I am at Southern California. I need ground cover for 2000 sq.ft. with 60º slope and help for choosing the right flowering low ground cover. There are 30 rose plants at present, so prefer ground cover which does not compete with roses.


3 Answers 3


With your zone of 8-9 this page offers some excellent choices: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/evergreen-ground-covers-zone-8-34125.html.

the "Blueberry Muffin" carpet bugle (Ajuga 'Blueberry Muffin') is a fast-growing ground cover that produces blue blooms protruding above the evergreen foliage on 8-inch spikes.

The common name of iceplant (as mentioned in the comment) are not all bad. For example, the Delosperma cooperi (Hook.f.) L.Bolus (http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=b464) is an excellent flowering choice.

  • It would be negligent to attempt to give you any answers based on your present question. But this is a great question this site could answer if you could answer the following questions:
    – stormy
    Aug 14, 2014 at 0:53
  • What is the micro-climate of this site? What side of the home, where is it viewed, how is it used? What was or is this site's use previously? Have you gotten a soil test and have you begun any preparatory work? Describe your ideas you must have by this point. What are the neighboring uses? Please add a few pictures of this site, the rest of your landscape and any ideas you might be considering. This will help you be able to use this site more productively. This could be fun..
    – stormy
    Aug 14, 2014 at 1:10
  • 2
    Hey @stormy I think you were wrong to comment on the answer rather than the question. Regards.
    – BYJ
    Aug 14, 2014 at 2:07
  • Huh...I wasn't commenting on the answer, just need more information to be able to answer as there are too many more variables I've been trained to ask.
    – stormy
    Aug 14, 2014 at 2:12
  • 1
    @stormy yeah to ask is always the best way. I just want to say that the asker will not get any notification if you do not comment on the Question, or at least, with a mention in an answer. You can mention using @ TheNickName (without a space)
    – BYJ
    Aug 14, 2014 at 2:22

You need a ground cover that is higher to help shade the soil to minimize weeds. Lonicera pileata or Privet Honeysuckle has strong horizontal branching, green, glossy privet like leaves and is 18-24" up to 3' in height equal or more in width. To show off your roses you should only plant one type of plant so as not to detract from your roses and tie everything together in a pleasing composition.

I've used this plant in similar situations and was thrilled by its effect. Plant in staggered rows or triangles keeping the roses with 3-5' radius distance. Mulch after planting with 2-3" decomposed organic mulch, NOT BARK and NO PLASTIC. At 60% slope it will be necessary to terrace and berm each plant to catch and hold any irrigation/rain until established. Keep mulch away from the graft and wood stems of your roses.


You've mentioned 30 rose plants, but not said what type of roses, (HT, floribunda, shrub, ramblers) so its quite difficult to suggest ground covers that won't interfere with them. You'll have to work that out for yourself, given the lack of info on that issue. The fact the plants are on a slope probably means it's quite a dry area, particularly at the top, so careful selection should be made between plants on the following list which are drought tolerant and those which prefer shadier, damper locations:

Arctostaphylos 'Pacific Mist'

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (needs shade and a bit more moisture)

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi Radiant Manzanita (needs shade, as above)

Ceanothus gloriousus 'Heart's Desire'

Ceanothus prostratus

Deschampsia caespitosa

Stachys byzantina Silver Carpet

Mahonia aquifolium 'Compacta'

Zauchsnerias - 'californica' and septentrionalis varieties

Salvia somonensis varieties

Eriogonum umbellatum and ursinum

Salvia 'Bees Bliss' and S. gracias

These are native to Southern California, but some do better right on the coast, others inland, and you haven't said if you're close to the coast or not - the list mostly excludes those that prefer beach conditions. If the area is going to be irrigated, other plants can be included - note that Ajuga (mentioned elsewhere) prefers shady or dampish conditions.

  • Some of these are not low, which the question asked for. Like the Mahonia. Depending what the roses are, mahonia might choke them out.
    – J. Musser
    Aug 15, 2014 at 2:58
  • @J.Musser Aye, I'm well aware of that - which is why there's a caveat regarding the roses in the first sentence of my answer... 30 roses in such a large area, unless they're Rosa rugosa, won't be taking up much room. The Mahonia tends to stay very low if the soil is sandy, which we don't know whether it is or not.
    – Bamboo
    Aug 15, 2014 at 10:18
  • Is the goal in selection of a ground cover to inhibit weed growth? Then a ground cover that is at least 6" high to a foot would be ideal to make sure the soil is shaded. This will also help the roses as the soil moisture will be more stable. Mahonia a. 'compacta' would stay between 6" and a foot at most. It could also be headed periodically to keep it from getting scraggly. Bamboo, Ajuga is amazing in sun or shade. I've seen it looking its best in the sun...Pacific Northwest. Definitely need a bit more information from OP, grin!
    – stormy
    Nov 6, 2014 at 23:27
  • @stormy - yea, Ajuga Rose Glow for instance looks much more colorful in sun - but they prefer damp conditions, and sun/damp are often mutually exclusive
    – Bamboo
    Nov 7, 2014 at 12:46
  • Our Pacific Northwest has so much clay that these plants actually do better with some sun. You are right...as always, Bamboo!!
    – stormy
    Nov 7, 2014 at 21:12

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