Our Favorite Groundcovers

Here’s a list of our favorite groundcovers for Southern California.

Lots of color for long season. Needs some replacement over time but a very good ground cover. Low water needs

Ivy Geranium

Lots of color, needs some replacements; best not around other plants. Medium-Low water needs


Kurapia is a newly developed, highly versatile groundcover. Once established, it requires little maintenance and needs less water than cool season turf grasses.

Mondo Grass

likes some shade, is slow to fill in but a great low maintenance and enduring ground cover. Medium water needs

Acacia redolens

Good hillside ground cover useful for banks and large areas of poor soil tolerates drought and heat. Desert carpet and low boy are prostrate forms to just 1-2 feet high usually planted from gallon containers fills in fast. Not good planted around other shrubs. Low water needs


Likes shade, medium durability. Medium-High water needs

Cotoneaster ‘Lowfast’

One of the easiest Cotoneasters to grow. White flowers are produced at the tips of the branches in spring and are followed by a nice crop of red berries in fall. The dark green foliage turns to a handsome reddish-purple in fall. A very drought tolerant selection. It grows to 18 inches or so in heigiht and spreads to 6 feet or more as the stems will root when there is contact with soil. This makes it a great selection for hillsides, slopes or embankments where a good erosion controlling plant is needed. We also plant Cotoneaster atop retaining walls where it will naturally cascade down for a nice effect. Usually not planted from flats; Garden View generally plants in one gallon containers. Low water needs

Dwarf Mondo Grass

In Mark’s opinion, one of the world’s best and most handsome groundcovers. It prefers some shade but will tolerate southern California sun; however it will not look good in the hottest months. It is very, very slow to grow and it needs to be planted at 4″ on center to get a carpet effect so it can be enjoyed in this lifetime. It is very low maintenance once it is filled in because it grows so slow. It can be planted around other shrubs because it does not creep. Medium-High water needs


Likes sun, good dependable. Low water needs



Very low ground cover, good between stepping stones, very small flower, durable. Low water needs


Needle Point Ivy

Very low maintenance, prefers some shade, very durable, OK around plants. Medium water needs

Ornamental Strawberry

Good Ground cover, sun and shade, stays low, semi-low durability, OK around plants. This plant is subject to problems with rust and shothole beetle. Medium Water needs

Polygonum capitatum

Full sun or part shade, creeping, semi-durable, plant can die when it gets below freezing, often comes back. Durable, best not planted around other plants. Low water needs

Creeping Rosemary

A good hillside groundcover not needing too much water. Occasionally trim to keep it neat. Don’t plant around other shrubs. Low Water Needs

Santa Barbara Daisies

gets bigger not good around other plants (it crowds them) needs to be cut back a couple times a year. Low water needs.

Senecio mandraliscae

Low water needs

Snow in Summer

Likes sun has interesting leaf color and flowers in spring. Low water needs


Full sun, semi-durable, long bloom period, can get ugly during cold spells and lose most of its leaves. Low water needs

Dwarf Myoporum

low dense trailing evergreen groundcover that grows to 2 to 4 inches tall

Vinca minor

slow to establish, semi-durable once established, some shade is helpful. Medium water needs

Viola hederacea

Very good ground cover prefers a little shade. Medium-High water needs

Lobster Flower

aromatic succulent that forms an attractive ground cover even when not in flower