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Top 5 Best Ground Cover Plants to Prevent Weeds

stone foot path on green grass lawn through backyard

Ground cover plants are an essential part of landscaping and have many uses in the garden. They can be used to carpet the garden, prevent erosion on slopes, cover shaded areas under trees, and prevent weeds from choking out other plants.

Not only that, but they can also add new colors and textures into the landscape. Many produce prolific blooms during the spring and summer growing seasons for an extra splash of color! We have formulated a list of the best ground cover plants to prevent weeds.

Most Popular Ground Cover Plants

Mondo Grass is one of the best ground covers that kills weeds because it has a vigorous growth habit and spreads easily. Growing across the United States in USDA hardiness zones 6-10, this dwarf shrub prefers full shade to part shade for best results.

If you have a planting site with morning sun that it will thrive, but the harsh afternoon sun can inhibit its growth. Commonly referred to as monkey grass because of its growth pattern; it is both low maintenance and drought tolerant. Plus it makes an excellent edging plant or border plant and can fit into any area of the garden. It is also great for foot traffic by adding stepping stones in which the green can flow around.

autumn fern ground cover prevents weeds
Autumn fern shrubs foliage fades to green once it reaches maturity in fall.

Ferns like our Autumn Brilliance Fern are an excellent weed control ground cover due to their ability to grow almost anywhere even in moist soil! Additionally, the bright copper and orange colors that the Autumn fern puts out as new growth is a head turner to anyone strolling through your garden.

The orange fronds eventually fade to green as the active growing season progresses. Growing up to 24 inches tall and wide at maturity, the plant will spread around the area it is planted in. Plant ferns as accent plants in woodland gardens, in shrub borders, or in containers where their beauty can be adorned. The perfect shade-loving shrub.

liriope plants prevent weeds
The flowers of a Liriope shrub will shoot up above the foliage to give it a nice contrast.

Liriope Plants are good ground covers to prevent weeds! With tons of varieties, shapes, sizes, and colors to choose from, there is something for every garden! Maybe you want green leaves with white, like the Variegated Liriope that shows off more than just your usual green colored leaves.

Or maybe you want to show off the dark purple flowers and berries that the Liriope Royal Purple produces. These are all tough ornamental grasses that are low maintenance. Gardeners of all skill levels can keep this plant thriving. Forming clumps that may need to be divided in spring, Liriope will shoot up tall 12 inches to 24-inch blades of foliage to help keep weeds at bay.

Need a ground cover to eliminate weeds? The Variegated Flax Lily is a great option for southern gardeners to add to their landscape. With tall 1-2 feet long spikes that are green and white, the flax lily plant will spread in clumps to cover any area.

This flowering ground cover produces small star-shaped flowers that appear in spring and attract beneficial pollinators like butterflies and bees. The only vice is that it likes the heat and has little cold tolerance – only growing in USDA zones 8-11.

daylily plants prevent weeds as a ground cover
These flowers will last up to a day but they will rebloom with new buds for several months at a time.

Looking for something more colorful and bright for your garden beds? Daylily plants are the best choice! Daylilies are short shrubs that create bursts of color through spring and summer with their reblooming flowers.

With tons of colors to choose from and having some of the best planting qualities, you can’t go wrong with adding daylilies to your repertoire! Choose a red variety like the Little Business Daylily or the classic yellow Stella de Oro Daylily. They are some of the best ground cover plants to suppress weeds!

Ground Cover Planting Chart

NameWater RequirementsUSDA ZonesSunlight RequirementsMature HeightMature WidthSpecial Features
Dwarf Mondo GrassWater weekly until established. Drought tolerant after 1-2 years6-11Full shade to partial shade6 inches8 inchesProduces white flowers in spring, deer resistant
Dryopteris Autumn FernKeep moist but not soggy4-9Full shade2 feet1-2 feetAttractive foliage, evergreen, cold hardy
Variegated LiriopeWater weekly until established. Drought tolerant after 1-2 years6-11Partial sun to partial shade1-2 feet1-2 feetUnique foliage, showy flowers, helps with erosion control
Royal Purple LiriopeWater weekly until established. Drought tolerant after 1-2 years5-11Partial sun to partial shade1-2 feet1-2 feetPurple flowers resemble grape hyacinth, deer resistant, tolerant to most soil types
Variegated Flax LilyWater weekly until established. Drought tolerant after 1-2 years8-11Partial sun to partial shade1-2 feet1-3 feetSalt tolerant, unique foliage, spring flowers turn into fall berries
Little Business DaylilyKeep moist but not soggy3-9Full sun to partial shade1-2 feet2-3 feetShowy flowers, heat tolerant, reblooms after deadheading
Stella d Oro DaylilyKeep moist but not soggy4-9Full sun to partial shade2 feet1-2 feetShowy flowers, heat tolerant, reblooms after deadheading

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