5 ground covers that you hardly ever need to water

Breckland Thyme
Breckland Thyme (Thymus serpyllum)

Are you tired of the constant hassle of watering your ground covers? If so, you’re in luck! In this insightful article, we’ll delve into the world of ground covers that are incredibly low-maintenance when it comes to watering. These exceptional plant varieties are known for their exceptional drought tolerance and ability to thrive in arid conditions. From Water-Wise Champions to Resilient Arid Allies, we’ll explore five remarkable ground covers that will revolutionize your gardening experience. Discover the secrets of their efficient water usage, their unique adaptability to dry environments, and how they can enhance the aesthetics of your landscape. Say goodbye to the burden of daily watering and embrace these incredible ground covers that will bring life to your garden with minimal effort. Get ready to transform your outdoor space into a vibrant oasis while conserving water resources.

What Are Ground Covers?

In the realm of horticulture and landscaping, ground covers emerge as an invaluable asset, transforming outdoor spaces with their multifaceted nature. These versatile plants, often hailed as the “carpets of the garden,” provide an array of advantages that extend beyond their aesthetic appeal. In this chapter, we shall embark on an exploration of ground covers, unraveling their distinct characteristics and unveiling their diverse applications in the realm of gardening and landscaping. From Nature’s Living Blankets to Nature’s Ground Guardians, we shall delve into the realm of these botanical wonders, discovering the secrets behind their success. So, without further ado, let us embark on this journey and unveil the wonders of these extraordinary plants!

Defining Ground Covers

Ground covers represent low-growing plants that expand horizontally, weaving a dense, mat-like cover across the ground. Their purpose extends beyond mere filling of bare spaces; they combat soil erosion, suppress weed growth, and provide an alluring layer that enriches gardens and landscapes. Ground covers exhibit an extensive variety of sizes, shapes, and foliage colors, ensuring a diverse selection that caters to various design preferences and functional requirements. Whether seeking an explosive floral display or an evergreen backdrop, a ground cover exists to fulfill your desires.

Characteristics and Benefits

Ground covers possess a myriad of characteristics that make them a desirable addition to any garden or landscape. Chief among these is their ability to rapidly colonize vast areas, minimizing the need for extensive upkeep. Through their luxuriant foliage, they serve as natural barriers against invasive weeds, curbing competition for vital nutrients and water. Furthermore, ground covers excel in conserving soil moisture, reducing evaporation rates, and shielding the soil from the intense rays of the sun. This water-saving attribute proves especially invaluable in arid regions or during periods of drought.

Another notable benefit of ground covers lies in their ability to enhance soil health. As they proliferate and spread, their roots penetrate the soil, promoting aeration and preventing erosion. Some ground covers even possess the remarkable capacity to fix nitrogen, enriching the soil with this essential element.


Ground covers find widespread application in the fields of landscaping and gardening. They frequently fill in gaps between larger plants, such as shrubs and trees, creating a cohesive and visually captivating landscape. Moreover, they effectively stabilize and protect steep slopes, combating soil erosion with resilience and elegance. Additionally, ground covers offer an eco-friendly alternative to traditional lawns, presenting a low-maintenance and sustainable option.

Ground covers, often overshadowed by their towering counterparts, deserve recognition as the unsung heroes of the garden. Through their capacity to reduce maintenance efforts, conserve water, improve soil health, and enhance the visual appeal of outdoor spaces, these versatile plants warrant inclusion in every landscape design. In the subsequent chapters, we shall embark on a journey to explore specific ground cover options that excel in diverse conditions and cater to various landscaping needs.

Lamb's ear (Stachys byzantina)
Lamb’s ear (Stachys byzantina)

These 5 Ground Covers Thrive in Dry Conditions

In landscapes where water scarcity and drought prevail, finding resilient ground cover options becomes crucial. In this chapter, we will unveil five exceptional ground covers that excel in dry conditions. From the Silver wormwood to the Velvet Lamb’s Ear, these remarkable plants have developed strategies to cope with aridity and thrive amidst limited water resources. Join us as we explore the world of these drought-tolerant ground covers, including Silver wormwood (Artemisia ludoviciana), Lamb’s ear (Stachys byzantina), Breckland Thyme (Thymus serpyllum), Goldmoss Stonecrop (Sedum acre), and Bloody crane’s-bill (Geranium sanguineum).

  1. Silver wormwood (Artemisia ludoviciana): Known for its silvery foliage and aromatic scent, Silver wormwood is a tough and drought-tolerant ground cover. Its feathery leaves reduce water loss through transpiration, helping it withstand dry conditions. Silver wormwood’s resilience, adaptability, and low maintenance requirements make it an excellent choice for water-wise landscapes.
  2. Lamb’s ear (Stachys byzantina): With its soft, velvety leaves, Lamb’s ear is a hardy ground cover that thrives in arid environments. Its dense foliage acts as a natural mulch, reducing moisture evaporation from the soil and conserving water. The plant’s ability to withstand drought and its striking silver-green foliage make it an attractive addition to dry gardens.
  3. Breckland Thyme (Thymus serpyllum): Breckland Thyme, or wild thyme, is a versatile ground cover that not only adds beauty but also withstands dry conditions. This low-growing plant forms dense mats of fragrant foliage, suppressing weeds and reducing soil moisture loss. Its tiny flowers attract pollinators, making it a beneficial addition to any drought-tolerant garden.
  4. Goldmoss Stonecrop (Sedum acre): As its name suggests, Goldmoss Stonecrop is a resilient ground cover that thrives in rocky or dry soil. Its succulent leaves store water, allowing it to withstand prolonged droughts. Stonecrop’s vibrant yellow flowers add a splash of color to the landscape, attracting bees and other beneficial insects.
  5. Bloody crane’s-bill (Geranium sanguineum): Bloody crane’s-bill or Bloody Geranium, is a resilient ground cover with vibrant pink or magenta flowers. It adapts well to dry conditions and is known for its tolerance to both heat and drought. This hardy perennial requires minimal watering once established, making it an ideal choice for water-wise landscapes.

These five ground covers, including Silver wormwood, Lamb’s ear, Creeping Thyme, Goldmoss Stonecrop, and Bloody crane’s-bill, showcase their ability to thrive in dry conditions while adding beauty and ecological value to the landscape. By incorporating these resilient plants into your garden, you can create water-wise environments that conserve resources and promote sustainability. Stay tuned for the following chapters, where we will delve deeper into the cultivation and maintenance tips for each of these exceptional ground covers.

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