The Grounds Guys
woodruff ground cover

Fast-Growing Ground Cover for Shade or Full Sun

Fast-growing ground cover is an ideal plant for those spots in your landscape where nothing seems to grow well. These bare areas in your landscape can often be found under trees, or maybe you’ve purchased a new home, and the landscape is barren.

Fast-growing ground cover plants aren’t just great for covering up bare spots on your landscape; they can also add a splash of color to your yard. Some fast-growing ground cover plants can reward you with aromatic delights and flavorful treats too. Why wait months to get the landscape look you love? Fast-growing ground cover can give you the landscape you want quickly.

When selecting your fast-growing ground cover plants, it's important to consider factors such as climate, placement, lighting, and soil type. Fortunately, you have plenty of options. So whether you’re looking for fast-growing ground cover for sun or shade or you need fast-growing ground cover for slopes, there’s a solution ready to be planted!

Are you planning to redo your landscape? A professional can help point you in the right direction. As with all outdoor plants, be sure to choose ground cover that is suitable for your region from among the following options:

Fast-Growing Ground Cover for Shade

Sweet Woodruff

Zones 5 to 8

This versatile plant spreads quickly to form a dense cover around 15 inches high, with clusters of fragrant white flowers that appear at the start of each summer. Flowers and bright green leaves are both star-shaped and last well into the fall months.


Zones 2 to 7

Bunchberry is a member of the dogwood family that produces emerald green foliage, large white flowers, and clusters of bright red berries. It stands six to eight inches high, spreads quickly, and thrives in cool, summer shade, preferring acidic soil.


Zones 5 to 8

Bright yellow blooms and deep green leaves make this a showy favorite among gardeners. Flowers appear in both the spring and late summer, and the plant reaches heights of four to six inches. Goldenstar is hardy in both northern and southern climates and adapts well to either part sun or medium to full shade.

Trailing Periwinkle

Zones 4 to 8

This plant grows quickly to form a dense ground cover with beautiful blue, lavender, white, or purple flowers. Full to partial shade is ideal, and the plant is a great low-maintenance, pest-free addition at the base of trees or tall shrubs, or at the apex of a rock wall.

Variegated Snow on the Mountain

Zones 3 to 8

This fast-growing ground cover has umbrella-like clusters of white flowers, transforming barren areas into a sea of white snow. You can plant this fast-growing soft green and creamy white plant under trees because it loves the shade.

Japanese Pachysandra

Zones 4 to 9

This low-maintenance plant thrives in dry shade and spreads rapidly. Blooms aromatic white flowers in the spring. It’s an ideal fast-growing ground cover for slopes because of its stunning, dark green carpeted lawn.

Irish Moss

Zones 4 to 10

This very short, hardy plant looks and acts like other mosses. It has bright green foliage and tiny white blooms. The thick, lush mounds make it a perfect plant to carpet shady beds.

Yellow Archangel

Zones 4 to 8

This is one of the fastest growing ground covers and is a great plant for anyone that wants to add a splash of yellow to their landscape. It can grow up to 1 foot tall and up to 2 feet wide.

Fast-Growing Ground Cover for Full Sun

Creeping Thyme

Zones 4 to 9

Choose from red, pink, white, or purple flowers for a showy, fast-growing, fragrant ground cover. Creeping thyme prefers poor soil that is well-drained and thrives in full sun or part shade.

Yellow Alyssum

Zones 4 to 7

This perennial ground cover has bright yellow blossoms and grayish-blue leaves that are pleasing to the eye. Once the plant has finished blooming it can be cut back to encourage a second bloom, and it prefers dry to sandy, well-draining soil.

Ice Plant

Zones 5 to 10

This succulent ground cover is available with orange, yellow, pink, scarlet, or red-purple flowers to suit any landscape or preference. Sharp drainage is needed to ensure optimal growth in soil with a neutral pH.

Creeping Juniper

Zones 3 to 9

Ideally suited for hillside erosion control, this ground cover is short, fast-growing, and low maintenance. Color varieties include blue-green, yellow-green, or dark green foliage.

Dragon’s Blood Sedum

Zones 3 to 8

This fast-growing ground cover for full sun grows well in various conditions, including poor soil. Bright green leaves in the spring with beautiful red flowers appear in the summer. If you’ve got weeds, it’s also one of the most versatile weed-suppressing ground covers you’ll find.

Creeping Phlox

Zones 3 to 9

This is a fast-growing ground cover for full sun that’s perfect for almost any climate. Grows well in rack gardens and foundation plantings, and its evergreen foliage puts on a show of pink, white, purple, or blue carpet in late spring.


Zones 5 to 10

If you’re looking for a fast-growing ground cover plant that can naturalize easily and survives for years when taken care of, look no further than Strawberry. Its attractive green leaves and modest white flowers stay low to the ground; they can creep around anything in the garden bed. When the berries ripen, you’re rewarded with a sweet, flavorful treat.

Asiatic Jasmine

Zones 7 to 9

This fast-growing ground cover is a great option for warm climates. The stunning, dense, evergreen foliage grows close to the ground, so it’s an ideal plant to cover up bare spots around and underneath trees and shrubs. It can bloom aromatic yellow flowers in spring and summer, too!

Planting and Maintaining Your Ground Cover

  1. Most varieties need supplemental water until established.

  2. Ensure the ground cover you choose is suited for your hardiness zone and soil conditions.

  3. Remove damaged or dying foliage by pruning as needed.

  4. Get professional assistance

Do you still have questions about which ground cover would work best for your yard? We can help! The professionals at The Grounds Guys can evaluate your landscape and provide recommendations. Contact your nearest location for more information.