The Best Ground Cover Plants for the Ultimate Low Maintenance Garden

These low maintenance ground cover plants are ideal for filling out empty spaces in your garden and preventing weeds – all with the added benefit of attracting bees and butterflies to your space. They also prove that you don't need the greenest thumb to have a garden to be proud of. We've made a list of colourful shrubs (🌼) and leafy perennials (🌿) that will pretty much look after themselves.

Ground cover plants that are super easy to grow

It’s important that these plants get the right amount of sunlight, which should be indicated on its label. Full sun (☀️) means it’ll need 6+ hours of sunlight a day, while part-sun shrubs (⛅️) need between 3-6 hours. If your garden gets a few hours a day or you’re planting under trees, then ones for full shade (☁️) are best.

Aronia ☀️🌿

Aronia is a pretty shrub with glossy green leaves that can form a hedge when planted together. It also has tiny white flowers.

Mondo grass ☀️🌿

As the name suggests, this plant is a long grass with strappy, glossy leaves featuring cream tipping.

Mondo grass

Oregano ☀️🌿

One for the garden and the kitchen, this herb has round scented leaves and small flowers in the summertime that are a favourite of bees.

Yellow alyssum ☀️🌼

Why not brighten up an area of greenery with this sunshine gold plant, which gives clusters of cheery small flowers?

Creeping thyme ☀️🌼

Another one that’s handy for the kitchen, creeping thyme has teeny purple or white flowers from late spring onwards.

Lavender ☀️🌼

Lavender is a favourite because of its distinctive purple-blue flowers and fragrant aroma that bees just can’t resist.

Lamb’s ears ⛅️🌿

This tactile leafy shrub has small furry leaves in a pale silvery colour and is dotted with dainty purple flowers during the summer.

Ajuga ⛅️☁️🌿

A leafy evergreen ground cover with a twist, ajuga has glossy leaves in shades of deep green, rich brown and even bronze. From late spring it also has small blue flowers, which bloom until the middle of summer.

low maintenance plants

Persicaria affinis ⛅️🌼

Create a carpet of leaves with the evergreen persicaria affinis (also called knotweed), which bursts into colour during the summer with spikes of tiny pink and purple flowers.

Bergenia purpurascens ⛅️🌼

The large evergreen leaves of purpurascens, or purple bergenia, are bright green during warmer months, before turning maroon and bronze by winter with pink undersides. During the spring it also has lively pink blooms.

Dead nettle (lamium) ⛅️🌼

Much prettier than the name might suggest, this low-growing perennial has leaves that are splashed with silver alongside clusters of pink or white flowers from mid-spring.

Barrenwort (epimedium) ☁️🌿

Known for its distinctive reddish-purple leaves with green veins, barrenwort has dainty flowers during the spring that look like tiny fairy wings.

Ferns ☁️🌿

Feathery ferns are a great way to cover larger areas. There’s a variety of shapes, sizes and colours out there, but one of the most attractive has to be the oak fern (Gymnocarpium dryopteris) with its golden fronds.

Jack Frost (brunnera macrophylla) ☁️🌿

So named because of its silvery leaves with dark green veins, the heart-shaped leaves of Jack Frost are accompanied by little forget-me-not flowers during the spring.

Sweet woodruff ☁️🌼

Sweet woodruff is pretty and petite, with long leaves that will come back every year and dainty white star-shaped flowers.

Now you know where these sturdy ground cover shrubs will thrive best in your garden, you’re all set to start your planting. If you’re new to gardening, check out our simple guide to gardening for beginners for useful tips and advice. You’ll find a wide range of garden tools and plants to fill your flower beds with at Gumtree.