Stay away from it. In zones 4 through 8, Phlox groundcover plants thrive.
Landscape rock gardens in front or backyards with bellflower ground cover plants. Throughout the summer, this lovely perennial evergreen ground cover produces colorful bell-shaped blue or purple blossoms. It has mat-forming foliage. Its vigorous growth quickly fills bare garden spaces without becoming a nuisance, and it is described as a “well-behaved” ground cover.
Only 6 inches (15 cm) tall, this low-growing bellflower plant. In full sun, plant bellflowers as a ground cover for summer color. In zones 4 through 9, these ground-hugging plants are ideal for sunny yards.
Speedwell (Veronica umbrosa)
Speedwell is a non-invasive ground cover that has robust development and thrives in a sunny position with well-draining soil. Speedwell plants create a low, rich green, glossy foliage mat that’s perfect for full-sun low-maintenance ground cover. The dainty blue blooms of low-growing speedwells, which bloom in early spring, are one of their distinguishing features.
Creepy perennial speedwell plants have minimal growth and can grow up to 6 inches (15 cm) high. Ground cover along fences, underplanting shrubs, containers, and colorful edging are all examples of where Speedwell is ideal. In zones 4 through 9, grow speedwell.
Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia)
Creeping Jenny is a fast spreading invasive ground cover that produces yellow blooms. It grows in full sun and spreads quickly. The vividly colored leaves and spreading stems of this low-growing attractive spreading plant. Creeping Jenny blossoms in the middle of summer and has year-round interest with its evergreen perennial growth.
This plant’s creeping stems take root wherever they come into contact with the earth. Where you need a robust plant that spreads quickly, carefully place Jenny. In zones 3 through 9, this quick-spreading plant is ideal.
Dragon’s Blood Stonecrop (Sedum spurium)
Dragon’s blood stonecrop is a fast-growing mat-forming succulent that covers the bare ground with ornamental colored leaves. This bright, evergreen perennial plant isn’t particularly tall. It’s also known as ‘red carpet.’ It has green and burgundy rosette patterns on its fleshy rounded leaves. In sunny gardens, layer plant dragon’s blood succulent on top of each other to create a colorful found cover.
If you have poor soil, these Sedum plants are the finest low-maintenance ground cover plant. Edging plants, ground covers, and to fill empty areas in rock gardens. Plant stonecrop as an edging plant. There are no worries that this vigorous succulent will become invasive because Dragon’s blood does not spread.
Creeping Thyme (Thymus praecox)
Creeping thyme has aromatic leaves and produces a carpet of lovely flowers. It has little pink flowers. In early summer, this cheerful low-growing robust plant erupts with color. The clusters of pink flowers that draw butterflies make creeping thyme a spectacular sight.
In full sun, wherever you need colorful ground cover, grow creeping thyme. In rock gardens, borders, edging, and containers, this mat-forming flower is also ideal. In zones 5–9, ground cover thyme may grow up to 3″ (7 cm).
Cranesbill (Hardy Geranium)
Cranesbill is a spreading ground cover that thrives on little care and has robust growth. The lush foliage, gorgeous, showy flowers, and year-round fascination of these plants are prized. Hardy geraniums may be evergreen, semi-evergreen, or deciduous perennials depending on the climate.
To minimize weeds, preserve soil erosion, and make your garden more attractive, plant hardy geraniums. Cranebills thrive in bare garden regions and form low mounds that quickly fill. These hardy geraniums should not be confused with Pelargoniums, which are delicate blooming annuals.
Pink Evening Primrose (Oenothera speciose ‘Siskiyou’)
Evening primrose is a vigorous ground cover plant with huge, gorgeous pink blooms that is drought tolerant and fast growing. This plant produces full-sun cover with its long stems that root fast. The plant is drought-tolerant and grows well in poor soil.
From late spring, the invasive trailing stems produce stunning large pink blooms with lance-shaped leaves. In zones 4–9, spreading evening primrose grows to 8″ (20 cm) in height and is ideal in full sun or partial shade.
Creeping Wire Vine (Muehlenbeckia axillaris)
Creeping wire vine is a hardy ground-hugging plant with vigorous, dense foliage that quickly covers the ground. In zones 7 through 9, this plant grows as an evergreen perennial. To protect slopes from soil erosion and help choke out weeds, spreading vines form a mat that spreads quickly.
In full sun or partial shade, creeping wire vine is a great ground cover. The plant grows quickly and must be trimmed frequently to keep it in check, especially in warmer regions.
Crown Vetch (Securigera varia)
Crown vetch is an effective soil erosion preventative that is suitable for hardy ground cover. Crown vetch, sometimes known as weed, is a effective ground cover for covering vast areas of uneven soil. Crown vetch spreads quickly after it has been set and requires no care to keep doing so.
In a garden landscape, you may plant crown vetch to cover hills or stony places. The vast ground cover grows in zones 6 and above, which receive full sun.
Rock Cress (Aubrieta deltoidea)
When planted en masse, rock cress creates carpets of beautiful flowers in the spring. The plant’s ability to rapidly transform barren places into a sea of purple or deep pink hues is what makes it so appealing. The mat-forming perennial plant only grows to a height of 9 inches (22 centimeters) and can withstand dry spells.
The ground-hugging plant has a 2 ft. (60 cm) spread as a full-sun ground cover. On slopes, mixed beds, borders, and rock gardens, rock cress is particularly effective for adding color. In zones 5 to 7, grow the evergreen perennial.
Creeping Mazus (Mazus reptans)
Creeping mazus is a tiny attractive ground cover plant with vigorous growth that is grown as a decorative ground cover. Full sun or partial shade is ideal for this mat-forming plant. To brighten up summer garden settings, it spreads its foliage and creates mounds of purple flowers.
Creepy mazus has the ability to withstand a lot of foot traffic, which is one reason why it is an excellent ground cover plant. For zones 5 through 8, use creeping mazus to cover the ground.
Fast-Growing Ground Cover Plants for Shade
Several fast-spreading ground cover plants, including those that grow in your backyard in partial shade, are ideal. When growing beneath trees, woodlands, or in the shadows all year round, these vigorous plants have evergreen foliage.
Because of its aggressive growth habit, periwinkle is often grown as a flowering ground cover. The glossy green leaves of the evergreen perennial spread quickly. In the summer, bright purple blooms bloom across your garden landscape, giving it a vibrant look.
The spreading plant Vinca minor ‘Bowles’s Variety’ is a less aggressive periwinkle ground cover. It has vigorous growth while remaining low-key. Periwinkles are low-maintenance plants that may be used to cover banks and slopes or underneath shrubs. In zones 4 through 10, Periwinkle may be grown in shade or full sun.
Wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei)
Wintercreeper is a variegated foliage ground cover that grows quickly. Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald’ in Gold is shown on the left. Wintercreeper is a spreading shrub that looks like Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety.’ The spreading stems of the evergreen plant are covered in dazzling green and gold or white foliage, creating a floor of gleaming green and gold.
It has invasive weed potential because of its creeping plant roots when it touches the soil. As an edging plant or trailing ground cover, grow wintercreeper on slopes, under shrubs. In zones 5 to 9, this aggressive ground cover plant is ideal for full shade or sun.
Lilyturf (Liriope muscari)
Lilyturf is an evergreen ground cover with rapid expansion that fights weeds. This shade-loving perennial plant develops as short clusters of arching leaves. In the summer and fall, the low-growing ground cover plant produces purple flower cluster spikes.
Summer gardens can be transformed into a sea of purple hues with lilyturf. Growing lilyturf as ground cover gives it the flexibility of being a grass lawn alternative. Lilyturf is suited for zones 5 to 10 and thrives in shade or full sun.
English Ivy (Hedera helix)
You may grow English Ivy in a pot or hanging basket, but it can spread rapidly as a ground cover. Despite its invasive qualities, this evergreen perennial is a popular trailing ground cover plant. The woody stems of this ivy type root wherever they can find purchase. Low-growing leafy plant with a massive spread of up to 15 feet (4.5 meters), English ivy is popular.
This shade-loving, drought-tolerant vine should be planted with care. Covering walls, fences, or large areas of barren woodland soil with English ivy is a popular plant. In zones 5 through 11, Ivy thrives in shaded areas.
Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum)
Due to its quick development, Sweet Woodruff has scented leaves and thrives in shady areas as a shade cover plant. Even in the shade, this lovely perennial creates a natural carpet of gorgeous pink leaves and delicate white blooms. Since it spreads quickly to cover the ground, the lush white flowering ground cover plant needs no care.
Sweet woodruff is an invasive ground cover plant that can grow in warm climates. In shaded gardens, under trees and shrubs, or for edging in colder climates, it’s an ideal spreading plant. In zones 4 through 8, grow the plant as an attractive mat-forming perennial.
Blue Star Creeper (Isotoma fluviatilis)
Blue star creeper is a low-growing ground cover that thrives in rock gardens and between paving stones. The thick carpet of lush green leaves makes an excellent lawn grass replacement. In shade as well as in full sun, creeping blue star thrives and grows just as well.
While the spreading plant is usually ‘good-behaved,’ it may become invasive in certain situations. As a lush natural carpet to replace your lawn, grow blue star creeper. Zones 5 to 9 are ideal for this mat-forming plant.
Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans)
Bugleweed is a fast-growing perennial ground cover that thrives in partial or full sun. In shaded regions, this plant produces a thick carpet of lovable leaves. In areas where traditional grass cannot grow, planting bugleweed is an excellent option. In April and May, beautiful purple flower spikes sprout up to add vermillion to the garden scenery.
Bugleweed thrives in places where there is a lot of sunshine, such as slopes, beneath trees, and in forested regions. It’s important to keep in mind that carpet bugle may be invasive. In zones 3 through 10, the low-growing perennial thrives.
Spotted Deadnettle (Lamium maculatum)
In damp and shady places, spotted deadnettle is a fantastic ground cover. With colorful leaves and long-lasting flowers, this perennial low-growing vigorous plant enlivens shady gardens. From spring through fall, the bright-white or pink blooms and light green leaves provide color.
In shaded flower beds and gardens, grow deadnettle as ground cover beneath trees, shrubs, or. In zones 3 to 8, this fast-growing plant is perfect for covering ground.
Japanese Spurge (Pachysandra terminalis)
In the garden, Japanese spurge is used as an attractive ground cover or accent plant. In shaded habitats, this mat-forming ground-hugging plant produces a dark-green carpet of leaves. The spreading leaves grow up to 4″ (10 cm) tall and cover the ground quickly.
Japanese spurge prevents landslides and adds vegetation to woodland gardens, making it ideal for growing on slopes. In zones 4 through 8, grow this fast-expanding perennial ground cover.
Flowering Fast-Growing Ground Cover Plants
Some ground cover plants that spread quickly and thrive in the sun or in the shade produce lovely blooms. Phlox, creeping thyme, and rock cress are the most appealing flowering fastest-growing ground covers for full sun. Sweet woodruff, periwinkle, and lilyturf are some of the most outstanding examples of flowering shade-loving ground covers.