En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
4 ratings

Wednesday - April 11, 2007

From: Waxhaw, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Erosion control blankets for controlling slope in North Carolina
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We live in NC (red clay dirt). We recently/in the process of installing a pool. They contractor has completely unearthed our entire yard - and part of our property is on a substantial hill. Is there a native plant we can buy and plant into the ground to help hold the hill together? As we think our only option might be to build a retaining wall and really do not want to do that if we can plant some plants that will solve our problem. Please advise. Thank you.

ANSWER:

Rather than building a retaining wall, you might consider installing erosion control blankets to help stabilize the erosion area. The erosion-control fabric works by slowing the runoff water and allowing sediment to fall out rather than be washed away. Seeds are sown under the erosion-control material and grow up through the matting when they germinate. The roots of the plants growing through the erosion-control material anchor the soil to stop the erosion. If you use erosion-control blankets made of biodegrable material, they will eventually disappear leaving the plants to control the problem.

Native grasses are an excellent choice for controlling erosion because they develop extensive fibrous root systems that hold the soil in place. There are several attractive grasses that are native to North Carolina. There are also several herbaceous perennials and small shrubs that could be intermixed with the grasses. For the plants I am recommending, I am assuming that your bare ground would receive considerable sunshine.

Grasses:

Chasmanthium latifolium (Indian woodoats)

Muhlenbergia capillaris (hairawn muhly)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

Herbaceous Perennials:

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (New England aster)

Physostegia virginiana (obedient plant)

Rudbeckia fulgida (orange coneflower)

Small Shrubs:

Hypericum prolificum (shrubby St. Johnswort)

Ceanothus americanus (New Jersey tea)

Rosa carolina (Carolina rose)

You can find more suggestions by doing a Combination Search in the Native Plants Database. We also have a Southeast Recommended Native Plant Species List on our Regional Fastpacks web page with more plant suggestions.


Chasmanthium latifolium

Muhlenbergia capillaris

Schizachyrium scoparium

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae

Physostegia virginiana

Rudbeckia fulgida

Hypericum prolificum

Ceanothus americanus

Rosa carolina

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Erosion Control Questions

Plants for a pond edge in IN
June 08, 2012 - Hello, I live in Southern Indiana. I care very much about reinforcing native plants for my region & not planting anything invasive. I had a pond built last year & need some suggestions for native ...
view the full question and answer

Plantings for sides of retention pond in Willits CA
July 02, 2012 - I am looking for recommendations for ground cover for the outside of embankments which impound wastewater. This is to improve the aesthetics and deter weeds. The slopes are 1V:2H, so if we can avoid...
view the full question and answer

Exposed Tree Roots in Austin
September 04, 2012 - I have a large ash tree with a lot of mud at the top of a sloping yard. I want to build a small retaining wall with the ground leveled above. This would entail covering exposed tree roots with 4-18 in...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover plants for slope to prevent erosion
June 05, 2008 - Hi, I have just made a 3/4 acre pond and the south facing slope is too steep to mow.Can you suggest any ground cover plants I could use to look nice and prevent erosion.
view the full question and answer

Plants for erosion control in East Texas
January 03, 2009 - We have recently moved to Conroe and are having a problem with erosion behind a retaining wall (installed by previous owner. The retaining wall is made of concrete and is about 8 foot tall by 110 foo...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center