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Foot Traffic

A steppingstone 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. When planting between pavers or steppingstones, plant so that soil level is sufficiently below the walking surface to allow for plant compression when stepped on and plant crown is not crushed. 

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 japonicus Nana 3.25 inch pot Ophiopogon japonicus Nana 3.25 inch pot

    Ophiopogon japonicus 'Nana' (3.25 inch pot)

    Ophiopogon japonicus 'Nana' (3.25-inch) potDwarf Mondo Grass, baby mondo grass, monkey grass Height: 2-3 Inches Hardiness Zone: 6-10 Full Sun to Shade (Part Shade to Shade - Zones 7-10) Evergreen Ophiopogon japonicus 'Nana' is a dwarf variety of mondo...

    $4.18
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  • Ophiopogon japonicus Nana bare root plant Ophiopogon japonicus Nana bare root plant

    Ophiopogon japonicus 'Nana' (bare root plant)

    Ophiopogon japonicus 'Nana' bare root plantDwarf Mondo Grass, baby mondo grass, monkey grass Height: 2-3 Inches Hardiness Zone: 6-10 Full Sun to Shade (Part Shade to Shade - Zones 7-10) Evergreen Ophiopogon japonicus 'Nana' is a dwarf variety of mondo...

    $1.99
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  • Ophiopogon japonicus 2.5 inch pot Ophiopogon japonicus 2.5 inch pot

    Ophiopogon japonicus (2.5 inch pot)

    Ophiopogon japonicus (2.5-inch pot)Mondo Grass, monkey grass Height: 6-8 Inches Hardiness Zone: 6-10 Full Sun to Shade (Part Shade to Shade - Zones 7-10) Evergreen Spreads quickly Ophiopogon japonicus, commonly known as mondo grass, is a low-growing,...

    $2.84
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  • Ophiopogon japonicus 3.5 inch pot Ophiopogon japonicus 3.5 inch pot

    Ophiopogon japonicus (3.5 inch pot)

    Ophiopogon japonicus (3.5-inch pot)Mondo Grass, monkey grass Height: 6-8 Inches Hardiness Zone: 6-10 Full Sun to Shade (Part Shade to Shade - Zones 7-10) Evergreen Spreads quickly Ophiopogon japonicus, commonly known as mondo grass, is a low-growing,...

    $4.10
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  • Ophiopogon japonicus bare root plant Ophiopogon japonicus bare root plant

    Ophiopogon japonicus (bare root plant)

    Ophiopogon japonicus Bare Root PlantsMondo Grass, monkey grass Height: 6-8 Inches Hardiness Zone: 6-10 Full Sun to Shade (Part Shade to Shade - Zones 7-10) Evergreen Spreads quickly Ophiopogon japonicus, commonly known as mondo grass, is a low-growing,...

    $1.99
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  • 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...

    $9.73
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  • Pratia pedunculata County Park 10ct Flat

    Pratia pedunculata 'County Park' (10)ct Flat

    Pratia pedunculata 'County Park' Zones 6 to 9. Full sun to part shade to full shade. Plants reach 1 to 2 inches tall and 6 to 12 inches wide; creeping perennial ground cover. Growth rate: vigorous, spreads via runners just under the soil. Evergreen to...

    $87.00
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  • Sagina subulata Aurea 10ct Flat Sagina subulata Aurea 10ct Flat

    Sagina subulata 'Aurea' (10)ct Flat

    Sagina subulata var. glabrata 'Aurea' Common Name: golden pearlwort, Scotch moss Zones 3 to 9. Full sun to part shade. Plants reach 1 inch tall and 6 to 12 inches wide; very low moss-like ground cover. Growth rate: Moderate. Evergreen groundcover...

    $87.00
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  • Thymus citriodorus Archers Gold 10ct Flat

    Thymus citriodorus 'Archer's Gold' (10)ct Flat

    Thymus citriodorus 'Archers Gold' (10)ct Flat Brilliant golden-yellow foliage all year long, plus it has a nice aroma when crushed. Excellent for herb garden walkways, or around rose beds. Light lavender and pink blooms in late summer. Lemon-flavored...

    $87.00
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  • Thymus praecox Coccineus 25 BR Plants Thymus praecox Coccineus 25 BR Plants

    Thymus praecox 'Coccineus' (25) BR Plants

    Thymus praecox 'Coccineus' (25) Bare Root Plants Common Name: Red Creeping Thyme 'Coccineus' forms a dense, flat mat of evergreen, dark green leaves that are smothered in bright magenta-red flowers from early thru midsummer. In fall, the foliage...

    $201.34
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  • Thymus serpyllum Elfin 3.5 inch pot Thymus serpyllum 'Elfin' (3.5 inch pot)

    Thymus serpyllum 'Elfin' (3.5 inch pot)

    Thymus serpyllum 'Elfin' (3.5-inch pot)Common names: Elfin Thyme, dwarf thyme, creeping thyme Height: 1-2 Inches Spread: 12-18 Inches Hardiness Zone: 4-8 Full Sun to Part Shade Evergreen ornamental herb Tolerates light foot traffic Cascades Over...

    $4.80
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  • Thymus serpyllum Pink Chintz 3.5 inch pot

    Thymus serpyllum 'Pink Chintz' (3.5 inch pot)

    Thymus serpyllum 'Pink Chintz' (3.5-inch pot)Common names: Pink Chintz Thyme Height: 1-2 Inches Spread: 18 Inches Hardiness Zone: 4-8 Full Sun to Part Shade Evergreen ornamental herb Tolerates light foot traffic Cascades Over Walls Low maintenance...

    $4.80
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