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

Tuesday - June 23, 2009

From: Richmond, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Erosion Control, Groundcovers, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Plants for a steep bank in Virginia
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a small yard with a 3 foot steep bank that I want to plant on. I am looking for fast growing ground cover. There is some shade but not a lot and has a southern exposure. Ground is a bit rough and packed. Any suggestions? Thanks.

ANSWER:

Here are some suggestions for your 3-foot steep bank:

Phlox subulata (moss phlox) grows in sun and part shade, is evergreen and spreads quickly.

Phlox nivalis (trailing phlox) would also be good.

Artemisia ludoviciana (white sagebrush) is semi-evergreen and grows in dry soils.

Cornus canadensis (bunchberry dogwood) requires moist soil.

Mitchella repens (partridgeberry) grows in part shade and shade.

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick) grows slowly.

The following are grasses and a sedge.  If you are having trouble with, or have had, erosion on your slope, grasses with their fibrous roots are very good at holding the soil:

Muhlenbergia schreberi (nimblewill) grows in part shade and shade.

Muhlenbergia cuspidata (plains muhly) grows in sun.

Carex texensis (Texas sedge) grows in sun and part shade.


Phlox subulata

Phlox nivalis

Artemisia ludoviciana

Cornus canadensis

Mitchella repens

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Muhlenbergia schreberi

Muhlenbergia cuspidata

Carex texensis

 

 


 

 

 

More Groundcovers Questions

Specifications for a property in Corning CA
March 29, 2012 - Drought resistant, deer resistant, low growing (ground cover), and shade tolerant request: I am looking for a variety of species that not only fit the above preferences, but also a few other things. ...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating wood roaches from hardwood mulch from San Antonio TX
February 05, 2013 - How can I eliminate the numerous wood roaches in my hardwood mulch that I get for free from the city of San Antonio?
view the full question and answer

Groundcovers for area under blue spruce in Colorado
August 10, 2012 - I have a 40 ft blue spruce limbed up 6 ft in my yard on the west in Greeley, CO (50 mi N Denver, zone 4 or 5). It gets some sun underneath in the later afternoon and evening. Can you suggest 4 to 5 ...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for Shady Front Beds in OK
July 15, 2014 - I need a groundcover for my front beds in Edmond, OK that are moist and in full shade. The groundcover would primarily be around and under a Japanese maple. Low maintenance is preferred.
view the full question and answer

Plants for difficult site in Jacksonville, TX
July 07, 2010 - East Texas (Cherokee County) red clay hillside, hard-packed, difficult to get to, 40' of it slopes 4' down in about 6'! Another 30' of it is flat. Between the hillside and the flat clay area is a...
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