My Earmarked PlantsSend to a Friend

Low growing shrubs to cover the ground in full sun on hot dry soil

There is a good variety of low ground hugging sub shrubs that will tolerate a scorching spot in full sun on the most droughty of soils. Any of these multi-stemmed plant that has a reasonably low spreading habit of growth will have the dual advantage of naturally spreading over the soil, helping keep back weed growth as well as providing an attractive foil for taller planting as well as lower flowering plants.

Many of the Mediterranean sub shrubs are especially well suited for planting in sunny dry spots and have the added advantage of being relatively compact and low growing (which means less pruning) as well as being very tolerant of dry droughty conditions.

Such shrubs can be planted on mass in large numbers (ideally five plus of the same species of plant) to provide attractive sweeps of planting. A decent mulch of wood chip or bark will also help young plants as they establish by locking in soil moisture and reducing competition form weeds.

Click on an image or plant name to view the full plant profile
Click Image for
Full Profile
Latin &
Common Name
EarmarkType & FormFlowers & Foliage
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus - Repens - Californian LilacCeanothus thyrsiflorus


Californian Lilac
Shrub, Ground cover, SpreadingDark blue flowers (Summer)
Convolvulus cneorum - ConvolvulusConvolvulus cneorum

Shrub, Ground cover, Container-friendly, Spreading clumpWhite flowers (Summer)
Cotoneaster conspicuus - Decorus - CotoneasterCotoneaster conspicuus


Shrub, Ground cover, SpreadingWhite flowers (Spring)
Ceratostigma willmottianum - Chinese Plumbago, CeratostigmaCeratostigma willmottianum

Chinese Plumbago, Ceratostigma
Shrub, Rounded - BushDark blue flowers (Summer late)
Brachyglottis viravira - BrachyglottisBrachyglottis viravira

Shrub, Container-friendly, SpreadingYellow flowers (Summer)
Lavandula pedunculata - LavenderLavandula pedunculata

Shrub, Herbs, Ground cover, Hedging & Screening, Culinary, Container-friendly, Rounded - ClumpViolet flowers (Summer, scented)
Artemisia ludoviciana - Silver Queen - ArtemisiaArtemisia ludoviciana

Silver Queen

Shrub, Herbs, Ground cover, Culinary, Container-friendly, Rounded - BushYellow flowers (Summer, scented)
Cistus X florentinus - Fontfroide - Rock RoseCistus X florentinus


Rock Rose
Shrub, Ground cover, Container-friendly, SpreadingWhite flowers (Summer)
Juniperus x media - Gold Sovereign - JuniperJuniperus x media

'Gold Sovereign'

Conifer, Ground cover, SpreadingNon-flowering

You can use our plant-finder to find plants that match your garden conditions exactly, for example Low growing shrubs to cover the ground in full sun on hot dry soil - click to give it a try!

Have you seen our other plant top ten recommendations?