Low-Growing Perennial Flowers

Updated November 21, 2016

Low-growing perennial flowers make excellent borders to woodlands, and ideal edging on sidewalks. They also work well in front of shrubs, or grown in the front section of a garden. They come in many different colours and styles. Plant a variety of low-growing perennial flowers for blooms that last from spring to fall.

Moss Pink

Moss pink, also known as the moss phlox, is a spring bloomer. Moss phlox grows to 5 inches high and likes shade, but will tolerate sun. Its tiny flowers come in pink, red, white, lavender and blue. Moss phlox, which carpets low, prefers slightly-acidic and sandy soil.


The viola, another spring bloomer, comes in several different varieties. The Johnny-Jump-Up is a tricolour viola that resembles a miniature pansy; it grows from 6 to 12 inches high. Johnny-Jump-Up does well in a rock garden, but tends to get out of control. Florists often grow the sweet violet. These can only be planted outside in zones 6 through 10, the southern states. They grow from 6 to 10 inches tall and are highly fragrant. Violas prefer rich garden soil and some shade.


Lily-of-the-valley starts to bloom by late spring, or early summer. It insists on moisture and rich, acidic soil. It also requires partial to heavy shade. Lily-of-the-Valley grows to about 8 inches tall and has tiny, white, bell-shaped flowers that are highly fragrant. It will grow under large trees. There is one warning to this delicate flower: it is poisonous.

Cranes Bill Geranium

Though the crane's bill geranium is a larger plant, reaching 8 to 12 inches and spreading up to 2 feet in diameter, it is recommend for the front of a border or adjacent to garden paths. Varieties come in red, pink, white, lavender and purple and most bloom all summer. They like sun and moisture.


While it's an herb, thyme is also considered an ornamental plant. Mother-of-Thyme grows 3 inches high and is covered in purplish-pink flowers all summer. It's recommended as a ground cover or for decorating terraces. The lemon thyme grows 8 inches tall with tiny pink flowers that bloom in June. When crushed, its leaves give off a lemony scent.

Dwarf Aster

Dwarf aster is a fall bloomer. Asters range in size from a few inches to nearly 6 feet, so be sure to get a dwarf aster. The New York aster is recommended for a perennial border and comes in a variety of colours, including deep blue. Asters prefer to be grown in sun.


Sedum is another autumn bloomer. Low-growing sedums recommended for rock gardens and ground covers include the Kamschatca sedum, the stringy stonecrop and dragon's blood. Kamschatca sedum likes to trail over rocks; they are attractive on walls. They have tiny, yellow-orange blossoms and their leaves bronze in the fall. The stringy stonecrop has evergreen leaves and bright yellow flowers. Dragon's blood has bright red flowers and its leaves turn reddish in the fall. Sedums are easy to grow and prefer dry soil.

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About the Author

Based in Defiance, Ohio, Becky Martinez has over seven years of reporting experience, having written numerous articles for two newspapers, "The Crescent News" and "The Bryan Times." She has a Master of Arts in English from Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, and has taken multiple creative writing courses since obtaining that degree.