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Colorful ground cover plants for a low-maintenance garden

 Colorful ground cover plants

Low-maintenance groundcover plants offer a simple solution for filling in bare spots under large trees, on sunny slopes and in other challenging areas. In addition to adding welcome color, these plants act as living mulch, protecting the soil from erosion and drought. The following perennial groundcovers work well in a variety of situations without requiring much care.

1. Evening primrose

Native to the southwestern U.S. and Mexico, evening primrose (Oenothera speciosa) makes an excellent heat-, drought-, and moisture-tolerant landscape plant. It will reward you with cup-like pink flowers that open in mid-summer evenings or on cloudy days. Although it's easy to grow, it can spread aggressively in the best of circumstances, so make sure it has room to roam.

2. Golden Moneywort

Also known as creeping jenny, golden moneywort (Lysimachia nummularia 'Aurea') is a fast-growing ground cover that produces mats of small chartreuse leaves along thin, broad stems. The color is bright in full sun, but it grows well in partial shade.

Be warned, this perennial can get out of hand quickly, so it's best grown where it can be contained, such as a bed bordered on all sides by concrete or other hardwood. It is considered invasive in some parts of the country, so check if it is a problem where you live before planting.

3. Golden Star Plant

The Golden Star plant (Chrysogonum virginium) is also known as Green and Gold for its combination of attractive green leaves and star-shaped yellow flowers. This low-maintenance plant forms a spreading mat in sun or shade but does not spread aggressively. The Golden Star plant is the perfect choice for woodland gardens, natural areas or as a landscape under trees and shrubs.

4. Hardy Ice Plant

Hardy ice plant (Delosperma spp.) forms a low mat of succulent foliage about 2 feet wide; It is a good plant to use on slopes to prevent erosion. Perfect for hot, dry gardens, these ground cover plants bloom continuously from late spring or early summer through fall.

5. Heartleaf Prunera

Heartleaf Prunera (Prunera macrophylla) is a low-growing perennial that is admired for its attractive heart-shaped, silvery-grey or variegated green and white leaves and small sky-blue flowers that bloom in spring. The leaves have a course texture, so deer and rabbits tend to avoid it.

6. Hellebore

Hellebore (Hellephorus spp.) is a winter-hardy perennial that blooms in white, pink, yellow, or maroon for weeks starting in late winter. These plants make an ideal landscape for dry, shady areas, slowly spreading and rearranging themselves to fill in around other plants.

7. Hens-and-Chicks

A perfect companion to sedums, hens and chicks (Sempervivum spp.) is a succulent suitable for crevices in a rock garden, stone wall or walkway. Chickens and chicks are among the most low-maintenance landscapes. Nut and enjoy.

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