Our Picks for Best Ground Cover Plants to Grow in Oklahoma

Oklahoma is known for its wide-open spaces, but there’s a lot of beauty in the state’s smaller towns and rural areas. You have to know where to look.

One of the best places to find it is in your backyard. You might not think of Oklahoma as an ideal gardening territory, but you’d be surprised at what you can grow — especially if you choose ground covers native to the state.

Ground covers are great ways to spruce up your yard or garden without taking up too much space or requiring much maintenance. They’re also good alternatives to grass if you want something more colorful or exciting than green blades of grass.

While many ground cover plants will work well in Oklahoma, here are some of the best:

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Lavender is a fragrant, low-growing perennial that thrives in dry conditions and poor soil. It grows to approximately 12 inches tall and spreads up to 1 foot. It prefers full sun and well-drained soil but will tolerate part shade. Plant seeds directly into the ground in fall or spring, or start seedlings indoors for six weeks before transplanting them outdoors. Plants can also be divided from existing plants in the spring or early summer. Pinch plants regularly to promote branching and healthy growth. Cut lavender flowers for drying or crafts after the bloom has faded, or allow them to remain on the plant for bees and butterflies in late summer through early fall.


Pachysandra is an excellent ground cover for shady areas. It can be grown as a ground cover on the edge of a lawn or as a border around trees and shrubs. The leaves are glossy, dark green, and have white powdery mildew in the spring. Pachysandra is easy to grow, but it does not like wet feet. In the spring, plant new plants in full sun or partial shade. After that, it will do well in shade or partial shade all summer long. This plant does not need much water once established, so it’s a good choice for areas where there may be some drought stress during the summer months. There is also an evergreen variety called ‘Green Carpet’ that stays green all year round!

Carex Testacea

This is another plant that grows in Oklahoma. It is also one of the most beautiful ground covers you can use around your home or garden. This plant has been proven effective in eliminating mosquitoes from your lawn and protecting it from pests like ticks, fleas, and ants. It also has medicinal properties, which make it very useful for treating wounds and burns and reducing inflammation in your body by soothing pain caused by arthritis or back aches. The flowers bloom during late summer or early fall when they produce fruit that can be eaten raw or cooked into jams or jellies.

Vinca Minor

Another excellent choice for Oklahoma gardens is the Vinca minor or Periwinkle Plant. It blooms from spring until fall with small purple flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds! The Periwinkle Plant needs well-drained soil and full sun to grow properly. It prefers moist soil but doesn’t want standing water at its roots, so drainage should be good!

Carex Grayi

Carex grayi is a small, low-growing ground cover native to North America. It has attractive grey leaves with a silver sheen and grows in a dense mat, making it an ideal ground cover. The plant thrives in sun or partial shade but does not tolerate hot afternoon sun. Carex grayi can be planted in spring and left to grow independently without watering or fertilizing for the first year. It should be cut back after flowering in spring to encourage additional growth and more flowers.


These low-growing perennials are ideal for shady spots due to their dense foliage. The plant grows best in moist, well-drained soil with a pH between 5.5 and 7.0. It is drought tolerant once established, but it may need supplemental water during prolonged drought. Lamium can be used as edging along walkways or planted at the base of trees or shrubs, where they will spill over and cover the ground surface with their foliage.

Creeping Thyme (Thymus Serpyllum)

Thyme is a perennial shrub that comes in wide varieties. It has low-growing foliage, which makes it an excellent choice for covering large areas quickly. Thyme also has a pleasant fragrance that will attract butterflies and bees, making it a popular choice by gardeners looking for pollinators in their yards. The most common type of thyme is creeping or mother of thyme (Thymus Serpyllum). This variety can grow up to 6 inches tall and spread over 6 feet wide, making it a great option if you want to cover large areas with minimal effort.

Carpet Bugle

Carpet bugle (Ajuga reptans) is a trailing perennial that is hardy to zones 5 through 9. It has blue flowers that bloom from spring until fall, depending on the variety. Carpet bugle grows well in full sun or shade and prefers moist soil that stays slightly acidic, but it can tolerate poor soil conditions with some watering during dry spells. The plant spreads by spreading roots as it grows along the ground, so keep this in mind when planting carpet bugle around other plants or bushes.

Golden Moneywort

Golden Moneywort (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’) is a low-growing perennial that has yellow leaves and yellow or white blooms. It grows best in full sun to partial shade, but it will tolerate some shade. The plant thrives in moist soil and requires good drainage. This plant attracts bees and butterflies with its nectar-rich blooms.


Epimedium (Epimedium grandiflorum) is a low-growing perennial with small white flowers blooming from early spring to late summer. The plant thrives in full sun to partial shade and moist soil with good drainage. It needs plenty of water while growing but less during the winter when it goes dormant. Epimedium attracts butterflies and bees with its nectar-rich blooms.

Liriope Spicata

This perennial grass has narrow leaves and delicate clumps that grow about 2 feet tall. It blooms in late summer with tiny lavender flowers that attract butterflies. It’s hardy in USDA zones 5 through 8, so it will grow well in Oklahoma. Liriope is often used as a border plant or between stepping stones or pavers. It’s also famous for container gardens because it doesn’t require much water.

Anthemis Tinctoria

Also known as English chamomile, this perennial herb grows well in dry soil and requires little maintenance. It flowers from July through September with yellow daisy-like flowers that attract bees and butterflies. Anthemis tinctoria is hardy in zones 3 – 9 and prefers full sun or partial shade with evenly moist soil once established.

Types of Ground Covers

There are many different types of ground covers available for Oklahoma homeowners. When choosing a ground cover, you will want to consider what kind of sunlight your area receives and the amount of moisture it will need. Here is a list of some common types:

Perennial Ground Covers

These plants grow back year after year and will spread if they aren’t trimmed back during the summer months. They can be planted in sunny or partially-shaded areas and will tolerate drought conditions once established. Examples include vinca, hibiscus, butterfly weed, and wild strawberries.

Annual Ground Covers

These plants multiply but die after one season unless they’re reseeded each spring or fall. Annuals can also be divided into spring-blooming annuals (which produce flowers in early summer) and summer-blooming annuals (which grow flowers in late summer). Examples include petunias, impatiens, and portulaca (moss rose).

Shrubby Ground Covers

These plants grow more like shrubs than ground cover plants. They spread outward from their original location but don’t creep with runners like other types of ground cover plants do. This makes them ideal for covering large areas quickly.

Prostrate Ground Covers

Prostrate ground covers have a creeping or trailing growth habit. They will spread outwards from their original location rather than grow towards the sun like other plants. These plants can be used as low-maintenance lawn replacements or paths between garden beds or foundations.

Semi-Vigorous Perennial Ground Covers

Perennial ground covers grow about 12 inches tall and spread outwards over time with runners that root wherever they touch the soil, ensuring that they quickly cover large areas with minimal maintenance involved from you!

What To Look for In a Ground Cover

Several factors should be considered when choosing the right ground cover for your landscape. Here are some things to keep in mind:

• Growth habit: Ground covers can be evergreen or deciduous (meaning they lose their leaves in winter). They can be trailing or mounding, mat-forming or upright.

• Flowering habit: Most ground covers bloom, but some do not flower until after they’ve been established for several years.

• Color range: Some ground covers have a wide color range, while others have only one or two colors available.

• Easy care. Ground covers don’t require much maintenance, so you don’t want to spend hours working in your yard with an extensive list of requirements. Instead, look for something that is easy to maintain and does not require much attention.

• Drought-tolerant. Many Oklahoma summers are dry, making it difficult for plants to survive without watering them every day or two. A drought-tolerant plant will help keep your yard looking great even when there isn’t enough water available for irrigation!

• Soil type: The first thing you need to know is what kind of soil you have. Is it sandy or clay? Is it acidic or alkaline? This will help you determine which plants will grow best in your yard!

• Sun exposure: Ground covers need at least four hours of sunlight each day (although this varies depending on species). If your yard gets less than four hours, consider adding additional lighting or moving existing plants around until they get enough light exposure!

• Water requirements: Some ground covers like dry soil while others prefer moist conditions — knowing which ones like what will make watering easier!

Benefits of growing Ground Cover Plants

There are a lot of advantages of growing Ground Cover Plants. First, it’s a straightforward method to add beauty and elegance to your garden.

The following are some of the main benefits of growing Ground Cover Plants:

Good for the Environment

Ground cover plants are perfect for the environment. They help in reducing soil erosion and also help in improving soil fertility. These plants also help conserve water, resulting in less water use by gardening enthusiasts.

Ground cover plants are perfect for the environment. They help in reducing soil erosion and also help in improving soil fertility. These plants also help conserve water, resulting in less water use by gardening enthusiasts.

Easy Maintenance

Ground cover plants require very little maintenance compared to other types of plants that grow taller than them, such as shrubs and trees. You can easily maintain these plants by cutting off their dead flowers or leaves every few months during the growing seasons (spring, summer, and fall).

Easy To Grow

Ground cover plants are straightforward to maintain, even for beginners. You don’t need much time or effort to keep them healthy and grow well. Ground cover plants don’t need much water or fertilizer, so they won’t drain your budget or wear you out!

They Keep Weeds Away

Ground cover plants keep the soil moist, which helps prevent weeds from growing. In addition, the roots of ground covers can help prevent erosion by holding onto loose soil and preventing it from washing away during storms or heavy rain.

They Add Color to Your Lawn

Plants spread out over a large area can add color to your lawn without spending time mowing and watering them daily. Ground covers also add interest to areas that would otherwise be bare or dull looking, such as slopes or hillsides where grass won’t grow well because there isn’t enough sun exposure.

Oklahoma has mild winters and long, warm summers, making it a great place to live. The surroundings, however, could use some sprucing up. Including ground cover plants in your garden or yard is one way to achieve this.

These plants above come in various hues and textures that can give your yard and garden more visual interest. They also add color, lessen weed growth, and aid erosion control. With the proper care, these plants will enhance the appearance of your yard and require less upkeep.

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