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6 Plants That Spread Very Quickly (Perfect For Ground Cover)


Many situations in the design of a garden, terrace or balcony make you want everything you want to plant to spread very quickly so that the desired effect is noticeable without delay. Depending on the needs of spectacular vegetalisation you may have, here are some ideas of adapted plants.


Plants for the impatient

If you like gardening, it is better to be patient because you have to wait for the plants to develop and spread to the full extent desired. However, it is possible to cheat a bit by opting for plants that will produce their effects very quickly without feeding them chemical fertilizers!


However, beyond express growth, they should also have an ornamental interest with pretty leaves or flowers, a particular color or any attractive aesthetic asset.


Quickly vegetate virgin areas

Households building a new home often find themselves in a cozy cocoon in the middle of a muddy, bare, often hostile space with earth fill. What to do? After having drawn the plan of the garden, some areas will inevitably remain difficult to treat because of difficult exposure, climatic hazards or simply the surface not very conducive to working the soil.


Opt then for rhizomatous perennials, with runners that will expand by themselves quickly and with evergreen foliage so that winter does not give you a desolate landscape. They can also bloom, which doesn’t spoil anything, quite the contrary. Plant densely to prevent weeds from finding space to spread.

Try Epimedium (Epimedium), Alchemilla mollis (Alchemilla mollis), periwinkle (Vinca minor or major), Lamium (Lamium)… The Japanese pachyssandra (Pachysandra terminalis) has the advantage of having an evergreen but it grows slowly.


Hiding unsightly walls

If you have a damaged wall that you want to hide or a smooth and ugly facade, planting vertically allows you to combine aesthetics with the useful because it will create a home for many useful garden aids.


However, you should not choose voluble and tendril plants that will degrade the support, by lifting a tile or plugging a gutter for example, or you should watch their expansion. The same goes for climbers with spikes or suction cups that leave marks when you pull them out. Also anticipate the weight of vines on a pergola, which may end up collapsing it.


Depending on whether you prefer foliage with beautiful autumn colors, flowers, berries, fruits, you can opt for wisteria (Wisteria sinensis), hops (Humulus lupulus), kiwi (Actinidia chinensis), wild buckwheat (Fallopia aubertii), Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) …


If you can only plant in pots and you want to hide a compost heap or create a kind of hedge, think of honeysuckle (Lonicera), Chinese Schissander (Schisandra chinensis), St. John’s wort (Hypericum), deutzia, climbing roses of the genus Rosa, cotoneaster, spiraea (Spiraea)…


Create a shaded space quickly

It’s hard to wait 20 years for a linden tree to create a pleasant shady space when the sun is warming up in the middle of summer. However, you can start planting trees like the American copalm (Liquidambar styraciflua) or the saskatoon tree which will be beautiful in the fall with their beautifully colored leaves that will fall to let in more light in the winter.


Otherwise, it is possible to run on an arbor climbing plants that will create a green roof, such as a vine, a bignone (Campsis grandiflora), or the akebia (Akebia quinata). On a balcony, winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) will be more appropriate.



6 Plants that spread quickly

Virginia creeper

Virginia creeper is a climbing plant well known to busy gardeners; with its rapid spread (it grows about 2 to 3 meters per season) and dense foliage, it has no equal to cover a low wall, a pergola or a trellis in less time than it takes. In fact, it is so well known for covering large areas in a short period of time that many gardeners, surprised by its very rapid spread, find it too invasive! 


If you are looking for an aesthetic climbing plant that spread in a short period of time, Virginia creeper is therefore ideal. Moreover, to avoid spoiling anything, Virginia creeper is one of the easiest plants to maintain and is free of parasites! 


Visually, the deep green foliage of Virginia creeper turns red in the fall and is a good base for other climbers with less foliage. Only downside: if the plant persists in winter, the deciduous foliage leaves the support bare during the coldest months.


Good to know: if you have a wall in excellent condition, don’t hesitate to opt for Japanese Virginia creeper; it has spikes (or suckers) that allow it to be fixed to a wall by itself. Conversely, the common Virginia creeper will need a support around which its tendrils can wrap. 


Golden hops

If you prefer even more decorative but just as vigorous foliage as Virginia creeper, the golden hop is for you! Fast or even very fast spreading (after planting, the hop will grow 3 cm the first week, then 10 cm the following week, and already one meter after the first month if the growing conditions are suitable!), this magnificent climbing plant wraps itself around any support and can reach 6 meters high in even less than a year. Its nicely cut leaves turn from yellow to green during the summer and nicely dress fences, trellises and other pergolas. 


To avoid becoming invasive, hops require annual winter pruning.


Banks Rose

Another solution to dress a wall or trellis in no time at all: opt for a very fast-spreading climbing rose. As such, the Banks rose has many advantages: firstly, it is thornless; secondly, it is very vigorous, easy to maintain and free of disease; thirdly, it can reach 15 m in height; and above all, it is a rose that retains its foliage even in winter. This climbing plant is therefore perfect to cover a fence or a railing quickly, and all year round! 


As a bonus, its profusion of small white or yellow flowers will not fail to brighten up its dark green foliage in spring. Be careful however: the Banks rose does not tolerate too intense cold and lends itself better to regions where the temperatures are rather mild.


Persistent clematis

Another very fast-spreading liana, the famous clematis can double in size in just one month and quickly cover pergolas, fences and trellises in a garden. However, be careful to choose an evergreen clematis variety (such as Armandii, Michiko or Avalanche) to enjoy it all year round, especially if you want to hide a face or hide an unsightly low wall.


If the clematis Armandii is covered with white flowers at the end of winter, the variety Cirrhosa offers more colorful flowers, but it tolerates less the cold: choose the variety adapted to your region, but also your type of soil and the exposure of your garden!


Easy to maintain and prune, persistent clematis can reach 4 to 5 meters high in a very short time, but there are also varieties with slower growth!


A passionflower

Do you want to quickly dress up your fence or trellis with pretty, spectacular flowers and climbing plants? Passionflower, also called passion flower, is made for you! 


With a very fast growth, an evergreen foliage that can exceed 5 meters in height and a flowering period that lasts from May to October, you are sure to quickly fill up your fence or pergola. The orange fruits of the plant, although inedible, also bring in summer a touch of contrasting color. Don’t hesitate to plant your passionflower at the foot of a spring flowering tree to give it some nice colors during the summer season!


A star jasmine

Star jasmine, also known as faux jasmine, has little in common with classic jasmine. More resistant, it tolerates low temperatures better (up to -15 degrees) and its dense and evergreen foliage allows to dress all year round walls, grills and pergolas. 


Not only is its spreading fast, but star jasmine flowers from the first year and can quickly reach several meters for a height that can be between 2 and 4 meters. Its bloom, from June to September, will nicely dress its dark green foliage and its perfume, close to that of its cousin, will embalm with happiness the garden or the balcony where you will have chosen to plant this splendid climbing plant.


Cherry on the jasmine: know that if you wish to dress a wall or an arbor with the false jasmine, you do not need to have the green thumb! Indeed, the culture of the star jasmine is not very demanding and requires little maintenance. 

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