7 Groundcover Plants with Purple Flowers

Groundcover plants help cover bare areas. Which ones with purple flowers should you consider growing?

Groundcover plants are low-growing plants that spread, trail, or creep along the ground. These mat-forming plants typically spread quickly, transforming landscapes into vibrant scenes, and are also helpful for weed management, preventing soil erosion, and covering bare soil.

Some low-growing plant species are great alternatives to lawns or turf. They minimize the need for mulch, resulting in a low-maintenance carpet of foliage and flowers 

Though there are numerous groundcover plants to choose from, today, we’ll look at several purple flowering plants that can be utilized as a groundcover.

1. Horned Pansy (Viola cornuta)

Viola cornuta, horned pansy, traces its origins back to France and Spain and is a member of the Violaceae family. It is also referred to as horned violet.

It has lance-shaped leaves and violet-purple flowers that emerge from mid-spring to mid-summer. It blooms in the summer with tiny purple, yellow, and white flowers. It rapidly spreads and can be used as a groundcover or bedding plant.

The horned pansy prefers the sun, although it can tolerate partial shade. It can be planted anywhere there is sunlight during the day.

vibrant violet and yellow horned pansy flowers

2. Creeping Thyme (Thymus serpyllum)

Creeping thyme, also known as mother of thyme, is a low-maintenance thyme cultivar. It looks great as an alternative to lawn grass or as part of a green patio with stepping stones or pavers. While other thymes grow upright and shrub-like, creeping thymes grow low and vine-like.

In late spring and early summer, clusters of tiny, deep pink-purple blooms appear. They’re cultivated primarily for the delicate texture of their leaves, which gently spread out to cover the ground. 

While creeping thyme is a resilient plant with few issues, it is susceptible to root rot in wet, soggy soil.

purple creeping thyme flowers

3. Royal Candles (Veronica spicata)

Veronica spicata is a widely grown species with numerous cultivars and hybrids. It grows well in pots and works well as a ground cover in a mixed or herbaceous border.

The long-lasting, violet-blue flowers appear on spike-like racemes from dense leaf mounds in the late spring or early summer. Their height varies from six inches to three feet, depending on the species.

Royal candles, aka spiked speedwell, grow swiftly but are not invasive, reaching full height by the end of the growing season and should be pruned down for overwintering.

4. Barrenwort (Epimedium)

Epimedium is a slow-growing perennial with red, pink, purple, white, yellow, or orange flowers that look like orchid blossoms at first glance. Most Epimedium plants have red arrow-shaped leaves. They produce four-petaled flowers in the spring. 

The plant gradually fills the desired space with its woody rhizomes without choking out other beneficial plants.

Barrenwort is a great shade-garden plant that can be utilized as a border or groundcover. They take a few years to mature and are tough and long-lived.

blossoming barrenwort flowers in the garden

5. Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans)

Ajuga reptans is a spreading evergreen plant that quickly fills empty spaces and suffocates weeds. It also produces vibrant foliage and helps with erosion control.

Beautiful bright flower clusters develop mid to late spring on its dense mat. The flowers are often blue to purple, but they can also be white. This ground cover boasts copper or purple leaves that provide year-round appeal.

Bugleweed looks excellent in its natural habitat, on a slope or bank, or as a mass planting in a woodland garden. It is a perfect choice for wet locations; however, it will tolerate moderately dry soils and a wide range of light conditions.

blue buggleweed flowers under the sun

6. Lithodora (Glandora diffusa)

Lithodora is an easy to grow, hardy, and disease-resistant plant. This groundcover will put on a magnificent floral display while requiring little maintenance.

The plant blooms from May through August. In the spring, this hardy plant produces small blue star-shaped flowers. These flowers have reddish-purple stripes on their petals. The dense covering of thin, dark-green leaves stays verdant all year, especially in the Southern regions.

Lithodora grows to a height of 6 to 10 inches in gardens, but a single plant can spread to a width of 24 to 36 inches.

7. Wishbone Flower (Orenia fournieri)

Torenia fournieri, or wishbone flower, is a petite, ground-hugging beauty with numerous dainty flowers. This colorful perennial ground cover resembles a blanket.

Wishbone Flower is a compact, erect shrub that grows to eight to twelve inches. The bottom petals of the light violet flowers have deep purple streaks with yellow inside. While the blossoms appear frail, they are resilient and able to withstand even the most intense summer heat when positioned correctly in the landscape.

The wishbone flower is an excellent container plant and can be grown indoors. It attracts butterflies and creates a lively atmosphere.

blooming purple wishbone flowers
Carley Miller
Carley Miller is a horticultural expert at Bustling Nest. She previously owned a landscaping business for 25 years and worked at a local garden center for 10 years.
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