En EspaŅol

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
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

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 Groundcovers Questions

Plants for pool area in Kentucky
June 12, 2010 - We live in central Kentucky and have a backyard pool that desperately needs some landscaping. I would like plants that don't drop a lot of leaves or "trash". I'd like a list of great poolside pl...
view the full question and answer

Deer proof ground cover for sunny area in Mississippi
June 09, 2012 - I am looking for a low ground cover that will thrive in a sunny location and is deer proof
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for partly sunny, wet area in Cypress, TX
March 19, 2007 - I am in need of a ground cover to plant in an area close to our entryway. The area is shady to partly sunny, holds water in rainy weather, and has a shrub border. We are in Texas. Any ideas? Thank...
view the full question and answer

Groundcovers for Miami FL
March 27, 2013 - What is a ground cover that does not need mowing or a lot of water and survives in South Florida heat and is also native to the area? I would like to turn my lawn into a more natural self-sustaining a...
view the full question and answer

Aggressive Frogfruit
September 17, 2009 - I have frogfruit voluntarily growing in my flower beds. I had intended to use it as a ground cover but am concerned that it is taking over. Will it kill (smother) my flowers that I have planted for bu...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center