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Low growing ground cover plants that will tolerate shallow chalk or alkaline soils

Ground cover plants are great for providing a low maintenance ground hugging and weed suppressing layer. Such plantings can relied on to keep down your gardening work load, whilst also providing massed swaths of attractive foliage.

Ground cover plants will tend to hug or spread over the ground yet can also be planted around taller plants, or as a low edge of bed planting or in drifts.

There are a wide range of ground cover plants that will tolerate dry chalk soils - whether in full sun or shade - and many are also drought hardy plants, as chalky alkaline soils have a tendency to dry out in summer sun. To give young plants a good start dig in plenty of compost into the planting hole and apply a 3 to 6 cm layer compost or bark chip on the soil surface after planting to lock in soil moisture and reduce weed competition.


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Latin &
Common Name
EarmarkType & FormFlowers & Foliage
Convolvulus cneorum - ConvolvulusConvolvulus cneorum

Convolvulus
Shrub, Ground cover, Container-friendly, Spreading clumpWhite flowers (Summer)
Cotoneaster horizontalis - CotoneasterCotoneaster horizontalis

Cotoneaster
Shrub, Ground cover, SpreadingWhite flowers (Spring)
Santolina chamaecyparissus - Coton LavenderSantolina chamaecyparissus

Coton Lavender
Shrub, Ground cover, Container-friendly, SpreadingYellow flowers (Summer)
Polystichum setiferum - Plumosodivisilobum - Soft Shield FernPolystichum setiferum

'Plumosodivisilobum'

Soft Shield Fern
Herbaceous Flowers, Fern, Ground cover, Spreading archingNon-flowering
Euonymus fortunei - emerald Gaiety Euonymus fortunei

'emerald Gaiety '
Shrub, Ground cover, Container-friendly, Rounded - BushNon-flowering
Cistus Gordon Cooper - Rock RoseCistus Gordon Cooper

Rock Rose
Shrub, Ground cover, Container-friendly, SpreadingWhite flowers (Summer)
Taxus baccata - Semperaurea -  YewTaxus baccata

'Semperaurea'

Yew
Tree, Conifer, SpreadingNon-flowering
Juniperus x media - Gold Sovereign - JuniperJuniperus x media

'Gold Sovereign'

Juniper
Conifer, Ground cover, SpreadingNon-flowering
Sedum - herbstreude - SedumSedum

herbstreude

Sedum
Herbaceous Flowers, Upright - ClumpRed flowers (Autumn)
Sarcococca hookeriana - digynaSarcococca hookeriana

digyna
Shrub, Ground cover, Rounded - BushWhite flowers (Winter, scented)


You can use our plant-finder to find plants that match your garden conditions exactly, for example Low growing ground cover plants that will tolerate shallow chalk or alkaline soils - click to give it a try!

Have you seen our other plant top ten recommendations?