Fast-Growing Ground Cover

ground covering plants

Ground cover is an eco-friendly solution that can enhance the look of your landscape while providing a number of important benefits. However, many varieties need several seasons to become established. If you don't want to wait that long, The Grounds Guys have a number of options for fast-growing ground cover that can quickly transform your outdoor space by filling in vacant or underdeveloped areas with texture and colour.

Benefits of Fast-Growing Ground Cover

Ground cover is defined as any low growing perennial plant which covers an area of exposed soil, with benefits that include:

  • Low maintenance alternative to grass.
  • Prevents soil erosion.
  • Enhances biodiversity by providing a habitat for insects, butterflies, and birds.
  • Reduces the ambient temperature by absorbing heat.

Types of Fast-Growing Ground Cover

When selecting your ground cover it's important to consider factors such as climate, placement, lighting, and soil type. As with all outdoor plants, be sure to choose ground cover that is suitable for your region from among the following options:

Fast-Growing Ground Cover for Shade

Sweet Woodruff

Zones 5 to 8

This versatile plant spreads quickly to form a dense cover around 15 inches high, with clusters of fragrant white flowers that appear at the start of each summer. Flowers and bright green leaves are both star-shaped and last well into the fall months.


Zones 2 to 7

Bunchberry is a member of the dogwood family that produces emerald green foliage, large white flowers, and clusters of bright red berries. It stands six to eight inches high, spreads quickly, and thrives in cool, summer shade, preferring acidic soil.


Zones 5 to 8

Bright yellow blooms and deep green leaves make this a showy favourite among gardeners. Flowers appear in both the spring and late summer and the plant reaches heights of four to six inches. Goldenstar is hardy in both northern and southern climates and adapts well to either part sun or medium to full shade.

Trailing Periwinkle

Zones 4 to 8

This plant grows quickly to form a dense ground cover with beautiful blue, lavender, white, or purple flowers. Full to partial shade is ideal, and the plant is a great low-maintenance, pest-free addition at the base of trees or tall shrubs, or at the apex of a rock wall.

Fast-Growing Ground Cover for Full Sun

Creeping Thyme

Zones 4 to 9

Choose from red, pink, white, or purple flowers for a showy, fast-growing, fragrant ground cover. Creeping thyme prefers poor soil that is well-drained and thrives in full sun or part shade.

Yellow Alyssum

Zones 4 to 7

This perennial ground cover has bright yellow blossoms and grayish-blue leaves that are pleasing to the eye. Once the plant has finished blooming it can be cut back to encourage a second bloom and it prefers dry to sandy, well-draining soil.

Ice Plant

Zones 5 to 10

This succulent ground cover is available with orange, yellow, pink, scarlet, or red-purple flowers to suit any landscape or preference. Sharp drainage is needed to ensure optimal growth in soil with a neutral pH.

Creeping Juniper

Zones 3 to 9

Ideally suited for hillside erosion control, this ground cover is short, fast-growing, and low maintenance. Colour varieties include blue-green, yellow-green, or dark green foliage.

Tips for Planting and Maintaining Your Ground Cover

For expert advice and landscape design and maintenance services, contact the team of professionals at The Grounds Guys. Did you know? The Grounds Guys is a Neighbourly company. For more information, visit