A variety of attractive, easy-growing ground cover plants are available for planting throughout the hot southern climate zones. Massed groundcover plants help to unify the various specimens in a landscaping design, providing texture and fullness. They can also be planted in isolation, at the foot of large stones in a rock garden, for example. Whatever your purpose, there are plenty of great groundcover plants for hot southern climates. Below is a brief introduction to several of the most popular options.
The Trailing Indigo Bush (Dalea greggii) is a low, mounding evergreen groundcover with tiny leaves and dainty summer flowers. This plant is typically grown in mass to cover wide areas. Individual plants grow to one or two feet in height and upwards of 10 feet in spread. The medium-green and silver-gray foliage imparts a fine texture to the plant making it an exceptional ornamental groundcover. It flourishes in full sun and adapts to a range of soil types. This plant requires little maintenance and infrequent watering.
The Trailing Lantana (Lantana montevidensis) is a spreading groundcover with finely-textured leaves and small, bright summer flowers. This plant is evergreen in most southern regions, though it may lose its leaves when exposed to a sudden cold snap. The Trailing Lantana loves full sun environments, though it does require regular watering, often twice per week through the summer months.
The Prostrate Acacia (Acacia redolens) is a full-sun evergreen groundcover with a wide, sprawling growth habit. It typically reaches about one or two feet in height, though it can manage to reach as tall as five feet if left unpruned. It spreads rapidly to over 10 feet in width. This is an excellent plant for groundcover over large areas. The Prostrate Acacia is adaptable to most common garden soils and has moderate water needs.
The Angelita Daisy (Hymenoxys acaulis) is a low, clumping groundcover that produces bright yellow blooms from spring straight through the fall. The plant has slender, gray-green leaves that rise to about one foot tall, with the bright blooms held above. Individual plants are round, growing to about 12 or 18 inches in circumference. This plant requires periodic deadheading through the long flowering season.