The Fastest-Growing Ground Cover Plants You Can Grow!

You have many choices of ground cover to choose for your garden. Fast-growing ground cover plants are best for the parts of your landscape where nothing grows well. They are low maintenance and their aggressive growth is good for choking out weeds.

Here’s a list of fast-growing ground cover plants:

1. Aronia


Its berries are a source of food for birds, mice and deer. They have an acidic taste which discourages pathogens and pests. 

  • Low growing shrub with white flowers and green glossy foliage.
  • It is highly drought-tolerant and grows to a maximum height of 13ft.
  • Flowers bloom in early spring.
  • Thrives in direct sunlight.
  • Ideal for hardiness zones 3-9.

Best Evergreen Ground Cover Plants for Your Garden

2. Moss Phlox/ Phlox subulata

Highly valuable to pollinators. Deer do not like the taste of its leaves so it repels them from your yard.  

  • It is native to North America.
  • It reaches a height of 6 inches, is resistant to soil erosion, deer and air pollution.
  • It has a wide range of colors that can add interest to your landscape all year round.
  • Ideal for hardiness zones 3-9.

3. American Bellflower

american bellflower

The plant is great for wildlife as it attracts pollinators, especially long-tongued bees, butterflies, and skippers. Some insects seek its nectar. Deer sometimes feed on its flowers and leaves. 

  • Native species that grow up to 6 inches high.
  • Flowers from May to August.
  • Grows best in rich, well-drained soils.
  • It can grow well with 4-6 hours of daily sunlight.
  • It grows fast and covers bare spaces in your garden without needing a lot of maintenance.
  • Ideal for hardiness zones 4 -9.

4. Primerose/ Oenothera speciosa

It has pale yellow or white flowers which are visited by butterflies and beetles. Greenfinches often feed on the ovaries and nectars of the flowers. 

  • Grows vigorously to provide a vibrant ground cover.
  • It is ideal for ground cover if you have poor soil quality.
  • It is highly drought resistant
  • Grows to a height of 8 inches tall.
  • Thrives in full sunshine or partial shade.
  • Ideal for hardiness zones 4-9.

5. Bearberry/ Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies due to its colorful flowers. It is highly deterrent to deer. Birds and other wild animals like the plant for its berries. 

  • A low-growing shrub perfect for dry, sandy, and rocky soils.
  • Ideal for hardiness zones 2-7.

6.  Cranesbill/ Geranium

The nectar from its flowers attracts butterflies and bees. Deer and rabbits feed on its leaves. It is however tolerant to such damage. 

  • Grows aggressively as low mounds that quickly fill up bare garden areas.
  • They are good for reducing soil erosion, crowding out weeds and beautifying your garden.
  • They can be evergreen, or deciduous depending on your climate.

Fastest-growing evergreen ground cover plants

1. Fern Moss/ Thuidium delicatulum

fern moss

Used as a source of construction material for nests by songbirds. Provides protective cover to small vertebrates and invertebrates in woodland areas. 

  • It is an evergreen plant that grows well in partly sunny and shady areas.
  • It requires a lot of moisture and protection from wind.
  • Ideal for hardiness zones 3-11.

2. Barren strawberry/ Waldsteinia fragarioides

Its yellow flowers attract butterflies and other pollinators. It does not produce any fruit. 

  • Low maintenance, fast-growing ground cover.
  • It needs regular moisture, especially in hot climates.
  • Needs full sun or partial shade to grow well.
  • It is evergreen and blooms in early spring.
  • It grows to a height of 1ft.
  • Ideal for hardiness zones 4-8.

3. Rock cress/ Aubrieta deltoidea

Attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, but it is deer resistant. 

  • A colorful fast spreading ground cover, with a maximum height of 9 inches.
  • Grows to around 2 ft. wide.
  • It is evergreen and easy to maintain.
  • Ideal for hardiness zones 5-7.

4. Crested Iris/ Iris cristata

A common pollinator plant that attracts bees. 

  • This invasive species spreads best during sunny conditions.
  • It flowers in spring and its evergreen potential provides yearlong interest to wildlife.
  • It forms groundcover in woodland areas.
  • Grows to a height of 9 inches.  
  • Ideal for hardiness zones 3-9.

5. Juniper/ Juniperus

It is an exclusive source of food for some moth and butterfly species. It also provides cover for small mammals in woodland landscapes. 

  • Blue Pacific Juniper is an evergreen that is fast growing.
  • It grows to around 1 ft. tall and spreads 6ft wide.
  • It is drought tolerant and adds color to your garden during winter.
  • Ideal for hardiness zones 6-9

6. Firecracker Sedum/ Russelia equisetiformis

It is resistant to rabbits and its flowers attract butterflies and other pollinators to your garden. .

  • It grows 6 inches tall and 18 inches wide.
  • Requires around six hours of daily sunlight.
  • Ideal for hardiness zones 4-9.

What is the easiest ground cover to grow?

1. Brass buttons/ Cotula coronopifolia

brass buttons

It can be planted between stepping stones, as long as there is adequate moisture.

  • Grows best in full sunlight, on well-drained soils.
  • Grows to a height of 6 inches.
  • Invasive to North America, but its impact on the ecosystem is limited according to the California Invasive Plant Council.
  • Ideal for hardiness zones 4-7.

2. Leadworts/ Ceratostigma plumbaginoides

Contains vibrant foliage, which turns burgundy red in the fall.

  • Prefers growing in full sun.
  • Blooms in late spring, and requires little maintenance.
  • Reaches a height of 12 inches.
  • Ideal for hardiness zones 5-9.

3. Bunchberry/ Cornus canadensis

  • Grows best in full shade and moist soil.
  • It grows to a height of 6 inches.  
  • White flowers bloom in spring and red fruits in the fall.
  • Ideal for hardiness zones 2-7.

4. Wild Ginger/Asarum europaeum

  • Easy to grow groundcover that blooms during the spring.
  • It grows aggressively and will form a thick ground cover in your garden.
  • Requires full shade and moisture in the soil.
  • Reaches a height of 4 inches.
  • Ideal for hardiness zones 4-8.

5. Golden Moneywort/Lysimachia nummularia

  • Its flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
  • Fast-growing groundcover, that needs sunlight and moist soil to thrive.
  • Reaches a height of 3 inches.
  • Ideal for hardiness zones 3-7.

When is the best time to plant ground cover?

You can plant ground cover during spring, to give them enough time to bloom and prepare for the tough winter cold. Your groundcover will get an entire season to establish before it faces winter conditions.

If you live in areas with hot summers and mild winters, you can plant in the fall. Your plants will thrive in the winter rainfall, and bloom through spring and summer.

It depends on how cold your winter is or how hot your summer is. Depending on the ground cover for your garden, it is ideal to plant when your perennials will not be exposed to tough weather. Plant when the weather is right to allow early growth and bloom.

Final Word

You can plant fast-growing evergreens such as Firecracker sedum, fern moss, Mazus, Creeping Jenny, Bearberry and Dragon’s blood stonecrop in your garden. They grow fast and require very little maintenance. Woody plants with flowers are best for pollinating birds, nesting and protection from snow and winds during winter.