10 of the Easiest Ground Covers to Propagate

Beautiful greenhouse with rose bushes on outside.

Bloom Greenhouse

The great thing about ground cover is that it spreads easily. Plant it in one corner of your yard and, more often than not, you’ll have a trail of green making its way across your garden in no time. 

But what if you want it to spread elsewhere? Is it time for a trip back to the garden center to grab more plants? Not so fast.

Here are the easiest ground covers to propagate, so all you have to do is cut a piece off your existing plant, transport it to its new home, and watch it grow. Spoiler: Some of these don't require work beyond cutting off a piece and throwing it on the ground where you want it to spread.

01 of 10

Angelina Stonecrop

Outdoor front porch with green landscaping.

Kirsten Diane

  • Botanical Name: Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun

For the succulent lovers out there, Angelina stonecrop is your evergreen answer to your favorite indoor plants. This yellow-green plant has vibrant, rubbery leaves and cascades into a thick carpet of soft, spiky leaves. It spreads quickly and is a showstopper when planted in containers or rock gardens that allow it to pour over the sides. When this stonecrop is thriving, it will form small clusters of yellow flowers.

This is perhaps the easiest ground cover to propagate. Simply cut off a piece that is two inches or larger, throw it on the ground where you want it, water it once, and leave it alone. It will root within days and begin a new stonecrop colony.

02 of 10

Hostas

Beautiful lush greenhouse surrounded by hosta plants.

East Nashville Greenhouse

  • Botanical Name: Hosta
  • Sun Exposure: Shade

The big, friendly leaves forming lush clumps of perennial hostas make them a favorite of gardeners. Eric of East Nashville Greenhouse sings the praises of hostas for a shaded outdoor space.

“My favorite ground cover since our yard is mostly shaded are hostas," he notes. He points out that they're "easy to propagate through divisions, grow like crazy, and are edible. The ones around the greenhouse were divided from family in Ohio and have spread over the yard (and friends’ yards)!”

To propagate, you’ll cut one healthy leaf and stem off the plant and place it upright in a jar of water. Roots will form and you’ll be on your way to a new hosta plant. 

03 of 10

Creeping Jenny

  • Botanical Name: Lysimachia nummularia
  • Sun Exposure: Sun to partial shade

If you’re looking for something to spread quickly, look to creeping Jenny. This ground cover truly creeps everywhere once planted, and gardeners love it for a pop of chartreuse green and a waterfall effect. 

This is another simple propagation process. Remove a cutting of three inches or more and plant in moist soil. Keep watering generously and the cuttings should develop roots within two weeks. 

04 of 10

Forget-Me-Nots

  • Botanical Name: Myosotis sylvatica
  • Sun Exposure: Sun to partial shade

The darling pink and blue flowers of forget-me-nots are a low-maintenance ground cover with a fairy-like woodland aesthetic. Growing along with rich green leaves, these tiny flowers dot a garden with delicate color. They’re small but mighty, however, and spread quickly with little intervention. 

Forget-me-nots will drop their seeds after blooming and spread the following spring when they come back up. However, you can propagate these plants easily on your own by dividing them along the rhizome, or underground stem.

Forget-me-nots were Princess Diana’s favorite flower.

05 of 10

Silver Mound

  • Botanical Name: Artemisia schmidtiana 'Silver Mound'
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade

As a slower-growing ground cover in a deep, silvery shade of green, silver mound is an excellent choice for gardeners looking to fill their space with backdrop plants. It doesn’t flower or aggressively take over a garden, but it is a reliable semi-evergreen that will form a bush-like ground cover where planted.

Silver mound can be easily propagated by cutting a stem at least four inches long. Gently press the end into moist soil and water frequently until the cutting develops roots.

06 of 10

Yellow Alyssum

  • Botanical Name: Aurinia saxatilis
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun

With yellow alyssum, you’ll get an impressive mat of dense, yellow flowers covering your garden. It’s the perfect cheerful addition for a rock garden that needs a spark of color, and it grows easily, requiring little maintenance. 

Cut a several-inch stem of yellow alyssum in early spring to propagate. Place the softwood cutting in soil and water generously for the new plant to take root.

07 of 10

Clover

Lush backyard with clover groundcover.

Vaughan House Greenhouse

  • Botanical Name: Trifolium repens
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun

What qualifies as a weed is all about perspective, right? Clover gets a bad rap as a weed, but it didn’t always—and maybe it’s time this charming ground cover got a rebrand.

Mitch and Meghan Vaughan of Vaughan House Greenhouse in Forest, Virginia look beyond clover’s pre-existing reputation. “We have a lot of clover at our greenhouse," they say. "It’s so much more than just a weed—it gives the yard a whimsical look and it’s amazing for the pollinators.”

To propagate clover, look for runners along the edge—offshoots that are eager to form a new plant. Similar to stonecrop, these take little maintenance or attention to spread. Simply move them to new soil and let them grow.

08 of 10

Creeping Phlox

  • Botanical Name: Phlox stolonifera
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade

Even if you don’t know creeping phlox by name, you’ll likely recognize its brilliant and dense flowers, which are a classic spring sight in April and early May.

Propagating a creeping phlox plant is easy, but it does require timing and a shovel. The plant should be split at the root ball after it has finished blooming for the year. Plant the divided phlox plants wherever you’d like a new carpet of vibrant pink, purple, and white color. 

09 of 10

Wall Germander

  • Botanical Name: Teucrium chamaedrys
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun

A thick, shrub-like evergreen, wall germander adds a woody, dense, dark green ground cover to gardens, along with delicate purple flowers that bloom late in the summer and early in the fall, long after many flowers have died off for the year.

To propagate, take four- to six-inch cuttings and let them root in small jars of water. Once the plant has developed roots, it can be potted in a temporary indoor space until it has begun to develop new leaf growth. At that point, it can be transplanted outside to its new home. 

10 of 10

Ground Cover Roses

Beautiful greenhouse with rose bushes on outside.

Bloom Greenhouse

  • Botanical Name: Rosa
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial sun

Ground cover roses are actually just low-growing rose bushes rather than a different type entirely, but they have been developed to grow densely over a larger area and bloom continuously from spring to fall. 

Kerri of Bloom Greenhouse is a fan of these colorful, hardy ground cover roses and says, “I love using ground cover to add interest, texture, and charm to our garden paths. One of my favorites is ground cover roses. Not only are they lovely in the garden, but they can help with weed control.”

Propagating roses is a bit trickier than some of the other ground covers listed here, so the trick is finding a plant that’s done the work for you. As the roses spread, they’ll begin to develop new root systems. Carefully remove a section that has begun to develop its own roots and move it to another full-sun area where it can begin to bloom where planted. 

Related Stories