There’s no rule that says you have to have a lawn. But if you shudder at the thought of covering your garden in concrete, why not consider groundcover plants and lawn replacement plants. These low and slow-growing plants will give your garden that lush green look you love, without the mowing. Groundcover and lawn replacement plants will also smother weeds, keep soil moisture in and shade the soil during the hottest months.
What are groundcover plants?
If you cannot stand the thought of a concrete or paver-covered garden but you also do not relish the thought of regular mowing and re-seeding, you may want to consider groundcover plants. These low, slow-growing plants will give your garden that lush green look you love, without the difficult upkeep. Groundcover and lawn replacement plants will also smother weeds, keep soil moisture in and shade the soil during the hottest months in a more attractive way than mulch or bark.
There are plenty of options when it comes to groundcover plants including succulent groundcover, flowering groundcover, native groundcovers in Australia and more. Visit one of our Flower Power stores or shop our range of plants online.
Best groundcover plants
- Ajuga, also known as bugleweed, is a member of the mint family that grows well in shade. Just like mint, it spreads quickly and can overrun other plants if not trimmed back occasionally. It will form a dense carpet of rounded leaves in a variety of colours including purple, bronze and green, with little flowers appearing in the warmer months.
- Mondo grass is a spiky evergreen perennial that is tolerant of both sun and shade, as well as drought, making it a good option for Australian gardens. Dwarf mondo grass grows to be about 30cm tall and will spread slowly to cover large areas. You can also find black mondo grass, which is similar but prefers full sun so works well in exposed sunny gardens.
- A mixture of low-rise succulent groundcover plants is an attractive way to fill a planter or section of garden, especially with the addition of a few larger feature succulents. They are extremely low maintenance, needing little water, pruning or feeding.
- Kidney Weed is a spreading evergreen perennial that is one of the most popular native groundcovers in Australia and New Zealand. It has shiny green heart-shaped leaves and inconspicuous green flowers, and will grow quite fast in full sun or part shade in moist parts of the garden.
- Star Jasmine was traditionally grown as a climber, but has become popular as a flowering groundcover in recent years thanks to its year-round green foliage and fragrant white flowers, as well as its ability to tolerate various climates.
- Spanish Shawl is a flowering groundcover creates a carpet of hot pink flowers that will spread indefinitely if left unchecked in warmer gardens. It prefers full sun and well-drained soil.
- Lamb’s ear is popular for its fuzzy silver foliage that often comes with pink or purple flowers. It prefers full sun though it can tolerate shade and can cope well with poor soil.
- Creeping Thyme grows to a height of about 1 centimetre but spreads easily over large areas. It has tiny, fragrant leaves and little flowers in summer. There are many varieties with different coloured leaves for you to choose from.
Groundcovers between pavers
If your garden path consists of stepping stones or pavers with spaces between them, you may want to fill the spaces with groundcover plants.
There are plenty of benefits of putting groundcovers between pavers. For starters, groundcover plants can easily fill irregular gaps between different sized or shaped pavers. Filling the spaces with groundcover also helps to stop invasive weeds taking over and eventually shifting pavers. And, of course, groundcover plants are attractive for your garden, especially if you choose a flowering groundcover species.
Native groundcovers in Australia
There are many benefits of using Australian native groundcovers in your garden. The main one is that they tend to be more drought resistant and require less watering – making for a more waterwise garden.
They are also attractive, hardy little plants that don’t need a lot of attention and will flourish when left to their own devices while attracting native birds and good bugs.
They have also evolved to grow well in the soil that naturally occurs in your garden. This is most obvious in gardens with clay soil. Clay can make gardening difficult as it is slippery when wet and hard as rocks when dry. But the nutrient rich clay that holds a lot of water can be the perfect home for certain native groundcovers. Still, it is important to find the right native groundcovers for clay soils: many grasses will thrive in clay, for example, while succulent groundcover is not advised for clay soils.
To find the perfect groundcover plants for your dream garden, just come into your nearest Flower Power and let one of our expert horticulturalists find the perfect one for you.