Mazus, a low-growing perennial that bears delicate purplish-blue flowers, makes an excellent groundcover thanks to creeping stems that root at the nodes. Use this perennial to soften the space between stones in a <a href="https://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/patio/installation-how-to/flagston… patio or blanket the ground alongside a gravel or paved path. Because mazus tolerates wet soil, it suits rain gardens and other planting areas that are often too moist for other groundcovers.
Groundcover plants such as mazus are often referred to as living mulch. These creeping perennials prevent weeds by covering soil with foliage. Pair mazus with other living-mulch plants for a carpet of color and texture between stepping stones or around lofty perennials. Pair it with other easy-care groundcovers such as alpine geranium (Erodium reichardii), pennywort (Hydrocotyle vulgaris), blue star creeper (Isotoma fluviatilis), New Zealand brass buttons (Leptinella squalida), and moneywort (Lysimachia nummularia).
Mazus grows best in full sun and well-drained soil. It tolerates a wide range of soils—from fast-draining sandy soil to slow-draining clay—but grows faster and flowers more freely in well-drained loam. In regions with hot summers, plant it where it will receive some afternoon shade. In cool regions it will thrive in full sun.
This herbaceous perennial can be used as a low-maintenance lawn substitute because it withstands foot traffic and rarely needs mowing. To create a lawn from mazus, plant six plants per square yard for good coverage. The resulting carpet of foliage will remain green throughout the growing season and is evergreen in warm winter climates.
Mazus doesn't require fertilizing or trimming back in fall. If a lawn-type planting of mazus begins to look unruly, set the mower blade to at least 3 inches and mow it. Don't worry; the plants will quickly regrow after the trim.
Plant Mazus With:
These vigorous growers are beautiful additions to the garden. They vary from tall, stately plants suitable for borders to others that can be planted as creeping groundcovers. Flowers, too, vary from tight spikes of 1/2 inch to 1-inch cups carried alone or in whorls. Humus-rich, moisture-retentive soil is recommended; some varieties enjoy wet soil and ample water. Several sorts may become invasive and need to be corralled.Note: These are not the invasive purple loosestrife, which has been banned in many parts of the United States.
The quintessential cottage flower, pinks are treasured for their grasslike blue-green foliage and abundant starry flowers, which are often spicily fragrant. Depending on the type of pink, flowers appear in spring or summer and tend to be pink, red, white, rose, or lavender, but come in nearly all shades except true blue. Plants range from tiny creeping groundcovers to 30-inch-tall cut flowers, which are a favorite with florists. Foliage is blue-green.Shown above: 'Firewitch' dianthus
Catmint is one of the toughest perennials you can grow. It's a proven performer during hot, dry weather, and the silvery foliage and blue flowers look great most of the season. Deadhead or cut back hard after first flush of bloom to encourage more flowers. Average, well-drained soil is usually sufficient. Tall types may need gentle staking; it sometimes seeds freely.As you might guess from the common name, catmint is a favorite of cats. They'll often roll around in the plants in delight.