PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. You can learn more about that process here.

Whether it’s alongside a path or a bed of flowers and shrubs, edging plants give your garden a more finished look. They soften the hard boundaries of walks and pavement, define garden beds, and add another layer of beauty and color to your yard. The best edging plants are compact and low-growing because they’re used at the front of borders, but any plant can be used for this purpose if it’s repeated and planted in masses along the edges of a space.

When shopping, choose plants that are appropriate for the conditions. For example, does the area receive full sun, which is considered 6 or more hours of direct sunlight per day? Part sun, which is about half that? Or is it mostly shade? If planting perennials, make sure they’re suited to your USDA Hardiness zone (find yours here) so they’ll survive winter and come back next year. Adding a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch of any kind, such as shredded hardwood, bark chips or pine straw (or whatever is commonly available in your region), also helps conserve moisture and keep down weeds, so you can spend more time enjoying your garden and less time on chores.

RELATED: When Should You Plant Grass Seed in the Spring? Here’s How to Time It Right

The Best Edging Plants for Your Garden:

Sundry Photography/Getty Images

1. Sweet Alyssum

  • How much sunlight it needs: Full sun
  • Why we love it: Sweet scent, color from spring to fall, attracts pollinators
This low-growing annual comes in pure white, pink and purple and is a charming, long-lasting edging plant along garden beds or cascading over retaining walls. Bonus: Pollinators, such as butterflies and hummingbirds, love it too.

BUY IT ($32)

Sergi Escribano/Getty Images

2. Delosperma

  • How much sunlight it needs: Full sun
  • Why we love it: Fast grower, color shade range
This cute creeping perennial comes in white or neon colors such hot pink, yellow and orange. It prefers sandy or well-draining soil and loves, loves, loves the heat. Because it’s a succulent, it’s drought tolerant once established. Delosperma is also a fast grower and should double in size the first season it’s planted.

BUY IT ($13)

Marketa Bement/Getty Images

3. Lamium

  • How much sunlight it needs: Part to full sun
  • Why we love it: Low maintenance ground cover, rabbit resistant
Plant killers, take note: This low-growing perennial thrives on neglect. Its foliage has a pretty silvery tint with white, pink or purple flowers in late spring.

BUY IT ($10)

Mahantesh Biradar/EyeEm/Getty Images

4. Marigold

  • How much sunlight it needs: Full sun
  • Why we love it: Reliable flowers, long season color
These sturdy annuals have been a favorite for generations because you almost can’t kill ‘em! They’re inexpensive, bloom until a frost, and look smashing lining a walkway for low-maintenance color all season long.

BUY IT ($35)

Clive Druett/Getty Images

5. Stonecrop

  • How much sunlight it needs: Full sun
  • Why we love it: Low maintenance succulent, cold-hardy
Stonecrop is a hardy perennial that survives in even the coldest zones. There are many different creeping varieties with chartreuse, bright green or burgundy foliage. Tiny blooms usually appear in early summer.

BUY IT ($13)

Massimo Ravera/Getty Images

6. Cranesbill

  • How much sunlight it needs: Part to full sun
  • Why we love it: Low maintenance, delicate flowers, rabbit resistant
Also called perennial geranium, this perennial is extremely cold-hardy and easy to care for. Its foliage has a spicy-sweet fragrance, while small flowers float above the greenery in early spring. Some varieties bloom throughout the season.

BUY IT ($20)

AlpamayoPhoto/Getty Images

7. Catmint

  • How much sunlight it needs: Full sun
  • Why we love it: Low maintenance, deer and rabbit resistant
Catmint is a reliable perennial with purple spikey blooms that last for weeks and weeks. Many new varieties have been introduced in the last few years, so look for one that keeps its compact and tidy form without sprawling.

BUY IT ($16)

2ndLookGraphics/Getty Images

8. Coral Bells

  • How much sunlight it needs: Part to full sun
  • Why we love it: Gorgeous foliage, rabbit resistant
The frilly, ruffled colorful foliage is the reason to grow this perennial. Coral bells, also called heuchera, come in every color of the rainbow from lime green to dark burgundy. The teeny spikes of flowers in midsummer are insignificant, but the foliage is stunning.

BUY IT ($18)

ohishiistk/Getty Images

9. Lavender

  • How much sunlight it needs: Full sun
  • Why we love it: Fragrant, romantic flowers, can be dried or used in cooking
With its scented foliage and flower spikes, lavender is a lovely perennial for edging beds and walkways. With many different varieties available, be sure to choose one that can thrive in your hardiness zone.

BUY IT ($17)

fotolinchen/Getty Images

10. Creeping Thyme

  • How much sunlight it needs: Part to full sun
  • Why we love it: Fragrant herb that attracts pollinators
Creeping thyme is one of the most resilient plants you’ll ever find. It doesn’t mind poor soils, withstands drought and spreads rapidly. Pollinators love the tiny flowers in late spring and early summer. Of course, you also can harvest it for cooking, making it a useful addition to any garden.

BUY IT ($10)

Feifei Cui-Paoluzzo/Getty Images

11. Lady’s Mantle

  • How much sunlight it needs: Part to full sun
  • Why we love it: Old-fashioned favorite, deer resistant
This cottage garden perennial has tons of tiny chartreuse flowers in late spring. The scalloped foliage is pretty and low maintenance, and the blooms make great cut flowers.

BUY IT ($14)

Grace Cary/Getty Images

12. Creeping Jenny

  • How much sunlight it needs: Part to full sun
  • Why we love it: Trailing form, cold hardy, rabbit resistant
The delicate disc-shaped foliage of this perennial makes a splash as an edging plant. It’s an easy-to-grow groundcover in almost any type of soil. The foliage ranges from pale green in shade to bright chartreuse when it’s exposed to more direct sunlight.

$10 AT AMAZON

bauhaus1000/Getty Images

13. Day Lily

  • How much sunlight it needs: Full sun
  • Why we love it: Easy to grow perennial, many different colors
Day lily is the one flower you should grow if you can’t grow much else. This is a taller perennial that still works well as an edging plant along walks or flower beds. The flowers come in every color from lemony yellow to hot pink. Although each flower only lasts a day (thus, the name), there are many on each stem.

BUY IT ($9)

Michel VIARD/Getty Images

14. Creeping Mazus

  • How much sunlight it needs: Part to full sun
  • Why we love it: Fast-growing, low maintenance perennial
This fast-growing creeping groundcover has pretty purple or white flowers in late spring. Its tiny leaves make a dense mat that can handle some light foot traffic, so you can plant it between pavers or steppingstones.

$9 AT AMAZON

AL Hedderly/Getty Images

15. Thrift

  • How much sunlight it needs: Part to full sun
  • Why we love it: Attractive foliage, cute ball-shaped flowers
This underutilized perennial has the most adorable teeny ball-shaped flowers that float on long stems above grassy mounding foliage in late spring and early summer. It prefers sandy soils and cool summers.

BUY IT ($30)

yogesh_more/Getty Images

16. Ferns

  • How much sunlight it needs: Full shade
  • Why we love it: Feathery texture, easy to grow, shade lover
Ferns are some of the most versatile and interesting perennials to plant alongside shady sidewalks because they’re available in so many different varieties. They’ll take some morning sun but prefer mostly shade, especially in hot climates. Plant several different types for visual interest, then mass them along borders.

BUY IT ($53)

RELATED: The 8 Best Bare Root Plants to Plant Right Now (& How to Care for ‘Em)

From Around The Web