August 29, 2023 4 min read

Whether they’re draped over rocks, protecting soil, or adding visual interest, ground cover plants make a huge difference to the aesthetic of your garden. There are SO many reasons to add ground cover plants to your garden. They’re more attractive than barren soil and prevent weeds from springing up. Ground cover plants also form a dense mat and textual interest which softens the edges of paved areas, fills cracks in rockeries, and can be used as an underplant giving your garden a layered look. Ground-dwelling plants also act as living mulch, helping to maintain regular soil temperatures and moisture levels, which helps to stimulate a broad range of healthy soil organisms.

In terms of design, a carpet of ground cover plants creates a softer, lusher look, while flowering ground covers offer hits of colour seasonally and attract many beneficial insects and birds. Small ground covers also tend to put down new roots as they spread, making them quite hardy.

Here are some benefits of ground cover plants and a few of our top plant picks.

Soil Protection

Ground cover plants protect the soil by catching raindrops, which reduce water run-off and wasting the associated nourishment. Without adequate groundcover, up to 85% of rainfall from storms can simply run off into creeks and waterways, rather than soaking into the soil for plant growth and to benefit animals.

A great option to protect the soil, while creating visual interest is the ever-popular Cousin IT or Casuarina Glauca plant. This versatile ground hugging creeping plant has dark green foliage and a cascading habit, making it ideal for growing over bumpy or difficult areas or draping and growing over retaining walls. It’s a tough plant, making it perfect for any ground needing a pop of bright colour. It’s also suitable for growing in pots.  

Ground cover plant Cousin IT or Casuarina Glauca plant

Easy to Grow

Ground cover plants can be planted out easily in your garden without a professional and without too much effort and hard work, they will spread outwards where there is enough soil and space to do so. To ensure they survive, it’s worthwhile checking that there’s healthy soil available, so that they thrive, rather than struggle.

One brilliant growing plant for improving your design is the Lomandra Verday. This beautiful and hardy Lomandra can handle all situations and is drought tolerant once established and suits a full sun position. It’s a great filler for your garden.


Softens up Hard Features

Ground cover plants can enhance boring outdoor areas with a beautiful ground display to cover up what would otherwise be bland or harsh angular space, which is lacking in colour and texture. Ground cover plants for shade under trees are a wonderful way of enhancing the beauty of your garden with either native or ornamental plants. The plants are easy to maintain and are situated low so that they can be accessed at any time of the year.

One fantastic ground cover plant to soften up hard paving edges or for rocky areas, ponds and shady spots, is the fine leafed ‘no mow’ grass Zoysia Tenuifolia. It’s also a sweet way of beautifying gaps between steppingstones or pavers.

Ground cover plant Zoysia Tenuifolia


Doesn’t Require Pesticides

Ground cover plants naturally repel pests and don’t need harmful chemicals to stay healthy. They will continue to thrive even at low levels without much attention. It’s still worthwhile keeping an eye on their condition and shape to avoid overcrowding the outdoor space and becoming a home for unwanted pests.

Don’t Require Much (if any..) Fertiliser

Ground cover plants are typically quite tough and do not require nutrients or fertilisers regularly. They absorb nutrients from the soil and ground water and will survive, even where the owners aren’t avid gardeners. However, liquid fertiliser can help to give a boost in strength if the ground cover plants are looking tired or weak. 

Wonderful Weed Blockers

Once ground cover plants have spread out a fair bit, they will stop weeds from taking off. Their way of blanketing areas of the yard lets them cover the soil and stop sunlight penetrating below their leaves so nothing can grow beneath them. You will still need to pluck out weeds between newly planted ground cover plants before they get fully established, but once it’s fully spread, it’s one less gardening task to do!

Year-Round Beauty

A final benefit of ground cover plants is that they remain evergreen and flower regularly throughout the year. This is perfect for when you want to add colour and texture to your garden to enhance its beauty without the need to bring in fake items or annual plants that will die off and need replenishing.

The Dichondra Silver Falls is a wonderful and versatile trailing plant with small, rounded, silver-coloured leaves that cascade down like a waterfall, making it a wonderful addition to rocky pond areas, uneven ground and is often used as a groundcover in garden beds. It can also look attractive in hanging baskets or as a spiller in mixed container plantings or multi level areas. This plant is fairly low maintenance and drought-resistant and does best in full sun to partial shade with well-drained soil. With its unique silver foliage and graceful trailing habit, Dichondra Silver Falls is an attractive addition to any landscape or garden.


Ground cover plants create a wonderful, soft layered look in your garden, they also support the local ecosystem and create a thriving environment for humans, wildlife, pets and insects to enjoy. Whether you go for fast-growing ground cover plants or those that take more time, they will be worth the initial effort to get them going and become a hardy part of the garden that needs little maintenance. Totally worth it! 

Are you Looking for a Nursery Near You?

You can order online at Sunshine Coast Plants and get your chosen plants delivered straight from the nursery to your door. To buy plants online for the Sunshine Coast, Southeast Queensland and NSW areas, shop with us today!

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