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According to the University of Illinois groundcovers can be used for problems areas and to unify the landscape. Before selecting a groundcover for your yard evaluate the growing conditions. Determine what type of sunlight the area receives, whether the soil is clay or sand, and how good the drainage is. Also consider how much water and maintenance you are willing to dedicate to the groundcover you select. Watch out for fast-growing varieties that may become invasive.


Sometimes referred to as Periwinkle, Vinca is an evergreen groundcover that will grow in full shade. Some varieties have blue flowers.

Carpet Bugle

Often called bugleweed, this perennial groundcover is good for erosion control on hillsides. Blue blooms appear in summer.


These succulent groundcovers need only occasional watering once established. Many varieties have colorful blooms in summer.


This is a fast-growing evergreen groundcover that blooms generously throughout summer. Lantana attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

Creeping Thyme

This groundcover is great for growing amongst paving stones because it holds up under foot traffic and releases a wonderful scent.

Mondo Grass

Perfect for Modern or Asian gardens, this clumping groundcover does well in filtered sun. Produces purple flowers in summer.

Sweet Woodruff

Common in shady woodland gardens, this perennial groundcover is a quick spreader. White blooms appear in summer.

English Ivy

This fast-growing groundcover that is great for growing on slopes, or up retaining walls. It's variegated foliage stays green year round.

Ice Plant

Great for dry-climate gardens, iceplant has fleshy green foliage that stores water. Produces vibrant blooms throughout summer.

Lamb's Ear

Prized for its soft, woolly appearance, this groundcover is quite low-maintenance. Grows quickly and densely, produces purple flowers in spring.

Photos from

Landscaping Network

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