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Foot Traffic

A stepping stone plant is a groundcover that tolerates foot traffic, though some plants can be stepped or walked on more than others. Light traffic plants can withstand occasional traffic; moderate traffic up to a couple of times a day; and heavy traffic bears foot traffic three or more times a day.

stepping-stones.jpg

Soil amendments such as humus or compost are extremely beneficial; nearly all plants grow better in soil that retains moisture, drains well, and is fairly fertile. Pathways tend to be drier and more compacted than the rest of the yard. An added mixture of soil, sand and small gravel improves poor draining compacted soil. While each plant variety has its own planting and watering recommendations, walkway plants will need water frequently for the first 2 to 4 weeks, or until the plants are established.

Some of the most preferred choices include: Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip' (Bugleweed), Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper), Lotus Plenus (Double Birds Foot Trefoil), Lysimachia (Creeping Jenny-Moneywort), Mazus reptans, Sagina subulata (Irish Moss and Scotch Moss), Sedum spurium 'John Creech' (Stonecrop), Thymus 'Elfin Thyme', Thymus 'Wooly Thyme', and Trifolium repens Bronze Dutch Clover.

For Heavy Foot Traffic consider:

Full Sun

Blue Star Creeper (Isotoma fluviatilis f/k/a Laurentia fluviatilis) Rapid-spreading perennial with blue flowers. Works well around roses, decks, patios, and in rock gardens.
County Park (Pratia pedunculata) Tough, tight, green-leafed creeper with violet blooms. Good for patios and walkways. 
Thyme (Thymus) Evergreen, drought-tolerant; good between flagstones, pathways and stone crevices or on slopes.
Green Carpet or Rupturewort (Herniaria glabra) Indestructible evergreen groundcover with white blooms; turns red in winter. Excellent in walkways.

Trifolium repens Bronze Dutch Clover

Partial/Full Shade

Miniature Brass Buttons (Leptinella gruveri) Indestructible carpet of tiny serrated leaves; white flowers. Can even withstand car traffic. 

Trifolium repens Bronze Dutch Clover

For Light to Medium Foot Traffic consider:

Full Sun

Double Bird's Foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus 'Plenus') Versatile, hard-working fast grower with dark green leaves; yellow blooms.
Irish and Scotch Moss (Sagina) Mosslike groundcover that dislikes extremes of wet and dry; white flowers. Flourishes between stones and in rock gardens.
Miniature Daisy (Bellium minutum) Diminutive spreading daisies on wiry stems. Good between paving stones or in border areas.
Pink Pussy Toes (Antennaria dioica 'Rubra') Creeping mat of silver-gray leaves; fuzzy pink blooms. Good for rock gardens and paths.
Stonecrop (Sedum spurium) Compact creeping succulent; deep purple flowers. A favorite for rock gardens.
Mazus reptans Low-growing mat of bright green leaves; white blooms. Ideal for rock gardens and between pavers.

Partial/ Full Shade

Creeping Jenny or Moneywort (Lysimachia nummularia) Vigorous, fast-spreading, low-growing mat of bright, shiny green leaves; yellow flowers.
Creeping Speedwell (Veronica repens) Tough creeper; white flowers. Works well between pavers or in woodland settings.
Brass Buttons (Leptinella squalida) A fern creeper with yellow button flowers; turns bronze in some climates in fall; very soft underfoot. Good around pavers and conifers.
Variegated Pennywort (Hydrocotyle sibthorpiodes) Speedy grower; likes wet conditions; white, green, and yellow flowers. Good around ponds or stepping stones.

Plants with shallow root systems and those that establish new roots at leaf nodes generally perform better in harsher conditions. Click below for more plant information -

  • Ophiopogon p. 'Arabicus' (3.5 inch pot)

    Ophiopogon p. 'Arabicus' (3.5 inch pot)

    Ophiopogon p. 'Arabicus'aka 'Ebony Knight' and 'Nigrescens'Common Name: mondo grassType: Herbaceous perennialFamily: AsparagaceaeZone: 6 to 9Height: 0.75 to 1.00 feetSpread: 0.75 to 1.00 feetBloom Time: July to AugustBloom Description: PinkSun: Full sun...

    $6.94
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  • Vinca minor, or Periwinkle, is a fast growing groundcover that prefers part sun to shade settings. It is drought tolerant, evergreen and hardy from zone 6-9.

    Vinca minor (3.5 inch pot)

    Vinca minor 'Traditional' a/k/a Periwinkle, lesser periwinkle, dwarf periwinkle, small periwinkle, common periwinkle, Creeping Myrtle Zone: 4 to 9. Sun to Shade. Prefers moderate to dense shade in southern zones and tolerates sun in northern zones...

    $3.70
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  • Vinca minor

    Vinca minor (2.5 inch pot)

    Vinca minor 'Traditional' a/k/a Periwinkle, lesser periwinkle, dwarf periwinkle, small periwinkle, common periwinkle, Creeping Myrtle Zone: 4 to 9. Sun to Shade. Prefers moderate to dense shade in southern zones and tolerates sun in northern zones...

    $2.31
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  • Vinca minor

    Vinca minor (bare root plant)

    Vinca minora/k/a Periwinkle, Big Leaf Periwinkle, Creeping MyrtleZone: 4 to 9. Sun to Shade. Prefers moderate to dense shade in southern zones and tolerates sun in northern zones.Mature size: 4 to 6 inches height; fast spreading, vine-like growth. An...

    $1.46
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  • Trachelospermum asiaticum (3.25 inch pot)

    Trachelospermum asiaticum (3.25 inch pot)

    Trachelospermum asiaticum a/k/a Asiatic Jasmine, Asian Jasmine, Dwarf Jasmine, Japanese Star Jasmine, Dwarf Confederate jasmine, small leaf Confederate jasmine Zone: 7 to 10. Sun to Shade. Prefers some shade in zone 10. Mature size: 6 to 24 inches tall;...

    $3.58
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  • Trachelospermum asiaticum (2.5 inch pot)

    Trachelospermum asiaticum (2.5 inch pot)

    Trachelospermum asiaticuma/k/a Asiatic Jasmine, Asian Jasmine, Dwarf Jasmine, Japanese Star Jasmine, Dwarf Confederate jasmine, small leaf Confederate jasmineZone: 7 to 10. Sun to Shade. Prefers some shade in zone 10.Mature size: 6 to 24 inches tall;...

    $2.19
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  • Thymus serpyllum 'Pink Chintz'

    Thymus serpyllum 'Pink Chintz' (3.5 inch pot)

    Thymus serpyllum 'Pink Chintz'a/k/a creeping thyme, mother-of-thyme, wild thyme Zone: 4 to 9. Sun.Mature size: 1 to 3 inches height; 2 feet wide. Creeping, cascading habit. Long-blooming, light pink flowers will be one of the first thymes to flower each...

    $4.18
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  • Thymus serpyllum 'Elfin' (3.5 inch pot)

    Thymus serpyllum 'Elfin' (3.5 inch pot)

    Thymus serpyllum 'Elfin' Thyme Zone 4 to Zone 9, Full Sun to partial sun.2 to 3 inch high; slow and low growing miniature herbaceous perennial. Glossy, green fragrant foliage, grows in a low, tight, dense, creeping, flat mat. Tiny pink-purple flowers...

    $4.18
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  • Ophiopogon japonicus 'Nana'

    Ophiopogon japonicus 'Nana' (3.5 inch pot)

    Ophiopogon japonicus 'Nana' dwarf mondo grass, dwarf lily turf, snakebeard Zones 6 to 10; Filtered sun or deep shade. Mature size 2 to 3 inches height, forms a dense grass-like groundcover. Dark green, very fine, grass-like leaves emerge in clumps from...

    $3.82
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  • Ophiopogon japonicus 'Nana'

    Ophiopogon japonicus 'Nana' (bare root plant)

    Ophiopogon japonicus 'Nana' dwarf mondo grass, dwarf lily turf, snakebeard Zones 6 to 10; Filtered sun or deep shade. Mature size 2 to 3 inches height, forms a dense grass-like groundcover. Dark green, very fine, grass-like leaves emerge in clumps from...

    $1.46
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  • Ophiopogon japonicus

    Ophiopogon japonicus (bare root plant)

    Ophiopogon japonicus 'Mondo Grass' a/k/a mondo grass, dwarf lily turf, snakebeard Zones 7 to 10; Filtered sun or deep shade. Mature size 6 to 12 inches height, forms a dense grass-like groundcover. Dark green, grass-like leaves emerge in clumps from a...

    $1.46
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  • Ophiopogon japonicus

    Ophiopogon japonicus (3.5 inch pot)

    Ophiopogon japonicus 'Mondo Grass' a/k/a mondo grass, dwarf lily turf, snakebeard Zones 7 to 10; Filtered sun or deep shade. Mature size 6 to 12 inches height, forms a dense grass-like groundcover. Dark green, grass-like leaves emerge in clumps from a...

    $3.58
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  • Ophiopogon japonicus

    Ophiopogon japonicus (2.5 inch pot)

    Ophiopogon japonicus 'Mondo Grass' a/k/a mondo grass, dwarf lily turf, snakebeard Zones 7 to 10; Filtered sun or deep shade. Mature size 6 to 12 inches height, forms a dense grass-like groundcover. Dark green, grass-like leaves emerge in clumps from a...

    $2.19
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  • Mazus reptans (3.5 inch pot)

    Mazus reptans (3.5 inch pot)

    Mazus reptans blue a/k/a Creeping mazus, Blue mazus. Zone: 4 to 8, may need to mulch or protection in zone 4 and 5. Full sun to part shade. Mature size: 3 inch height, quick spreading groundcover. Narrow, bright green leaves form a dense, foliage...

    $4.06
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  • Mazus reptans 'Alba'

    Mazus reptans 'Alba' (3.5 inch pot)

    Mazus reptans 'Albus'a/k/a Creeping mazus, White mazus. Zone: 4 to 8, may need to mulch or protection in zone 4 and 5. Full sun to part shade.Mature size: 3 inch height, quick spreading groundcover. Narrow, bright green leaves form a dense, foliage...

    $4.06
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  • Laurentia fluviatilis

    Laurentia fluviatilis (3.5 inch pot)

    Isotoma fluviatilis 'Blue Star Creeper'Common Name: Laurentia, Swamp Isotome. Zone (5) 6 to 10. Full sun, with some afternoon shade in southern zones.1 to 2 inches high groundcover. Small, light blue, star-shaped flowers bloom from late spring to early...

    $4.06
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  • Chrysogonum v. 'Pierre' (3.5 inch pot)

    Chrysogonum v. 'Pierre' (3.5 inch pot)

    Chrysogonum virginianum 'Pierre' aka Golden Star, Green and goldZone: 5 to 9. Sun to Shade, usually requires moist soil in full sun. Mature size: 3 to 4 inches tall; mat-forming with moderate growth rate. Shiny, deep green foliage; with one-inch,...

    $4.18
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  • Ajuga r 'Catlin's Giant'

    Ajuga r 'Catlin's Giant' (3.5 inch pot)

    Ajuga reptans 'Catlins Giant' a/k/a Giant Carpet Bugle, Carpenter's Herb, Comfrey, Creeping Bugleweed, Catlin's Carpet Bugle, Sicklewort.Zone (3)4 to 9, Sun or shade.Mature foliage height 5 to 7 inch, maybe 10 inches. Larger than other Ajugas;fast...

    $4.06
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  • Ajuga r. 'Burgundy Glow'

    Ajuga r. 'Burgundy Glow' (3.5 inch pot)

    Ajuga reptans 'Burgundy Glow' a/k/a Carpenters Herb, Comfrey, Creeping Bugleweed, Creeping Carpet Bugle, Sicklewort Zone 3 to 9, maybe 3 to 10 Sun or partial shade (morning sun only). Mature foliage height 3 to 4 inch; fast growing groundcover...

    $4.06
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  • Ajuga reptans 'Bronze Beauty'

    Ajuga reptans 'Bronze Beauty' (3.5 inch pot)

    Ajuga reptans 'Bronze Beauty' a/k/a Carpenter's Herb, Comfrey, Creeping Bugleweed, Creeping Carpet Bugle, SicklewortZone 4 to 9, Partial sun (morning only) to full shade.Mature foliage height 3 to 4 inch; low spreading groundcover. Glossy bronze, medium...

    $4.06
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  • Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip'

    Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip' (3.5 inch pot)

    Ajuga "Chocolale Chip" a/k/a Carpenters Herb, Comfrey, Creeping Bugleweed,Creeping Carpet Bugle, SicklewortZone 4 to 9, maybe 3 to 10,Sun to full shade, at least 3 to 4 hours of sun for best foliage color .Mature foliage height 3 to 4 inch; dwarf habit...

    $4.06
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  • Trifolium repens 'Autropurpureum'

    Trifolium repens 'Autropurpureum' (10)ct Flat

    Trifolium repens 'Autropurpureum' Common Name: white clover Type: Herbaceous perennial Family: Fabaceae Zone: 4 to 9 Height: 0.25 to 0.50 feet Spread: 0.25 to 1.00 feet Bloom Time: May Bloom Description: White Sun: Full sun to part shade Water:...

    $82.20
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