Fast-growing, Evergreen Ground Cover Options

One of the most striking 'blue' creeping phlox cultivars.

Fast-growing ground cover plants can be groomed into a pathway, used to cover hills or steep slopes, or planted around a flowerbed. Due to their ability to grow quickly and densely, these species are great choices for an underdeveloped or informal garden. Several types of fast growing evergreen ground cover are widely available at most nurseries. Here is some more information about a few of your options so you can better decide what you might want to use.

Tip: Always be sure to select plants that are suitable to your growing region. Native species are a good option and usually require less intensive care.

Trailing Periwinkle (Vinca Minor)

This plant produces beautiful periwinkle blossoms that emit a pleasant fragrance. It is extremely fast-growing so it will quickly spread throughout your garden if left unattended. Take care that your monitor it so it only grows in the areas you want.

It also grows just as dense and strong in full sun as it does in full or partial shade, making it a good choice for planting around the base of trees or atop a rock wall where it will eventually cascade down like a waterfall. Trailing periwinkle has small, oval, dark green leaves as well and it blooms in early spring.

Dragon’s Blood (Red Sedum)

Dragon's blood is a beautiful, bold, and sun-loving ground cover species. It’s deep red in color and like your skin, the more sun this plant absorbs, the more brilliant its color becomes. It can grow to be eight inches high after several years when fully mature. This plant grows surprisingly fast when compared to similar species and spreads thickly throughout the garden. In addition, dragon’s blood is extremely hardy and tolerant of dry soil and temperature variations.


Pachysandra is available in four varieties; all of them are adapted to grow in the worst soil and temperature conditions so these plants will thrive just about anywhere. It will quickly cover the soil it is planted in with dense green vegetation. Because of its hardiness and rapid growth it makes an excellent substitute for lawn grass. In just one year, a pachysandra plant can spread to cover an entire four foot square plot. Pachysandra grows also in-between rock cervices and in the shade of low-lying trees.

Creeping Phlox (Phlox Sublata)

Creeping phlox is a low-lying ground cover that produces blossoms in a variety of outstanding colors. This species propagates faster than any other on this list and should be regularly trimmed if it is being used as a boarder or pathway. When not in bloom, creeping phlox shows its tiny green leaves. However, when in bloom, it becomes a blanket of color lasting several weeks. This plant needs to be mulched and fertilized especially when it is young and not established.

Follow all planting and care instructions for each of these evergreens carefully for best results.

photo(c)Todd Boland 2006,