En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Plants for banks of a retention pond in Alabama

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

Friday - April 24, 2009

From: Mobile, AL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Erosion Control, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Plants for banks of a retention pond in Alabama
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What can we plant on the inner and out walls of a detention pond to stop erosion? The pond is located in a neighborhood in Mobile, AL and the walls are 9 ft high with a steep slope.

ANSWER:

If the banks are very steep you might want to consider using erosion-control blankets to 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. Underneath the matting 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. Seeds can be sown under an erosion control blanket or grass plugs can be planted through the blanket. After the grasses have begun to establish themselves and stabilize the area you can add other plants. On the pond edge you could consider adding some attractive aquatic or semi-aquatic plants to help prevent the erosion.

GRASS/GRASS-LIKE

Andropogon glomeratus (bushy bluestem) is an attractive grass that does well in moist areas in full sun.

Andropogon virginicus (broomsedge bluestem) grows well in part shade in moist soils.

Panicum virgatum (switchgrass) grows in sun or part shade in dry to moist soils.

Carex blanda (eastern woodland sedge) will grow in sun, part shade or shade and in moist or dry soils.

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats) is a very attractive grass that grows in part shade and shade in moist soils.

Typha latifolia (broadleaf cattail) will grow in sun or part shade at the edge of the pond in dry to wet soil.

Eleocharis montevidensis (sand spikerush) would grow well at the edge of the pond in wet or moist soil in the sun.

HERBACEOUS 

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower) 

Helianthus angustifolius (swamp sunflower)

Conoclinium coelestinum (blue mistflower)

SHRUBS

Hibiscus coccineus (scarlet rosemallow)

Itea virginica (Virginia sweetspire)

Lindera benzoin (northern spicebush)


Andropogon glomeratus

Andropogon virginicus

Panicum virgatum

Carex blanda

Chasmanthium latifolium

Typha latifolia

Eleocharis montevidensis

Lobelia cardinalis

Helianthus angustifolius

Conoclinium coelestinum

Hibiscus coccineus

Itea virginica

Lindera benzoin

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Oak trees shedding leaves in Denton TX
May 27, 2012 - In Denton, TX we have two mature Quercus buckleyi. It is May 11th 2012 and one of these trees has been shedding green leaves for the last week. The only changes we have made are: planted English ivy...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for landscaping backyard in Central Texas
January 02, 2008 - We are starting from scratch in our backyard (approx. 200'x60')in Central Texas (Cedar Park). The yard faces West. What do you recommend for plants, trees, shrubs and grass that are native and will ...
view the full question and answer

Native grasses to replace mondo grass in California
March 30, 2009 - Hello - I live in the Southern California coastal zone, and am looking for a drought resistant, turf alternative. My husband wants to use "Mondo Grass", but I know that is not native to the regi...
view the full question and answer

Wildlife and bird friendly hedgerow for Chicago suburb
November 30, 2013 - Want to plant a wildlife/bird friendly hedgerow in suburban Chicago. Looking for a recommended mix of understory trees as well a shrubs and grasses. Site is part shade with average to wet soil and tr...
view the full question and answer

Erosion controlling Groundcover for Phenix AL
March 30, 2014 - Hi I am trying to find a grass or ground cover to control erosion on firing range berms which are 1:1 grade on a firing range outside of Phenix City AL. Sandy clay soil, direct sunlight almost all day...
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