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Fast-growing and undemanding groundcovers: which species get by with little care?

In garden design, low perennials are a great way to cover open spaces or more complicated places to plant on a slope, in the shade under the tree or on stony ground, while also keeping the weeds away. Which of the abundant species we choose depends on our needs and garden conditions. We present you fast-growing and undemanding ground covers, which meet the characteristics of fast-growing and low-maintenance and thus help to quickly bring your garden into shape, while requiring little time and care from you. We wish you a lot of joy in creating your garden and, of course, a relaxing and restful time while you spend there and draw strength.

Wild strawberries as ground cover: grows fast, saves time and is healthy and tasty

Wild strawberries sweet undemanding ground cover

Wild strawberries (Fragaria vesca) are a sweet yet practical choice in more ways than one. They prefer to be in sun to partial shade in moist to dry soil with clay content. Perennial plants grow 15 cm – 31 cm tall, forming a bushy cushion.

Wild strawberries flowers

From late spring to early summer, the plant blooms in delicate white flowers. From the end of June, wild strawberries invite people and animals to harvest their small, sweet, edible fruits. In the need for care they are quite unpretentious. You should only make sure to water them during periods of heat and while they are bearing fruit.

Wild strawberries ground cover for snacking

In winter, you should loosely cover the plants with some foliage or mulch to get the small hardy plantlets through the frost in good health. If you want to enjoy the wild strawberries, remember to wash the fruit extensively and use heat to make jam, as they may be infested with fox tapeworm.

Hardy and evergreen perennial: Cambridge cranesbill

Cambridge cranesbill


Cambridge cranesbill (Geranium x cantabrigiense) is a hardy and evergreen plant that grows up to 25 inches tall and bushy wide. It has white, pink and purple flowers that shine in May. The plant thrives in sandy, loamy and normally dry soil and loves sun and partial shade. However, if it is positioned too shady, you run the risk of getting fewer flowers. The best way to take care of the plant is to make sure that the soil does not dry out too much, so it should be watered weekly. Cambridge cranesbill is very suitable for greening areas and also for planting rock gardens.

Cushion perennials for the garden: Felty Hornwort

Felt hornwort snow in summer

Felty bugleweed (Cerastium tomentosum) from the carnation family, is very appropriately called “snow in summer” in English-speaking countries, due to its white cloud-like flowers. It grows flat, develops a height of 10 cm – 20 cm and forms wide cushions. The sight of the star-shaped snowflake flowers can be enjoyed from May to June. The plants are very suitable as undemanding ground cover for slopes and embankments.

Fast growing and undemanding bedcover Felt hornwort.

It feels comfortable in the sun on dry soil, which may also be stony and sandy. The plant is hardy and although it does not bloom in winter, its green-silvery leaves look chic even in the cold season. Dry soil is ideal for the dry season in winter. This plant truly does not make many demands on its keeper, on the contrary, if you do not want it to spread uncontrollably, you should prune it after flowering.

Flowering undemanding ground cover: true comfrey.

Comfrey as a ground cover for the garden

True comfrey (Symphytum officinale) grows in perennials and grows up to 80 inches tall. Its flowers appear from June to August in purple, pink and blue. It grows in loamy soil, which by its nature should be moderately dry. Sunny to semi-shady places, for example, around the pond are very suitable. Ointments made from true comfrey have been banned by the U.S. FDA since 2018 and have been classified as moderately toxic. So consider actually trying grandma’s ancient ointment recipe with her plant that has been used for many generations.

True comfrey ground cover by the pond

Due to its long root, the plant is very capable of taking care of itself even in adverse conditions. Therefore, it does not require much care and attention. If you want to avoid the plant from spreading too much, cut it back right after flowering. Otherwise, just make sure to water it a little during prolonged dry periods.

The wild thyme is tread-resistant and hardy

Undemanding treadable ground cover wild thyme

Wild thyme (thymus serpyllum), or more specifically sand thyme, is an aromatic, pretty and elegant, delicate-looking herb. Don’t let that fool you, however, because it is particularly hardy. It is hardy and also tread-resistant – which means you can have a garden party on it and not destroy it right away. In addition, there is the fact that it is non-toxic, produces a wonderful scent and serves as a bee pasture. All in all, a lot of good qualities in one little plant. It grows in perennials up to 5 cm high and forms a kind of carpet.

Wild thyme as ground cover fragrant beautiful

The flowering time of wild thyme is in June, July and August. It forms red, purple and white dainty flowers that remind us of the Mediterranean picturesque climes and take us there on a short vacation – while we drink a coffee in our garden. Wild thyme likes to grow in the sun on rather sandy dry soil and is well suited to fill in exposed areas or clothe rock gardens and slopes. To care for your rather undemanding thyme, you should only cut it back after the flowering period. This will allow it to grow back in full vigor. Be careful not to choose soil that is too wet when choosing a location.

Evergreen and undemanding ground cover: creeping marigold.

Creeping marigold Bee friendly.

The handsome bright blue Creeping Celandine (Ceanothus thyrsiflorus repens) adds a symphony of blue to any garden. This small shrub grows to a height of up to 2 feet and up to 2 feet in width. The flowers of this evergreen shrub are bright blue in color, decorating your garden from March to August. The leaves are rounded and appear a soothing medium green.

Undemanding ground cover creeping marigold

For a location, choose a sunny to semi-shady spot that should also be sheltered from the wind. An airy, sandy soil is perfect for the plant. Creeping marigold is bee-friendly and can find its place very well in a rock garden, on a slope or in an embankment. There it is also protected from waterlogging, and in winter it is protected from the cold and can thus withstand temperatures down to minus 15 degrees Celsius. Water the plant rarely, but regularly.

Special case shade bells

Shade bells Undemanding ground cover

The shade bell (Piris japonica), also called Japanese lavender heather or Mountin Fire, is not a fast-growing ground cover, but we would like to introduce it anyway. This is because it is beautiful, adds an exotic touch to your garden, and is rather low maintenance at that. The ornamental bush plant is a slow-growing species that can reach a growth height of up to 2 meters. However, it normally grows 1 meter to 1.5 meters tall. Each leaf begins its growth in a bright red color and transforms it to green over time.

Undemanding ground cover Cambridge cranesbill.

From April to May, the plant blooms in white bell-shaped flowers. Far Eastern beauty is an evergreen and hardy semi-shade plant that prefers moist soil. When caring for it, this plant claims help before the winter season. For this, you should spread loose mulch on the ground over the root, so that it does not freeze too much. Piris japonica is very hardy and can survive prolonged periods of drought.

We hope to have inspired you with our small selection on the subject of “undemanding ground cover” and wish you much joy in your garden.