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Easy care landscaping with low-growing groundcover shrubs

Groundcover plants are a great answer to some of the most problematic garden and landscape conundrums. From uneven terrain, to places where you just can’t get other varieties to thrive, low growing groundcover shrubs are a great low-maintenance choice for small space gardening. These hard working plants can be used to dress up garden borders, as mass plantings in larger landscaping projects, and as natural tool to prevent erosion. Plus, because of their low growing characteristics, less weeding and mulching is required where these plants are sited.

Contributors: Natalie Carmolli

When it comes to compact varieties of groundcover shrubs, it would be easy to simply consider their low-maintenance characteristics, but the days of landscape plants simply being garden workhorses are gone. Groundcover shrubs are more beautiful than ever and provide a perfectly delightful answer to most garden and landscape problems.

For people who really only have the barest amount of space, consider the Low Scape® Series of Aronia. Proven Winners® ColorChoice® Low Scape® Mound Aronia is cute as a button yet tough as nails. Adaptable to wet or dry soils, Low Scape® Mound Aronia has deep green, glossy foliage, loads of white spring flowers in the spring, purple-black fruit in the summer, and intense orange-red color in the fall. Reaching heights of just 1-2’ and 2’ wide, this little plant is ideal for small space gardening, mass planting as a groundcover, or bank stabilization. 

  Low Scape Snowfire  Low Scape Snowfire foliage

Want the same performance in a little taller variety? Coming to garden centers in 2023, Low Scape Snowfire is the heaviest bloomer yet. With a versatile 3-4' height and width, this durable native shrub can be used as a hedge, foundation planting, and wildlife gardens, just to name a few. Come spring, it's positively snowed-under with white flowers, and that heavy bloom set results in an equally heavy fruit set come late summer/fall. Fall is also when the "fire" part of its name comes into play when its foliage blazes red and orange. Low Scape Snowfire is hardy in USDA zones 3 - 9 and will reach heights and widths of 3 - 4'.

Finally, Ground Hug® Aronia is our lowest grower yet! It's The ideal landscape groundcover, filling in difficult spaces such as parking lot beds, slopes, or anywhere mowing would be difficult or undesirable. This dwarf aronia naturally grows as a thick, dense mat, eliminating the need for weeding and mulching as well. Glossy foliage, white spring flowers, dark purple berries in late summer, and autumn foliage in hues of brilliant orange-red make this native plant as showy as it is adaptable. Developed by Dr. Mark Brand at the University of Connecticut it is hardy down to USDA zone 3 and measures just 8-14" tall and 3' wide.

Another fantastic choice for small spaces is the Yuki Series of Deutzia. These graceful, low-spreading shrubs are neat and compact, topping out at 1-2’ tall and about 2-3’ wide. Yuki Snowflake® Deutzia is an extra-heavy blooming variety with elegant white spring flowers that appear at the perfect time for spring gardens. Even more unique and over ten years in the making, Yuki Cherry Blossom® Deutzia is the first-ever 'Nikko'-type deutzia with pink flowers. A shower of elegant pink flowers creates a carpet of spring color. Great for mass plantings because of its neat, mounded habit and burgundy-purple fall color, both varieties of these tough, adaptable plants make an excellent groundcover, especially on a sunny slope.

 

If you're looking for cold hardy color, Spilled Wine® Weigela is hardy down to USDA zone 4 and shares the fabulous deep purple foliage and hot pink flowers of the classic Wine & Roses® Weigela but in a smaller size. This useful plant grows wider than tall (2-3’ tall and 3-4’ wide), making it the perfect choice for edging beds or walkways and for incorporating under windows in landscaping. A wonderful plant for adding lots of color in mass plantings, or tucked into an existing border, Spilled Wine® Weigela is deer resistant and very easy to care for.

  Perfecto Mundo Pink Carpet

Sticking with the theme of low-growing, pink flowering shrubs, the new Perfecto Mundo Pink Carpet reblooming azalea is perfect for creating drifts of color in the front of the border. This dwarf, ground-covering azalea puts on a three-season show with its multi-hued pink flowers. It can be grown in USDA zones 6b-9 and will reach heights of 1-2' and widths of 2-2.5'.

Finally, for a solution to your toughest landscape conundrum, Tortuga® juniper is an even tougher than average selection of our native Juniperus communis that naturally grows as a neat, low mound of fluffy, jade green foliage. It's the perfect plant for even the most difficult locations, such as underneath a silver maple. It is tolerant of deer, drought, dry soil, air pollution, poor fertility, mountain goats, polar vortexes, black walnut toxicity, sand, rocks, groundhogs, limestone, road salt, and more. It's also super cold hardy down to USDA zone 2! It grows to just 2' tall and will mature to 3-4' wide.

Tortuga Juniper

When trying to solve your most stubborn landscape problems, consider these and the entire line of landscape shrubs available from Proven Winners® ColorChoice®. They are trialed and tested to be healthy and vigorous, making your garden and your life more beautiful.

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