Garden design and maintenance

The 10 best plants and ground covers for garden paths and step plates

Plants ground cover variants varieties for garden path

Footpaths are an important part of any garden. They allow passage from one garden area to another by protecting the plants such as flowers or vegetables. However, these should not always be for purely practical purposes. With the right choice of plants you can, for example, beautify your garden paths! Greened or planted joints between the step plates look nicer and give the garden an additional touch of charm. In the article, we introduce the 10 best plants and ground covers you can use to plant your garden paths.

Ground covers are all-rounders in the garden

best plants ground cover varieties planting between joints

Would you like to create an easy-care garden because the time for gardening is limited? Then you are right with ground cover. These are low plants that cover the ground and can beautify empty spaces in the garden area. A blooming ground cover is also perfect as a lawn substitute and usually grows much faster than other plants. Furthermore, most of the varieties are accessible and ensure a pleasant feeling when walking barefoot through the garden.

So if you are looking for suitable plants for the footpaths in the garden, then you are making the right choice with ground cover. It’s easy to step on, so don’t worry about the kids or guests damaging it. But which ground cover varieties are best suited for this purpose? Below we summarize the most popular of them.

1. Blue bob haircut

Ground cover between tread plates, blue bobbleheads, small flowers

Blue bobblehead, also known as Isotoma fluviatilis or Pratia pedunculata, is an adorable, fast-growing ground cover with small, light blue flowers. Because it is easy to walk on, it is often used to plant the joints between stone slabs. The blue bob hair blooms from June to September, so you have beautiful garden paths all summer long. The maximum growth height is 5-10 cm, depending on the variety. Areas with sun or partial shade are the perfect locations for these plants. For a completely shady location, however, they are rather unsuitable.

2. Sand thyme

Ground cover between joints step plates Garden footpath sand thyme

The sand thyme or Thymus serpyllum is an evergreen ground cover with a height of 2 to 10 cm. For the planting of garden paths and step plates, varieties that do not grow so high are particularly suitable. They are also easier to care for and look beautiful between the stone slabs. The ground-covering sand thyme has the pink or lilac flowers typical of the plant genus and offers a blooming ground cover from July to September. In addition, the plant tolerates drought, has a pleasant scent and is well suited for different locations.

3. Star moss

Ground cover plant garden path Sternmoos stone slabs

Don’t let the name fool you. The star moss or Sagina subulata is not a moss in the strict sense of the word. Rather, it is a ground cover with small white flowers that appear in late spring. The small perennial is native to all of Central Europe and is often used for planting garden footpaths. Its tiny leaves form a moss-like carpet, hence the name. When choosing the right ground cover for your garden paths, you should note that the star moss does not like drought or excessive moisture.

4. Real feather pad

Real plumage ground cover interesting leaves step plates

Leptinella squalida or Genuine Feather Pad is a low perennial that originated in New Zealand. Still known as the lye flower, the plant is suitable as a ground cover for various areas in the garden. Its leaves are brownish-green, pinnate and thus resemble very small ferns. In contrast to the thyme and blue bobbleheads, the plumage does not have such pronounced flowers. They are head-like and yellow, bloom between June and August, but usually remain hidden under the plant’s green carpet.

5. Creeping Gunsel

Creeping Günsel plant ground cover on the garden footpath

If you really want to set the scene for your footpaths in the garden, then ground cover that grows a little higher is just the right thing. The Creeping Gunsel (Ajuga reptans), for example, can grow between 10 and 30 cm tall and has pretty purple flowers. It thrives on nutrient-rich, moderately acidic clay soils and likes light or partial shade.

6. Pennywort

Ground cover between joint stone slabs Pfennigkraut

Pennywort or Lysimachia nummularia is also known as coinwort because of its round leaves and flowers. It can plant large areas quickly and is a great choice for the grout between stone slabs. The golden yellow flowers appear between May and July and create wonderful color accents in the garden. This ground cover likes stony to clayey soil with enough moisture and is also hardy.

7. Carpet sedum

Ground cover plants garden path carpet sedum sedum

Carpet or ground cover sedum plant is still known under the name Sedum and is characterized by thick leaves and beautiful flowers. This perennial is easy to care for and likes both dry and sunny locations. The flowering period lasts from July to August and the flower colors can be white, pink, red or yellow depending on the variety. As a ground cover, the sedum plant is perfect for use between step plates as a lawn substitute. Under optimal site conditions, this ground cover does not require extensive maintenance.

8. Blue lead root

matching plants ground cover blue lead root

Ceratostigma plumbaginoides or blue leadwort is actually an herb that is easy to care for. It is widely used as a ground cover, largely because of its beautiful green leaves and small blue flowers. The plant likes a sunny spot, but can also thrive in partial shade. It is also drought tolerant. The lead root can add a nice color accent between the stone slabs of your garden path.

9. Alpine lady’s mantle

Ground cover plants garden path edge Alps Lady's mantle

The alpine lady’s mantle or Alchemilla alpina is a smaller species from the genus of lady’s mantle. It has beautifully shaped green leaves and blooms with wonderful yellow flowers in summer. Sunny to partially shaded places in the garden are suitable as a location for this ground cover. Whether between the step plates or on the edge of the garden path, the alpine lady’s mantle gives your garden a very special touch.

10. bob hairs

green grout garden path, green bobbed heads ground cover

Soleirolia soleirolii or simply bobbed head is a ground cover that will cover your garden with a beautiful green carpet and make it smell beautiful. This is a beautiful ornamental plant that can nicely stage the footpath between the flowerbeds. In autumn the green leaves turn red and add some color to the overall autumn picture. The bobble head is very easy to care for and grows in both sunny and shady locations.

Would you like to beautify your garden path and turn it into a highlight in the outdoor area? Then choose one of the suggestions for ground cover and use it to plant the footpath. Match the colors with the other plants in the garden and create your own outdoor oasis.