Groundcovers for Sunny spots

Plants that creep across the ground or cascade down slopes or over walls can be grown to fill bare patches in the garden, reduce weeds and create a harmonious garden. Some groundcover for sunny spots hug the ground and can be used as an alternative to lawns such as some herbs, while others may grow up to 20-30cm or more high such as prostrate juniper (Juniperus conferta) or carpet roses.

Other great options for groundcovers in sunny locations include succulents such as ice plant, mesembryanthemum, creeping sedum and echevera, herbs including thyme and chamomile, daisies such as African daisy (Oestospermum), variegated plants such as creeping Jenny (Lysimachia ‘Aurea’) and silver foliage plants including catmint and lamb’s ears. For a cheap and cheerful flowering groundcover grow nasturtium.

Native plants such as golden guinea flower (Hibbertia scandens) and prostrate grevillea such as ‘Royal Mantle’. There are also prostrate forms of wattles, she oak (‘Cousin It’) and banksias.

Garden centres offer a huge range of plants to grow as groundcovers. When making your choice, look at the height and spread of each plant and its growing needs (for example sun and watering) to select the best option for your garden. If you are unsure of a plant for a particular location, ask the horticulture staff for advice, as they have a wealth of knowledge on plants that will suit your area.

For groundcover plants for shade see ‘Groundcovers for shady spots.

Growing conditions

Aspect Some plants will need full sun to perform at their best, whereas others are happy to grow in part sun to part shade with position. Check the plant’s information tag to plant it in its ideal location.

Soil Groundcover plants do best in good soil but many are tolerant of a range of soils and some can even survive in difficult conditions including moist, shaded positions. Dig in well-rotted compost or manure and/or Seasol Super Compost as part of the soil preparation. Also add in Seasol Plant + Soil Booster when planting to aid plant establishment. If growing in pots use a premium potting mix such as Seasol Advanced Potting Mix.

Climate There are plant choices for all climates, check the plant’s information tag for ideal conditions.

Lambs ear - five top silver foliage plants
How to grow and look after ground covers for a sunny position for a spectular garden display display

General care

Watering Water after planting and as plants begin to grow and establish a strong root system. Once well-established most groundcover plants are drought tolerant. Extra water may be needed if plants are in hot, dry or exposed conditions.

Feeding and mulching Groundcovers can can be feed via your preferred method, either liquid or granular food or a combination of both, depending on your groundcover variety. Keep plants growing well with a granular fertiliser such as Seasol plus Nutrients All Purpose including Natives every 6 to 8 weeks during the growing season. Spread around and through the plants and remember to water it in thoroughly after application. If you prefer liquid feeding, apply PowerFeed All Purpose including Natives every 2 to 4 weeks during the growing season as new growth appears.

Use mulch around new plantings to deter weed growth before the groundcover plant can spread and act as a living mulch.

Pruning Prune to control growth as needed. Tall growing groundcover roses can be pruned in with hedge pruners.

Watch out Groundcover plants are generally tough and are rarely troubled by pests or diseases once established.