Herbs You Can Grow as Groundcovers!

February 26, 2019 | By Roundtree Landscaping

Want plants with fragrance and functionality? Use herbs as groundcovers! Not the first thought that pops into your mind, right? But, there are a few herbs that make excellent groundcovers – and you can snip a bit while you are cooking or making your own tea. 

Creeping thyme

Creeping thyme makes a compact, lush, and fragrant groundcover. Creeping thyme can grow and thrive in conditions ranging from full sun to partial shade. There are many varieties to choose from, but all have tiny leaves on creeping stems that only reach 6- to 12-inches in height. Some varieties don't even get 1-inch tall and hug the ground! Besides the classic solid green version of thyme, you can find varieties with variegated and golden colored leaves. 

Thyme works well planted between stepping stones and holds up well to foot traffic. It’s also perfect for tucking between river rocks. Once established, creeping thyme is quite drought tolerant.

Trailing Rosemary

While this is the bulkiest herb on our list, trailing rosemary does a wonderful job of covering a large space quickly – and is extremely heat and drought tolerant. Trailing rosemary should be planted in full sun locations where it can reach over about a foot tall and 5-feet wide. The lovely lavender flowers bloom in the spring through fall atop intensley fragrant and evergreen leaves.

In addition to being a useful groundcover, trailing rosemary is also perfect to trail over retaining walls and raised planters.

Creeping Oregano

Creeping Oregano is a great option for use as a groundcover. Once established oregano is drought-tolerant and does well when planted in full sun to part shade. Oregano is a tough perennial that wil lose some foliage in the winter but comes back with gusto in the spring. This plant will crawl across landscape beds and in between stepping stones, forming a mat about 6-inches tall. There is also a gold-leaf variety that adds a nice pop of color to the landscape.  


If you have a shady spot, mint is the herb for you. Easily one of the quickest-growing of the bunch, mint can become quite an aggressive spreader when it likes it’s planting location. But, it’s lovely scent and large, deep green leaves makes it a great choice for use as a groundcover in moist shady spots where you might have trouble growing other groundcovers. Mint won't tolerate hot direct sun, so it won’t spread into those areas. Pennyroyal, a type of creeping mint, is a shorter growing species.

Herbs are fun, versatile plants that add a wonderful scent and flavor to your garden – and your home. As a bonus, their flowers are highly attractive to pollinators. Consider using them as a groundcover for an unexpected – and low-maintenance – filler in your landscape.


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