When it comes to creating a beautiful garden, the right plants can make all the difference. Low growing perennial border plants are an excellent choice for creating an elegant and eye-catching display.
These plants are easy to maintain require minimal care and can be enjoyed year after year. From colorful blooms to lush foliage these perennial border plants can add texture and color to any garden. In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the best low-growing perennial border plants to choose from.
What’s the difference between low growing perennials and groundcovers?
Low-growing perennials are plants that flower every year and grow to be low in height, typically shorter than two feet. Their short stature makes them a great addition to rock gardens, garden beds, and even lining walkways. Some of the most popular types of low growing perennials are Sedums, Geraniums, Hosta, and Creeping Phlox.
Groundcovers are different from low-growing perennials in that they don’t flower, but instead spread over an area and the low profile prevents weeds from taking over.
Some popular ground cover plants are Sedums, Lamium, Ajuga, and Vinca. Soil erosion is another benefit of using ground covers in your garden. They help keep the soil in place and prevent runoff from washing away valuable nutrients from the soil.
The biggest difference between low-growing perennials and ground covers is that the former flowers and the latter do not.
Low growing perennials can give your garden a splash of color with their blooms while ground covers are great for preventing weeds and soil erosion but won’t give your garden the same aesthetic value as the low-growing perennials do. Whichever you choose for your garden make sure it is suitable for your climate and soil type!
Where to plant low-growing perennials for borders
Low-growing perennials are a great way to create a beautiful border for your garden space. They can offer height, texture, color, and beauty to shade garden edges without taking up too much space. When planting low-growing perennials for borders there are a few important considerations.
The best location for planting low-growing perennials for border is where it receives at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. Also, make sure the soil in the area is well draining as this will help keep the plants healthy.
Another step you should take when planting these perennials is to properly prepare the soil by loosening it up and adding organic material to improve drainage and nutrient levels.
Finally, make sure that you plant your perennials in an area with enough space between each plant to ensure that they have plenty of room to spread out and grow.
You may also want to consider adding some type of edging or fencing to keep the plants in place and help define the border. With proper planting and care your low-growing perennial border garden will provide you with years of beauty and color.
The Best 18 Low Growing Perennial Border Plants For Garden Border And Edges
1. Inside-out flower
Low growing perennial border plants can be a great addition to any garden, providing a wonderful backdrop of color and texture. One such perennial for garden is the inside-out flower whose small white petals cluster around a yellow center.
Growing to a maximum height of 18-24 inches, this low-growing perennial is perfect for borders, edging, and rock gardens. The inside-out flower’s foliage features a soft velvety texture that adds a unique dimension to any garden.
During the summer its white flowers will bloom in the sun and attract butterflies and other pollinators. While this plant does require some maintenance it is easy to care for once established.
It should be watered regularly and during periods of drought, and dead-headed regularly to encourage blooms. The soil should be well-drained and fertilized with a balanced fertilizer every spring. With its low growing nature and full blooms in the early summer, the inside-out flower is a great option for gardeners.
2. Coral Bells
Coral Bells are a great choice for low growing perennial border plants. They are a part of the Heuchera family and have a wide range of colors and textures that make them a great addition to any garden.
They’re particularly popular for their foliage and come in different shades of green, yellow, orange, red, and even purple. Coral Bells also have delicate bell-shaped flowers that are a beautiful addition to their foliage. They are low maintenance and easy to care for, and will thrive in most soil types and climates.
They don’t require a lot in the way of fertilizer and are tolerant of both drought and wet conditions. They don’t get too big either and will remain in the same general size and shape for years making them an excellent choice for low borders.
In fact, they even look great planted in mass for a more dramatic effect. Plant them in the spring and enjoy their beauty all summer long.
3. Snowdrop Anemone
A low growing perennial border can be an attractive way to add beauty to your garden. Snowdrop anemone is a classic choice for these borders as it provides a carpet of star-shaped white flowers in early spring.
This is a versatile plant that can be grown in the sun or shade, and its long lasting blooms are sure to put a smile on your face.
Snowdrop anemone also works well in rock gardens as it has a creeping habit that will fill in any gaps. Its foliage is a deep green that adds a lushness to the garden and its long stems are perfect for cutting and adding to a bouquet or vase.
For a classic look combine Snowdrop Anemone with other low-growing perennials like Catmint or creeping thyme. These plants will blend in nicely and require little care. With a low growing perennial border you can bring natural beauty to your outdoor space with minimal effort.
4. Silver Speedwell
Silver Speedwell is a low growing perennial border plant that is ideal for creating a beautiful low maintenance garden. The small grey-green foliage can reach heights of 8-12 inches and blooms in the summer with clusters of small light blue flowers.
Silver Speedwell is also known for its drought tolerance and can thrive in areas with full or partial sun. The plant will tolerate a wide range of soil types, though it prefers well-drained soil to ensure optimal growth. Silver Speedwell is also known for its low maintenance as it does not require much pruning or deadheading.
This makes it a perfect choice for gardeners who want a low maintenance border plant. Silver Speedwell is attractive to pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds making it a great addition to any garden. The plant is also deer and rabbit resistant so, it can be enjoyed without the worry of animals feasting on the foliage. Silver Speedwell is the perfect choice for any garden or landscape.
5. Bleeding Heart
Bleeding heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis) is an old-fashioned garden favorite, which is native to Japan and China. It is an elegant low-growing perennial border plant that bears dainty clusters of pink and white heart-shaped flowers.
The flowers droop from arching stems, giving the plant its name. The leaves are dark green and divided into leaflets. The bleeding heart grows in clumps reaching 1 to 2 feet tall and wide. The plants require full shade or part sun and moist, well-drained soil with regular water. They do best in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 8.
In spring, a bleeding heart can be propagated by dividing the clumps. After the plants flower, they will rest until mid-summer when they should be deadheaded, which helps promote repeat blooming. Bleeding hearts are deer resistant and make good-cut flowers for floral arrangements.
They also do well in containers. These plants work well in shaded perennial borders, woodland gardens, and as a backdrop for roses or other flowering plants. They can be vulnerable to mildew or crown rot so healthy new plants should be purchased each year, if desired.
6. Lady’s Mantle
Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla mollis) is a low-growing perennial border plant that is native to Europe and western Asia. It is easy to grow in most soils and tolerates full shade, partial shade, and full sun.
It produces small star-like yellow flowers in late spring and early summer and the leaves are evergreen. The common name comes from its frilly, scalloped leaves which were thought to resemble the veil or mantle of a medieval woman.
Lady’s Mantle is an attractive addition to a garden border. Its dark green, scallop-edged leaves are attractive all season long, and the foliage adds contrast to brightly colored flowers. It also has long-lasting flowers that attract beneficial pollinators like bees and butterflies.
Lady’s Mantle grows up to 24 inches tall and 18 inches wide, making it an ideal choice for edging along walkways or paths. It is low maintenance and can be easily divided every few years to promote new growth. The plant is also deer and rabbit resistant and free from disease.
Lady’s Mantle is a great choice for adding year-round color and texture to any garden bed or border. Its unique scalloped edges provide an interesting focal point for the garden, while its fragrant yellow blooms attract beneficial insects.
Keep it away from areas where it will receive too much sun or wind as it may scorch or topple over. With its low maintenance and disease resistance, Lady’s Mantle is an ideal choice for those who want an easy-care garden plant.
7. Toad Lily
Toad Lilies (Tricyrtis spp.) are low growing, rhizomatous perennials with beautiful, mottled foliage and exquisite blooms. These stunning plants are native to Japan, China, and Korea and are often found along woodland edges or forest floors. They thrive in moist, humus-rich soil and part to full shade.
In the garden, Toad Lilies are great for borders or edging as they can be quite short, only reaching a height of 12 inches. The foliage is quite striking, with heavily speckled green leaves creating a stunning contrast with their bright yellow-green stems. The blooms of Toad Lilies are an extraordinary sight featuring white or purple flowers which formed into delicate star-like shapes and emerge in late summer.
In addition to their beauty, Toad Lilies are relatively low maintenance, needing just a bit of regular pruning and deadheading to promote more frequent blooms. Because they prefer moist soil and are shade-loving plants, they can make an ideal choice for gardeners dealing with difficult situations such as shady areas or sites with poor drainage.
While these plants can last for years in the garden, they also spread easily if given the right conditions making them ideal for softening bed edges and creating a lush border.
8. Low-growing perennial Barrenwort
Barrenwort, also known as Epimedium, is a type of low-growing perennial border plant that is native to Asia, Europe, and North America. It is an evergreen ground cover that has colorful foliage and delicate bell-shaped flowers. It’s a popular choice for borders and rock gardens because of its hardiness and low maintenance needs.
The leaves are usually oval in shape and may be deep green, bronze, or purple in color. The flowers come in a variety of colors from white to pink and yellow. Each flower has four petals and a long spire of stamens.
Barrenwort is easy to grow and prefers well-drained soil and part sun. Once established, it can tolerate periods of drought and will survive in low nutrient environments. It may spread slowly over time, but can be easily controlled with regular trimming or division. It can also be propagated from division or seed in the spring.
Barrenwort is both deer and rabbit resistant making it an ideal choice for gardeners who have trouble with small critters eating their plants. It also provides a nice contrast with other spring blooms such as tulips and daffodils. This tough perennial is sure to give your garden a unique look for years to come!
9. Dusty Miller
Dusty miller is a low-growing perennial border plant that is a great choice for adding texture and contrast to flower beds and gardens. The silvery foliage of the dusty miller is what sets it apart from other plants providing an interesting backdrop for other brighter flowers in the garden.
The plant’s leaves are finely textured in a lacy pattern, and they are covered with a white, silvery-gray downy coating that gives the plant its name. The leaves of the dusty miller can reach up to 8 inches in size, but usually, stay much smaller. The foliage of this plant will stay evergreen throughout the year, providing a beautiful background for any garden.
The dusty miller does not produce flowers, which makes it an ideal choice if you are looking for something that will remain evergreen and won’t need to be replaced due to seasonal changes. This also makes it a great choice for drought-tolerant gardens as this type of plant won’t require much water or maintenance.
The dusty miller is easy to care for, requiring occasional pruning of the foliage to encourage bushy growth and keep it looking tidy. The plant does best in well-drained soil and full sunlight. It can thrive in partial shade but will require more frequent watering to keep the leaves alive.
Dusty miller is a great choice for adding texture and contrasts to flower beds and gardens. Its silvery foliage provides an interesting backdrop for other brighter flowers in the garden making it an easy way to spruce up any outdoor space.
10. Woolly Yarrow
Woolly Yarrow (Achillea tomentosa) is an evergreen, low-growing perennial border plant that is native to Europe, western Asia, and northern Africa. The plant has finely divided leaves that are covered in a dense layer of white hairs giving them a soft woolly texture. Its striking yellow-orange flower heads are produced from June until September and are a popular choice for garden borders and rock gardens.
Woolly Yarrow is a hardy, drought-tolerant plant that prefers full sun but will tolerate some shade. It is fairly low maintenance and does not require regular pruning or fertilizing. This makes it an ideal choice for those looking for an easy-to-care-for border plant.
Woolly Yarrow will spread quickly and can be invasive if not managed properly. It spreads via its rhizomes which can be easily contained by digging out a small trench around the main clump to keep it in check.
Woolly Yarrow is often used as an alternative to grass lawns due to its dense foliage and attractive flowers. It can also be planted in containers or mixed with other low-growing border plants such as sedums, artemisia, and creeping jenny.
A versatile and low-maintenance border plant, Woolly Yarrow is sure to add charm and a splash of color to any garden.
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11. Dwarf Goatsbeard
Dwarf Goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus) are attractive, low-growing perennial border plants that are native to Europe and the eastern United States. This adaptable plant is suitable for many kinds of landscapes and can be used as both an ornamental accent and to provide ground cover.
Though they are called dwarf goatsbeard, they can grow up to 2 feet tall, with multiple stems branching out from a single rootstock. The leaves form in basal rosettes with each leaf being deeply cut into 2 or 3 divisions with coarsely serrated tips.
The flowers themselves are quite unique, resembling small white tassels that form clustered at the ends of the stems in mid to late summer. As they bloom, the flowers attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies, or hummingbirds.
In addition to its beauty and uniqueness, this plant is fairly easy to care for. It prefers full sun to part shade and moist well-drained soil. It does best if planted in a group, as it looks more impressive when grouped together.
It is also important to provide it with plenty of space so as not to overcrowd the roots or stunt its growth. Otherwise, Dwarf Goatsbeard is quite tolerant of most soils and requires no supplemental fertilization.
These hardy plants make a great addition to any garden. They bring interest and texture to a landscape, providing a year-round presence with their foliage and their beautiful flowers in the summertime. If planted correctly, they are also quite low maintenance and will provide you with years of enjoyment.
12. Jacob’s Ladder
Jacob’s Ladder (Latin name Polemonium caeruleum) is a low growing perennial flower that adds a splash of color to any border planting. This unique flower has small blue or lavender blooms with delicate white or yellow markings making them stand out among other flowers.
The foliage of Jacob’s Ladder is comprised of long, gray-green leaves that are cut in a ladder-like pattern. The plants themselves will reach about two feet in height and spread about a foot and a half in diameter.
Jacob’s Ladder is a hardy and versatile flower, growing best in temperate climates with proper care and sun exposure. They prefer well-drained soil and should be planted in part shade to full sun. Pruning can help keep the plant from becoming woody and promote new blooms. This perennial is low maintenance and low growing, making it great for edging gardens or lining pathways.
Jacob’s Ladder is a great choice for gardeners who seek an eye-catching flower that requires little maintenance. Its unique design stands out among other flower beds, adding a special touch to any garden.
13. Pigsqueak Flower
The Pigsqueak Flower (Bergenia cordifolia) is a low-growing perennial border plant found throughout the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere. It produces clusters of pink or white flowers in early spring, and its oval-shaped leaves are evergreen and can be a glossy green when young, turning to burgundy and bronze in winter.
This hardy perennial thrives in partial shade to the full sun making it a perfect choice for gardens in need of a splash of color. It prefers moist, well-drained soil and can tolerate dry periods once established.
It’s low growing habit (under 10 inches) makes it an excellent choice for edging beds, borders, paths, and walkways. The flower blooms in profusion making a striking display at the front of borders or around patio areas. The flowers also attract pollinators to the garden so it is beneficial to plantings as well.
This species is also known for its low maintenance requirements – it only needs to be pruned back after flowering and deadheading, meaning that it is quick and easy to keep looking its best. Its height and semi-evergreen foliage give it year-round interest in the garden, adding structure and texture to any planting scheme.
In summary, the Pigsqueak Flower is an attractive, low maintenance choice for any garden looking for some color and texture. It can be planted en masse for impact or used to edge borders, patios, and walkways. Its evergreen leaves and profuse flowering will bring beauty to any garden.
14. Hardy Begonia
Hardy Begonia edging plants are low-growing, evergreen perennials with beautiful, dark green foliage and bright, colorful flowers that bloom during the summer months. They make an excellent choice for edging along walkways, beds, or in patio containers.
Their glossy leaves are attractive all year long and they are easy to maintain. The flowers come in a variety of colors including pink, red, yellow, and white.
These versatile plants are especially attractive when planted in masses to create a bright, colorful edging for outdoor spaces. Hardy Begonia can be grown in any soil type as long as it is well-drained and does not hold too much water.
They thrive in full sun to part shade and will tolerate some drought conditions once established. Regular watering will encourage healthy growth and flowering. Pruning should be done after the plants finish blooming but before new growth starts in the spring. Hardy Begonias make great low-maintenance edging plants and can be used to add height and texture to any garden design.
15. Heartleaf Foamflower
Heartleaf foamflower is a low-growing, evergreen perennial that makes a great border plant. It has glossy heart-shaped leaves which form a clump and which have a reddish-purple hue in autumn. Its delicate white flowers appear in late spring and last until late summer.
This is an excellent choice for covering banks, trailing over walls, or as part of a mass planting. Its low growing habit prevents it from competing with taller plants and shrubs, allowing them to take center stage in the garden display.
Although Heartleaf foamflower tolerates most soils, it does best in moist, well-drained soils in partial shade. It will tolerate full sun if kept relatively moist but direct sunlight can burn the foliage. It tolerates drought as well as flooding and is also deer resistant.
This plant spreads by rhizomes underground so it can be used to form ground cover very quickly. It can also be easily divided in early spring to keep it manageable. Heartleaf foamflower is easy to care for and requires no fertilizer or pruning.
16. Silver Speedwell
Silver Speedwell (Veronica spicata) is a low growing perennial that makes an excellent addition to any perennial border. This shrub is known for its low-growing habit and pretty flowers. The flowers have five petals and come in a variety of shades including white, blue, pink, and purple. They bloom from summer through to mid-autumn giving the border plenty of color for much of the year.
The foliage of the Silver Speedwell is neat and compact. It’s a great plant for groundcover and provides a dense lush carpet of leaves. Its evergreen nature will also bring year-round interest to your garden.
Silver Speedwell is easy to grow and doesn’t require much maintenance. It tolerates light shade and can be grown in a variety of soil types. As it’s low-growing, it is ideal for use as a groundcover plant in sunny spots where other larger plants are present.
It can also be used to add texture and interest among other plants in a border. It’s great for filling awkward gaps in the garden as it spreads quickly but doesn’t become invasive.
This hardy shrub is disease-resistant and drought-tolerant. It is also deer and rabbit resistant which makes it ideal for gardens in these areas. Silver Speedwell is an excellent choice for novice gardeners or those looking for a low-maintenance solution for their garden borders.
17. Low-growing Dwarf Solomon’s seal
Dwarf Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum odoratum) is an attractive and low-growing perennial border plant. This stunning plant produces unique arching stems that are covered in clusters of white bell-shaped flowers. Its dark green leaves emerge in mid-spring and grow to a width of only 6 inches across.
Dwarf Solomon’s Seal is very hardy and can tolerate many different soil types. It does best in moist well-drained soils and will thrive in full sun to partial shade. It benefits from a yearly top-dressing of compost in late winter or early spring.
The charming white flowers of Dwarf Solomon’s Seal appear from mid-May to mid-June and are arranged in clusters at the tip of the arching stems. These blooms are small but fragrant giving off a pleasant sweet smell. The large, oval-shaped leaves provide bold texture and interest throughout the season.
This easy-to-grow perennial can be used as an effective ground cover to create an eye-catching display along garden borders or walkways. It is also great for naturalizing shady areas and woodland gardens. Dwarf Solomon’s Seal is deer resistant, drought tolerant, and will attract bees and butterflies when in full bloom.
18. Dwarf Wild Columbine
Dwarf Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) is a low-growing perennial border plant native to North America. This attractive plant produces showy, yellow, and white flowers with long, pointed spurs in late spring and summer.
A member of the Ranunculaceae family, Dwarf Wild Columbine prefers partial shade to full sun and moist well-drained soil. It grows to a height of 15-20 cm and has a spreading habit that makes it an ideal choice for rock gardens and alpine beds. It is hardy to zone 3 and is easily propagated by seed or division.
This charming wildflower can be used as an interesting addition to mixed borders or mixed containers. Its long flowering season makes it a great filler for garden designs that need a bit of color. The foliage is evergreen so it adds structure to the garden year-round. It also attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, making it a great choice for wildlife gardens.
Dwarf Wild Columbine is an easy-care-for plant that requires no maintenance other than occasional trimming back after flowering. It is generally pest and disease free, so this low-maintenance perennial is sure to bring beauty and interest to any garden for many years to come!
In conclusion, there are many low-growing perennial plants that make great additions to any garden bed. These plants range from colorful daisies to hardy succulents, and fragrant herbs, making them ideal for forming a beautiful and varied perennial border.
They require minimal care and maintenance making them the perfect choice for low-maintenance home gardeners. With just a little bit of research and planning, you can find the ideal perennials to adorn your garden beds year after year.