The Q&A Archives: Ground Cover for Sunny Slope

Question: We just bought a house on 1/4 acre lot. What kind of ground cover can we use for a sunny slope in Zone 11?

Answer: Here are a few suggestions for ground covers (some are evergreen, some are not):
Achillea tomentosa (Woolly yarrow); Herbaceous, yellow flowers from June-Aug. takes poor soil; woolly foliage; spreading.
Antennaria spp. (Pussytoes); Herbaceous, White to pink flowers May-June; silver gray, mat-like foliage; unique flowers.
Arabis spp. (Rockcress) Herbaceous or evergreen; White to pink flowers April-May; Soft, gray, spreading foliage.
Artemisia schmidtiana 'Silver Mound' (Silver mound sage) Herbaceous, inconspicuous flowers; Mounded, feathery, aromatic, silver-gray foliage.
Aurinia saxatilis (Basket-of-gold), Herbaceous, Yellow flowers April-May; Shear after bloom.
Penstemon pinifolius (Pineleaf penstemon), Herbaceous or evergreen, Reddish-
orange flowers June-Sept. Needle-like, evergreen foliage.
Saponaria ocymoides (Rock soapwort), Herbaceous Pink flowers May-July; Shear after bloom.
Sedum acre (Goldmoss sedum) Herbaceous or evergreen; Yellow flowers May-June; Low growing; succulent, dark green leaves.
Sedum kamtschaticum (Kamschatka sedum), Herbaceous or evergreen, Orange-
yellow flowers July-Aug. Scalloped, succulent, green leaves.
Stachys byzantina (Lamb's ear), Herbaceous, Purple flowrs June-July Furry, gray leaves resemble a lamb's ear.
Callirhoe involucrata (Poppy mallow), Herbaceous, Red-purple flowers June-Aug. Trailing stems with saucer-like flowers.
Cerastium tomentosum (Snow-in-summer), Herbaceous, White flowers May-June Aggressive; shear after bloom.
Delosperma cooperi (Purple ice plant), evergreen, Purple flowers June-frost; Succulent foliage turns reddish in winter.
Delosperma nubigenum (Yellow ice plant), evergreen, Yellow flowers May-June; Succulent foliage turns reddish in winter.
Juniperus horizontalis (Creeping juniper), Woody, evergreen -- -- Several low-growing varieties including 'Bar Harbor,' 'Blue Chip,' 'Prince of Wales' and 'Wiltonii.'
Juniperus sabina (Savin juniper), Woody, evergreen -- -- Several low-growing varieties including 'Buffalo,' 'Broadmoor' and 'Calgary Carpet.'
Polygonum aubertii (Silver lace vine), Woody, White flowers July-Sept. Aggressive vine usable as ground cover.
Polygonum cuspidatum 'Compactum'(Japanese fleece flower), Woody, Pink flowers Aug.-Sept. Aggressive; thick, green leaves with red veins; red fall color.

Hope one of these plants is just right for your landscape!

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