Grass is a great groundcover but requires a lot of nitrogen and water, especially in full sun. Alternative groundcover in the sun can conserve moisture and reduce the need for chemical applications. Creeping plants in full sun will fill even large areas and many can be stepped on, making them excellent options to replace grass.
Selecting Full Sun Groundcover
Groundcovers perform a variety of functions. They fill in empty spaces which reduces weeds, cover soil to keep moisture in, pretty up blank spaces, and more. Groundcover plants for sunny locations can also help cool soil. Any full sun groundcover needs to be tolerant of periods of dryness and thrive in blistering summer heat.
Prior to installing plants, determine which are hardy in your zone. You should also consider the type of soil, pH, drainage, irrigation, and other site conditions. Next, do you want flower, fruit, or other attributes? Finally, how much maintenance do you want to do? Some creeping plants in full sun can get out of hand and will require trimming or even mowing to keep them in check.
Also, determine whether you need deer and rabbit resistant plants. Plan the bed carefully. You may want to consider weed barrier fabric to prevent weeds as individual plants grow together and drip irrigation.
Flowering Groundcover in the Sun
If your objective is to have a hillside or other area bathed in color in spring or summer, you need to choose plants that bloom. Some will even produce brightly colored fruits after the petals have dropped, while others flower all season long. Flowering groundcovers will also attract pollinating insects, ensuring a bountiful veggie garden.
- Ice plant
- Creeping Potentilla
- Blue Star Creeper
- Creeping Thyme
- Carpet Bugle
Foliage Groundcover Plants for Sunny Locations
If your goal is to add some texture to the garden, plants with interesting leaves will prove useful. Plants may be evergreen or deciduous, low maintenance, or require shearing and pruning. As with any addition to the garden, decide how much work you want to put in and purchase accordingly.
If you want evergreen simplicity try:
There are plenty of deciduous selections that are perfect for sunny locations. For foliar interest during the growing season, choose: