Ground-cover shrubs

These shrubs form a dense carpet of foliage, often with attractive flowers and fruits too. They’re a low-maintenance, wildlife friendly way to cover bare ground. You can choose from evergreens such as prostrate junipers (Juniperus horizontalis) and heathers (Calluna vulgaris), and deciduous types (that lose their leaves in autumn) such as Cotoneaster horizontalis. Ground-cover shrubs suppress weed growth with their dense stems and foliage.


These low-growing shrubs spread their woody stems across the ground, covering it in attractive foliage, often enhanced with seasonal flowers and colourful fruits. The densest coverage is provided by evergreen plants..


These shrubs often like plenty of space to spread and sprawl. To encourage fast, dense growth, plant in fertile soil and keep them well watered.


Make sure you choose a plant to suit your growing conditions, otherwise it won’t thrive. Acid soil loving plants won't thrive in an alkaline soil. Even those that tolerate dry soil need watering regularly until fully established.

Did you know?

If you like gin, then choose a prostrate juniper. The aromatic berry-like cones are the primary flavouring in gin and can also be used in cooking. The leaves of some types smell of gin when crushed.

Growing guide

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