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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


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.


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






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