Groundcover Plants

Gardening Tips

The best ground cover plants block out weeds and reduce the need for mulch. If you are looking for groundcover plants that can handle the worst and still come back for more then here are some suggestions. These are the plants that are the best at handling cold winters, heavy traffic and harsh conditions.


Vinca major, with the common names bigleaf periwinkle, large periwinkle, greater periwinkle and blue periwinkle, is native to the western Mediterranean. Growing to 25 cm (10 in) tall and spreading indefinitely, it is an evergreen perennial, frequently used in cultivation as groundcover.

Growing & Caring for Foliage Plants : How to Transplant Vinca Major

There are three species of vinca commonly grown – V. minor, V. major and V. difformis. All do best in wilder positions in semi-shade.

  • Vinca minor is most widespread. It is also the hardiest and most variable.
  • Vinca major is larger in every way and can reach 2ft tall.
  • The third species, Vinca difformis, will flower in winter in a sheltered site.

Vinca minor may be more compact than V. major, but it is the most prolific spreader because it sends out lots of short runners and soon forms a tight mesh. V. major sends out much longer runners so it’s easier to weed out unwanted offspring.


Growing tips

  • Vincas need to be planted in groups so they make an impact.
  • All three species do best in semi-shade, but they love growing on a bank.
  • They can grow quickly, so don’t plant them with choice woodlanders such as rare snowdrops, trilliums and wood anemones. Restrict runners if need be.
  • Shear back untidy foliage in early spring so flowers are surrounded by lush leaves.
  • Propagate by runners.