fast growing ground covers

6 Fast Growing Groundcovers

Fast Growing Groundcovers for Difficult Spots

There are times when any gardener needs a quick growing plant for fast covering of bare soil in beds or on a sloped bank. Perhaps you have just started a new perennial bed, and would like a way to fill in the bare spots until the perennials have reached their mature growth. Or you have planted trees and need a ground cover that can tolerate the shade below its branches.

Areas of bare ground can be transformed quite quickly with a carpet of low growing plants. Bare soil is a magnet for weeds, which if allowed, can become established and set seed very quickly. On banks, erosion is a more serious problem from both wind and rain. Planting these spots with fast growing cover plants not only solves these two potential problems, but makes your landscape  more attractive.

fast growing groundcovers

Variegated periwinkle (Vinca major) is one of the best choices for a large area that needs a vigorous and fast growing groundcover. With its white and green perennial leaves and its pretty blue-violet flowers, it does need to be sited with care since it will spread very quickly.

Long shoots grow almost overnight, and will re-root where they touch the soil. These hardy plants flower best with some sun, but will also grow well in shade where the variegated foliage adds a light touch. One warning – this can become invasive quickly if not controlled.

Serbian bellflower (Campanula poscharskyana) is another good choice where a fast growing ground cover is required. With clusters of lavender-blue star shaped flowers, it shows well. This plant spreads by underground runners, so should not be placed where it can overwhelm other less vigorous growing plants. You can easily chop off the outer sections of the clump with a spade.

fast growing groundcovers

Blue catmint (Nepeta faassenii) is the third choice for an fast growing easy-cover plant. It has aromatic foliage of small silvery gray leaves and sprays of pale lavender-blue flowers. It does prefer a sunny spot, but will tolerate some shade. This plant should be located where it can sprawl over the edges of a raised bed or edge a path where its scent can be released as it is brushed against.

fast growing groundcovers

Prostrate junipers such as Blue Carpet (Juniperus squamata) are another good choice for ground covers. With spreading ground-hugging branches covered with silvery-blue needle-like leaves, this one looks good all year. It will grow in almost any conditions, and is particularly suitable for planting on banks and slopes.

Another great groundcover for slopes and difficult spots is St. John’s Wort (Hypericum Hidcote). ground coversIt is easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil, in full sun to part shade. It tolerates dry rocky or sandy soils.

It has pretty rose-like, 5-petaled, waxy, cupped, golden yellow flowers with prominent, dark yellow center stamens. Flowers of this popular hybrid are unusually large, slightly fragrant and bloom throughout the summer.

Spreading roses (Rosa sp.) are very useful and attractive ways to cover large areas of ground. With masses of flowers, they form a prostrate carpet that looks beautiful most of the summer. The long prickly stems rapidly spread so plant these where you want to control soil erosion.

The new varieties of blanketing roses are trouble free and very hardy. They look particularly good tumbling over a wall or trailing down a sloped spot. Many varieties are available, in colors ranging from white through pinks and peach to vivid reds.

fast growing groundcovers

Choose any of these six, and find even more fast growing groundcovers for soil stabilization, weed control or just for aesthetic appeal in a difficult spot.

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