Succulents are plants that purify the air, helping us to breathe fresh air. This helps inhibit diseases among many other benefits. These beautiful landscaping plants make great ground cover. Keep reading to learn more about succulents and whether or not you would like to use them as ground cover.

Succulent Basics

Succulent plants are often confused with cacti since they are similarly fleshy after water-storing tissue develops. However while all cacti are succulents, not all succulents are cacti.

Succulent ground cover is perfect for xeriscaping as the plants are drought-resistant. They creep along the sides of the ground and are useful in places where only small amounts of water are given to a flower garden.

Some commonly recommended varieties of succulents are listed below:

  • Ghost plants
  • Ice plants
  • Echeveria
  • Caucasian stonecrop
  • Creeping sedum

Check Your Hardiness Zone

If you decide you would like to plant succulents, it is essential that you first check whether they will flourish in your hardiness zone. Succulents only grow in areas where there is not a forest climate. They are compatible with warm and dry areas such as the desert. Succulents also work in cold places with moisture.

Planting Method for Succulent Ground Cover

When planting succulents, you can use a few inches of sand if you feel your soil is heavy. The best parts of succulents are the shallow roots. These roots means there is not much soil or sand needed. While the plants do not need a lot of water, it is necessary to water them monthly to make the ground cover more stable.

Some succulents are desert-dwelling plants that contain good amount of moisture. It’s best not to use organic mulch near succulents as the organic material may stimulate pest and fungal issues. The best inorganic mulch options are pea gravel or small stones.

Maintenance of Succulent Ground Cover

The best reason to use succulents in your landscape is because they need very little maintenance. Succulents are usually free from pests and diseases and can easily tolerate poor soils. The property of weed-resistance is seen in the ground cover. Here are some landscaping maintenance tips when using this type of plant as ground cover.

  • Deadheading: It is very necessary to remove dead flowers while succulents are blooming. This process is called deadheading. This is needed to make the succulents grow perfectly and to make them bloom again at the same place where the dead flowers were removed.
  • Fertilizing: Using liquid-based fertilizer when watering is the best option for succulents. The fertilization treatment will produce the best results when performed yearly during the growing season. This will result in a perfect response during the summer season as begins to boost the ground cover.
  • Watering: There are many desert plants and cacti which require almost no water. Succulents however do require at least some water. How much depends on the conditions of your soil, radiation of the sun and your hardiness zone. Succulents need more water during the summer while in the winter they need a smaller amount of water.


The usage of succulents as ground cover can give you a beautiful display of plants in your garden. That being said, you should always make sure to maintain these hearty plants properly to enhance the greenery and freshness your landscaped garden.