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

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 Erosion Control Questions

Ground cover for Connecticut sandy gravel bank
January 11, 2012 - What ground cover plant can I use on a sandy gravel bank behind my house?
view the full question and answer

Plants for steep embankment on the Missouri River in Nebraska
July 01, 2009 - Hi, My embankment along the Northeast Nebraska shoreline of the Missouri River is eroding the land away. Do you have any suggestions for seed I could throw over the side of the bank that would grow...
view the full question and answer

Salt tolerant plants for shade on tidal inlet in NY
August 11, 2013 - Are there any salt water tolerant grasses or forbs with deep roots that grow in shade? I live on a tidal inlet/canal on Long Island NY. The southern bank has cedars and oaks but the soil is eroding ...
view the full question and answer

Erosion prevention on shady Pennsylvania stream
July 28, 2011 - I'm looking for a few species to plant along a stream channel to help reduce erosion during heavy rains. The soil is moist and in full shade. Ferns and thorny bushes are the only current vegetation...
view the full question and answer

Need native plant to stabilize 45 degree slope in Houston, TX.
June 06, 2012 - Can you recommend a native TX plant to be used to stabilize a 45 degree slope in the Houston area? Durability, maintenance and appearance should be considered. Thank You.
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