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Ground covers are known to provide excellent protection against erosion and drought, and many gardening enthusiasts have taken it upon themselves to find the best plant for the job. However, the process is more challenging than it seems. That’s why, today, I’ll be putting one of your most frequently asked questions to rest: is coreopsis good for ground cover?
Coreopsis is good for ground cover; however, factors such as climate, maintenance needs, and appearance can affect how well this particular plant works as a cover for your growing space. Still, coreopsis is attractive, easy to grow, and has a long blooming period, so it’s worth a try.
To learn about the reasons why coreopsis makes for good ground cover, as well as some of its potential limitations, keep reading. At the end of this article, I’ll also provide you with some alternative ground cover plants you can consider if coreopsis doesn’t work for you, so stay tuned.
Here’s Why Coreopsis Makes for Good Ground Cover
There are several qualities that make coreopsis a great ground cover plant.
- It’s very low maintenance. Since you’ll have to put a lot of effort into growing healthy, vibrant plants in your garden, you don’t want to add to that stress by choosing a high-maintenance cover plant. Coreopsis is a resilient plant that can easily thrive in almost all soil types. It’s also tolerant to heat and drought, meaning a missed watering schedule won’t make or break their growth.
- It spreads very quickly. Due to its resilient nature, coreopsis can spread over a large area faster than most other plants. This can come in especially handy when you’re trying to create a ground cover. So, by choosing coreopsis as your plant, you won’t have to wait months to reap the benefits of growing it.
- It’s attractive. Though the main goal of ground covers revolves around offering soil protection, you still want the plant you choose to have a certain level of aesthetic appeal. After all, you work so hard to create a gorgeous, eye-catching garden that it only makes sense to put that same level of forethought when choosing a ground cover plant that will spread over the entire area. Luckily, coreopsis is a stunning plant.
- It has a long blooming period. Though most ground cover plants like coreopsis are easy to care for, they still require a certain amount of time and attention in order to thrive. That’s why you’ll want to choose a species with a long blooming period, so you can reap the benefits of your work for as long as possible. Luckily, coreopsis blooms from late spring up until early fall, so it’ll add color to your garden for months.
As you can see, there are several qualities that make coreopsis a great ground cover plant. However, I still want to note that no two gardens are the same, and what works in one space won’t work in another.
That’s why there are a few factors to consider before choosing your ground cover plant of choice.
Should You Use Coreopsis as a Ground Cover Plant?
Though coreopsis boasts some of the main qualities that make a good cover plant, whether it’ll actually be able to serve you well is a whole other topic. The answer to the question posed above is, ultimately, “it depends.”
So, here are some factors to consider if you’re looking to determine whether you should use coreopsis as a ground cover plant.
- Climate. Since your location’s climate is usually the first factor to consider when deciding to bring a new plant into your garden, the same consideration should be made when choosing your ground cover variety. Coreopsis thrive in warmer, drier climates with full sun and well-drained soil, so if you’re somewhere cold and rainy, it’s best to choose one of the alternatives mentioned in the following section.
- Soil variety. As I’ve already mentioned, coreopsis thrives in well-draining soil, and while it can still handle some water-retaining mixes due to its resilience, it’ll likely not fare well in overly-wet soils.
- Maintenance requirements. While coreopsis is pretty low-maintenance, it still requires the occasional deadheading session in order to thrive. So, if you’re looking for a truly hands-off variety, some of the other species might fit your preferences better.
- Effectiveness. With any ground cover plant you choose, you’ll want to first determine what kind of balance you’re looking for when it comes to looks vs. effectiveness. For example, coreopsis is one of the best-looking ground cover plants out there, but it isn’t as effective at weed suppression as some of the other alternatives.
Alternative Ground Cover Plants
By now, you should know better whether coreopsis is the right ground cover plant for your growing space. If you’ve decided that the species doesn’t fit your criteria, though, here are some other ground cover plants to consider.
- Hosta. This is yet another attractive plant that can spread over large areas in a short amount of time. However, unlike coreopsis, it can thrive even in shady areas.
- Creeping thyme. This hardy perennial offers much more than just its eye-catching looks; it also produces its signature fragrant leaves.
- Ajuga. This attractive, low-growing plant makes it a perfect substitute for coreopsis because it thrives in moist soil areas.
- Vinca minor. You might recognize this plant as a “periwinkle.” It boasts some of the most beautiful colors you’ll come across and can thrive both in full sun and in the shade.
When choosing between these options, make sure to still consider your climate, soil variety, maintenance requirements, and how weed-suppressing you want your ground cover to be.
Coreopsis can be an excellent ground cover plant as long as it’s grown in the right conditions. So make sure to carefully consider the information provided above if you want to make a well-informed decision on the best species to use as cover in your growing space.
If you live in a dry, warm climate, they might be the ideal choice. If not, you can choose between several other (just as great) ground cover varieties.