Creeping phlox (Phlox subulata)

Fast Growing Ground Covers for Sun & Shaded Areas

Ground covers are low-growing plants that spread horizontally to create a living carpet. They offer numerous benefits, including:

  • Erosion control: They help prevent soil erosion by holding the soil in place with their roots.
  • Weed suppression: They create a dense mat that discourages weeds from germinating and growing.
  • Water conservation: They help retain moisture in the soil, reducing the need for watering.
  • Aesthetics: They add beauty and texture to your landscape.

While many ground covers take time to establish and spread, several varieties grow quickly and can fill in bare areas in a relatively short period. These fast-growing ground covers are perfect for impatient gardeners or those who want to see results quickly.

Choosing the Right Fast-Growing Ground Cover Plants

The key to success lies in selecting the perfect ground cover for your specific needs and conditions. Consider these factors:

  • Sunlight: Will your planting area receive full sun, partial shade, or full shade? Different ground covers have varying sunlight requirements.
  • Soil Type: Does your soil tend to be sandy, clay-like, or something in between? Ground covers thrive in different soil compositions.
  • Moisture Needs: Do you prefer a low-maintenance ground cover that is a drought tolerant ground cover, or do you have an area that receives frequent watering?
  • Growth Rate: Are you looking for something that fills in quickly, or are you okay with a slower-growing variety?
  • Desired Aesthetic: Do you have a color preference, or are you looking for something with interesting textures or flowering habits?
  • Indoor or Outdoors: Are there any fastest growing indoor plants?

Planting and Maintaining Your Growing Ground Covers: 

Ground covers are a fantastic addition to any landscape, offering a variety of benefits including erosion control, weed suppression, water conservation, and undeniable beauty. But knowing where to start with planting and maintaining them can feel overwhelming. Fear not! This guide will equip you with the knowledge to create a thriving ground cover haven in your yard.

Planting Your Ground Cover

Once you’ve chosen your champion, it’s time for planting!

  1. Prepare the Planting Area: Remove any existing weeds, debris, and rocks. Loosen the soil to a depth of 6-8 inches. Amending the soil with compost or organic matter can improve drainage and nutrient content, especially for poor-quality soil.
  2. Planting: Refer to the specific spacing recommendations for your chosen ground cover variety. Individual plants may need more or less space depending on their mature size.
  3. Watering: Water the plants thoroughly after planting and keep them moist until they are established. This typically means watering deeply every few days for the first couple of weeks.

Maintaining Your Quick Growing Ground Covers Paradise

With a little TLC, your ground cover will thrive for years to come. Here are some key maintenance tips:

  • Watering: Once established, most ground covers require minimal watering. However, during extended dry periods, occasional deep watering may be necessary.
  • Fertilizing: While not essential, a light application of fertilizer in the spring can give your ground cover a boost. Opt for a slow-release fertilizer formulated for flowering or non-flowering plants, depending on your variety.
  • Weeding: While ground covers effectively suppress weeds, occasional weeding may be necessary, especially in the first year of establishment.
  • Trimming: Some fast-growing ground covers may benefit from occasional trimming to maintain their desired shape and size.

Bonus Tips:

  • Edge your fast spreading ground cover beds: This creates a clean and polished look and helps prevent them from spreading into unwanted areas.
  • Consider companion planting: Introduce low-growing flowering plants or small shrubs for added visual interest and to attract pollinators.
  • Mulch: Apply a layer of organic mulch around your ground cover beds to retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.

By following these steps and providing your ground cover with a little planning and care, the fastest ground cover plants can quickly transform your landscape and add beauty, function, and value to your property.

What is the fastest growing ground cover plant?

Here are some popular fast growing ground cover choices for different needs:

Full Sun:

  • Creeping phlox (Phlox subulata): This low-growing, fast spreading ground cover, perennial forms a dense mat of colorful flowers in spring and early summer. It thrives in full sun and well-drained soil.
    Image of Creeping phlox ground cover
  • Creeping jenny (Lysimachia nummularia): This evergreen perennial features small, round leaves and bright yellow flowers in summer. It tolerates a variety of soil conditions and spreads quickly.
    Image of Creeping jenny ground cover
  • Ajuga reptans (Bugleweed): This low-growing perennial forms a dense mat of glossy green or bronze leaves with spikes of blue flowers in spring. It thrives in full sun to partial shade and is drought tolerant.
    Image of Ajuga reptans ground cover

Part Shade:

  • Liriope spicata (Lilyturf): This evergreen perennial forms clumps of arching, grass-like leaves with spikes of purple flowers in summer. It thrives in part shade to full shade and is a drought tolerant ground cover.
    Image of Liriope spicata ground cover
  • Vinca minor (Periwinkle): This evergreen perennial features glossy green leaves and small blue flowers in spring. It thrives in part shade to full shade and is tolerant of various soil conditions.
    Image of Vinca minor ground cover
  • Brunnera macrophylla (Bigleaf brunnera): This herbaceous perennial features large, heart-shaped leaves and sprays of blue flowers in late spring or early summer. It thrives in part shade to full shade and prefers moist soil.
    Image of Brunnera macrophylla ground cover


  • Pachysandra terminalis (Japanese Spurge): This evergreen perennial forms a dense mat of glossy green leaves. It thrives in full shade to dry shade and is relatively low-maintenance.
    Image of Pachysandra terminalis ground cover
  • Waldsteinia fragarioides (Barren strawberry): This evergreen perennial features glossy green leaves and yellow flowers in spring that resemble strawberries. It thrives in full shade to part shade and is a drought tolerant ground cover.
    Image of Waldsteinia fragarioides ground cover
  • Tiarella cordifolia (Foam flower): This herbaceous perennial features heart-shaped leaves and delicate white flowers in early summer. It thrives in full shade to part shade and prefers moist soil.
    Image of Tiarella cordifolia ground cover
    (If you would like to purchase any of the plants mentioned here just click on the relevant images)

fast growing ground covers


Further Reading:

25 General Hydroponic Gardening Tips for Beginners

Our beginners guide to indoor plants

5 Organic Gardening Tips for Beginners

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