Rejuvenate your garden by choosing from these succulent, ground-cover plants

by Mark Bennett

April 24, 2024

Rejuvenate your garden by choosing from these succulent, ground-cover plants

If you want to improve your sun-bathed garden with flowering plants, you are probably wondering which ones are best suited to prolonged exposure to sunlight.

Well, succulent plants are what you need: highly resilient, ground-cover succulents will help beautify your garden with very little effort needed.

1. Carpobrotus acinaciformis

Carpobrotus acinaciformis


Carpobrotus acinaciformis, aka the Elands sourfig, is a perennial succulent plant native to South Africa which has also found a home in the Mediterranean. The splayed stature of its branched stems covered with fleshy, bright green leaves makes it perfect for the creating colorful "carpets" in the garden which will produce large purple or yellow flowers throughout spring and summer. The plant shown here is the Carpobrotus acinaciformis edulis species (whose fruit is edible).


2. Drosanthemum speciosum

S Molteno/Wikimedia Commons

Also known as Jupiter's Beard, this succulent is native to southern Africa and is very popular in due to its spectacular flowers. Drosanthemum is a resilient, drought-resistant plant, adaptable to many different types of soil and has low watering needs. Perfect for sunny places, it must be sheltered during the winter from night frosts.

3. Sedum rubrotinctum


Much admired for the beuty of its leaves, Sedum rubrotinctum (aka the Jelly Bean Plant) is suitable for both indoor and outdoor cultivation. In both cases, it prefers sunny locations and needs high temperatures during the day (ie. never lower than 18 degrees C). Its pink, fragrant flowers bloom in spring.

4. Sempervivum tectorum


Sempervivum tectorum, aka the Common Houseleek, is an evergreen perennial succulent plant that has rosettes of triangular fleshy leaves and is almost completely self-sufficient. Water sparsely every 3-4 days and ensure the soil is well-draining (to prevent root rot).

5. Aptenia cordifolia


A succulent ground-cover plant native to southern Africa, Aptenia (aka Baby Sun Rose), is characterized by branched creeping stems with bright, green heart-shaped leaves. From spring and throughout summer it puts out numerous small purple/red daisy-shaped flowers. It can also withstand long periods of drought and should only be watered if growth is being encouraged. It also deals with winter conditions quite well (tolerating up to -5 degrees C).


6. Delosperma cooperi

TANAKA Juuyoh/Reddit

Also known as the Iceplant, Delosperma is a genus of succulent native to South Africa. A low-growing perennial that spreads quickly, this plant is perfect for ground cover in rock gardens. It prefers bright places and well-draining, nutrient-rich soil. It should always be kept slightly moist during the growing season (from April to September), cutting back signfiicantly on watering during the winter.

7. Graptopetalum paraguayense


Graptopetalum paraguayense, aka the Ghost Plant, is a succulent that blooms from end of spring/beginning of summer with small yellow flowers that rise out of the plant's basal rosette. It prefers bright locations, but it can be burned by direct sunlight in summer. The ideal temperatures for this plant is above 15 degrees C, but it will enter a dormant state in temperatures above 33 degrees C. In winter, it should be protected when temperatures drop below 5 degrees C. Water sparsely only during the growing season.


8. Echeveria


Plants from the Echeveria family (aka Hen and Chickens plant) can be great ground-cover plants for your garden. Resilient and very simple to care for, these plants are admired for their beutiful green or red rosettes. This plant prefers a sunny environment and well-draining soil. Water sparsely to avoid risk of root rot.

9. Purslane


Purslane (aka hogweed) is popular for its beautiful flowers and how easy it is to cultivate. It also makes fora perfect for ground-cover plant for your garden. Purslane prefers warm and very sunny locations and, if properly watered, will produce flowers from early autumn until mid-October. It can also tolerate intense heat, saltiness and sultry air.


10. Sedum pachyclados

Frank Vincentz/Wikimedia Commons

A succulent, perennial, ground-cover plant with grey-green fleshy leaves, Sedum pachyclados (aka Gray Stonecrop) can tolerate exposure to full sunlight. It can tolerate extreme temperatures and requires very little care other than needing well-draining soil.

Have you chosen which succulent you will decorate your garden with?