En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Groundcover to help ease erosion in shade

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - May 17, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Groundcover to help ease erosion in shade
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

My house is situated on an embankment near a creek. We are looking for ground cover plants that can help ease the erosion of the embankment without being invasive for the existing trees. They must be able to live in the shade and be native to central Texas. Any ideas? Thank you!

ANSWER:

Your best bets for controlling erosion are grasses. They produce extensive fibrous root systems that hold the soil very effectively. Once the area has stabilized you can add wildflowers to grow with the grasses. There are several grasses that will grow in shade or partial shade in the Austin area. It is a little late, however, to grow any of these from seed—you will need to find plugs (small plants) to set out. You can find nurseries in your area that specialize in native plants by visiting our National Suppliers Directory.

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama)

Bouteloua hirsuta (hairy grama)

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)

Eragrostis intermedia (plains lovegrass)

Nassella tenuissima (finestem needlegrass)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

Tridens flavus (purpletop tridens)

Sedges are also a good choice.

Carex blanda (eastern woodland sedge)

Carex cherokeensis (Cherokee sedge)

Carex planostachys (cedar sedge)

Carex texensis (Texas sedge)


Bouteloua curtipendula

Bouteloua hirsuta

Chasmanthium latifolium

Elymus canadensis

Eragrostis intermedia

Nassella tenuissima

Schizachyrium scoparium

Tridens flavus

Carex blanda

Carex cherokeensis

Carex planostachys

Carex texensis

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Low water use tree to shade pond in Burnet TX
May 10, 2011 - I'm in need of some shade at a 1/2 acre pond, but I don't want a tree to consume so much water that it will lower the water level. During droughts the little pond needs all the water it can get. Som...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover to reduce erosion for shady area in New York
May 05, 2009 - We live on a lake with gravelly and clay soils, lots of wind and little sun. I am looking for a native ground cover that will help reduce erosion over some of the steep slopes facing south (under shad...
view the full question and answer

Non-Poisonous, Shade Tolerant Vine for Austin
February 01, 2011 - Hello, I live in northwest Austin and have a very shady wood fence I would like to cover and was thinking about a vine. I have a toddler and a dog so anything poisonous is out of the question. I woul...
view the full question and answer

Interaction of Habiturf and St. Augustine grasses from Willow City TX
April 16, 2012 - How does Habiturf and St. Augustine interact? Does one dominate the other? Can you plant them in close areas? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

What are the best deep shade plants for San Antonio?
May 20, 2009 - What are the best deep shade plants for San Antonio?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center