Crystal Valley Blog

Beautiful, Drought-Tolerant Groundcover!

POSTED July 6, 2021

Colorado’s appeal to residents and wanna-be residents includes both recreational opportunities and a great climate (less humidity, fewer bugs!). But the flip side of that wonderful dry air is that 91 percent of the state is experiencing severe drought this summer. If you think groundcover is in your future but you’re wondering what will survive, here’s a drought-tolerant plants primer!

The best drought-resistant groundcovers share several things in common. For one, drought-tolerant plants usually have leaves with a smaller surface area which reduces moisture loss. Also, many drought-tolerant plants are covered with fine grey or white hairs, which help the plant reflect heat, or leaves that are waxy, curled, or deeply veined, and those retain moisture.

You don’t have to give up beauty to lay the groundwork for groundcover. And thanks to the experts at Gardening Know How we were able to curate a few lists of drought-tolerant plants for both full sun and partial shade. 

Drought-Tolerant Groundcovers for Shade 

Keep in mind that even shade-loving plants need some sun. Usually, these tough plants do well in broken or filtered sunlight, or early morning sunlight. Here are some good choices for dry, shady areas: 

Periwinkle/creeping myrtle (Vinca minor) – Periwinkle/creeping myrtle have shiny green leaves covered with tiny, star-shaped indigo flowers in spring. 

Creeping mahonia/Oregon grape (Mahonia repens) – Creeping mahonia/Oregon grape feature evergreen leaves with fragrant yellow flowers that appear in late spring. Blooms are followed by clusters of attractive, purple berries. 

Sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum) – Sweet woodruff has soft green leaves and carpets of small white flowers in late spring and early summer. 

Creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum) – Creeping thyme leaves are small and dense, covered by mounds of blooms in lavender, rose, red, or white. 

Drought-Tolerant Groundcovers for Sun 

Popular sun-loving groundcovers that tolerate drought include: 

Rockrose (Cistus spp.) – Rockrose has lush, gray-green foliage and colorful blooms of various shades of pink, purple, white, and rose. 

Snow in summer (Cerastium tomentosum) – The foliage of Snow in summer is silvery-grey with tiny white blooms that appear in late spring and last through early summer. 

Moss phlox (Phlox subulata) – Moss phlox have narrow leaves and masses of purple, pink, or white flowers that last all spring. 

Winecups (Callirhoe involucrata) – Winecups feature deeply cut leaves with bright magenta blooms that resemble tiny hibiscus flowers.

For more ideas about plants that will thrive in Colorado, love the sun and tolerate heat and drought, check out more ideas from the gardening experts in Colorado Homes Magazine. You’ll see more groundcover ideas – some flowering, some not. From sedum, recommended by Tagawa Gardens, to Pawnee Butte’s Sand Cherry, from the CSU Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture.

Covering Lots of Ground in Crystal Valley!

With more and more filings opening in the master-planned community of Crystal Valley, there are still plenty of home-buying opportunities for new construction in these exclusive, popular neighborhoods! Check out new homes from from Richmond American Homes, Kauffman Homes, Century Communities and D.R. Horton, the thoughtfully designed ranch or two-story models – are priced from the $400s.


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