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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - June 26, 2008

From: Fawn Grove, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Erosion Control, Groundcovers, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Low plants to cover bank too steep to mow
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a bank along the road that is too steep to mow. This bank faces east and only gets 2 - 4 hours per day of sunlight. I'd like to try ground cover to prevent erosion, however visibility is a problem. I read your answer regarding grasses as good cover, however I can not use anything that will grow to a height greater than 6 - 8 inches due to driveway / road visibility. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

This was hard. The grasses we would ordinarily recommend for a slope in Pennsylvania all grow too high for your limits. One sedge that stayed low, one vine that would creep, and two low growing flowering plants, all of which will grow in Pennsylvania, were all we could come up with. You must have a really steep approach to the street to need that kind of height for visibility, not to mention the low amount of sun. Hopefully, some or all of these will help you out. If you find one or more that will work for you, go to Suppliers and type the name of your town and state in the Enter Search Location box. You will get a list of native plant suppliers, nurseries, seed companies and landscape professionals in your general area.

Phlox stolonifera (creeping phlox) - mat-forming perennial

Viola canadensis (Canadian white violet)

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)

Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)


Phlox stolonifera

Carex pensylvanica

Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Viola canadensis

 

 

 

More Erosion Control Questions

Hillside Groundcovers for Pollinating Insects in Wisconsin
November 28, 2015 - I am looking for native plants for a project around Hudson, Wisconsin. We are to choose native plants to be seeded next spring 2016. They are to be planted on a hillside under and around solar panels ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for erosion control in Cataula GA
July 10, 2009 - I have several steep embankments on my property that are slowly eroding. What kind of plants (other than grasses, the area is not lawn mower accessible) can I plant to keep this from happening? We hav...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for a slope in San Antonio TX
July 02, 2013 - Slope growing, no or little irrigation ground cover. The slope is probably greater than 30%. The area is currently a construction road at the base, cut into the hill. To re-establish with a ground cov...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping recommendations for site in Dubuque, IA
March 27, 2010 - I need a seed recommendation. Here are the variables: Location: Dubuque, IA (east Central Iowa) Soil type: Sandy to sandy and gravelly. Part is a riverbank facing east. Steep bank then flat to ...
view the full question and answer

Plants to stop creek bank erosion in North Carolina
June 26, 2009 - Hi: I live in NC where most of the dirt is clay based. I have a small creek behind my house that is eroding. The creek overflows when there is a heavy rain and as a result, gradual erosion. My g...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center