When considering plants for your landscape, don’t forget about the vast options available in low-growing groundcover conifers. Evergreen groundcover conifers can be a low-maintenance option to fill in landscaped areas, providing beauty and longevity. They combine well with more upright plants to complete the scene.
Although sometimes less familiar than other types of plants, these attractive and durable groundcover conifers are worth adding to your landscape.
Juniperus chinensis (‘Daub’s Frosted’ Juniper) has golden new growth that contrasts with the mature blue-green foliage. As tough as it is beautiful, it thrives on hot, dry banks in poor soil. Daub’s Frosted Juniper grows about 8 feet wide by 2 feet tall.
Juniperus conferta (Shore Juniper) loves sun, and is tolerant of poor, sandy soils. It features bushy foliage accented by blue berries that trails attractively along the ground to about 6 feet wide by 1 foot tall. Shore juniper attracts birds, and is resistant to deer, drought, erosion, and air pollution. It needs good drainage and does not thrive in heavy wet clay.
Juniperus horizontalis (‘Mother Lode’ Creeping Juniper) grows very low to the ground with golden-yellow foliage that turns a rich burgundy in winter. It slowly reaches 10 feet wide by only 4 inches tall.
Juniperus horizontalis ‘Wiltonii’ (Wiltonii Creeping Juniper) is adaptable, thriving in sun, and even tolerant of heavy clay soil. It grows very low to the ground, slowly reaching 10 feet wide by 6 inches tall.
Picea abies ‘Gold Drift’ (Weeping Norway Spruce) features vibrant lime-green needles in spring that mature to bright gold. Left unstaked it is attractive training down a wall.
Picea pungens ‘Procumbens’ is a Colorado blue spruce that hugs the ground, becoming a rich frosty blue carpet about 10 feet wide by 2 feet tall.
Pinus sylvestris ‘Albyn Prostrata’ is a vigorous spreading Scots Pine that rambles along the ground with an occasional slightly ascending branch. It is tough and beautiful with blue-green needles, growing about 10 feet wide by 2 feet tall. It is adaptable to most soils as long as it has good drainage.
Tsuga heterophylla (‘Thorsen’s Weeping’ Western Hemlock) grows in a procumbent manner, flowing along the ground. It adds interest growing over rocks or cascading down a wall. It can also be staked to the desired height. It grows in part shade to full sun, to about 5 feet wide by 1 foot tall.