Ground cover

  • I want to consider ice plant as ground cover. I would like to know if it is good idea for Toronto weather and any pros and cons. Thank you very much.
  • Do you know anything about growing Turkish Veronica in Toronto? Is it good idea to have them as ground cover? are they invasive? Can survive Toronto winter? Are they evergreen? Thank you so much.
  • Do you know any ground cover that bloom blue? (not Hosta if it is considered as ground cover).
    Thank you so much.

Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.

When choosing a ground cover there are many factors to consider. Some ground covers are used to minimize weeds in a space and are not suitable for walking on while others are lawn replacements and designed for foot traffic. Very different plants are used in each situation. The next factor to be considered is the location. What is the soil like? Is there good drainage in the spot? How much sun is the area exposed to? What zone is the groundcover growing in; is it exposed to harsh winter conditions or sheltered? How much rain does the area receive? Without this information it is difficult to make a specific recommendation.

You are right to be concerned about invasiveness. There several vines available locally that are on the Ontario invasive species list. The main plants to avoid are English Ivy, Goutweed and Periwinkle. Here is a link to the Invasive species sight:

Turkish Veronica, Veronica liwanensis, tolerates only light traffic. Depending on your needs this maybe and option for you. They appear to be just on the edge of viable through the winter but I would double check that when purchasing them. They bloom in the spring and sometimes rebloom in the fall.

Ice Plants, Delosperma sp., are native to South Africa and generally would not be viable through the winter except perhaps a very mild winter. They would not be evergreen in our climate.

I have included a links below from our library and from Guelph University which discuss many different choices for ground cover that are viable in Toronto.

Ground cover for between flagstone.