The Grounds Guys
woodruff ground cover

Fast-Growing Ground Cover for Shade or Full Sun

When selecting your ground cover it's important to consider factors such as climate, placement, lighting, and soil type. 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.

Related Topic: How to Landscape a Yard without Grass

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.

Tips for Planting and Maintaining Your Ground Cover

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.