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 - July 10, 2009

From: Cataula, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Native plants for erosion control in Cataula GA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have several steep embankments on my property that are slowly eroding. What kind of plants (other than grasses, the area is not lawn mower accessible) can I plant to keep this from happening? We have very hard red Georgia clay!

ANSWER:

Ah, but didn't you know that the best erosion control IS grasses? And that there are a number of grasses native to Georgia that don't even want to be mowed? They are attractive, varied and will hold their place all year. And, more important, their long fibrous roots will hold the soil on your embankments. A very similar answer to yours was answered just a few days ago, and rather than repeat ourselves, please read this previous answer. Granted, you are in Georgia, and the previous question was from Nebraska, but we will search in our Native Plant Database for grasses native to Georgia and tolerant of clay. The previous question involved mostly seeding grasses, but you can also purchase plugs to be planted directly into the hillside. Go to our Native Plant Suppliers section, enter your town and state into the "Enter Search Location" box, and you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed companies and landscape and environmental consultants in your general area. You should be able to find sources for what you need and help with doing it, if you so desire. Another source closer to home for information on erosion control in your area is the University of Georgia at Athens Extension Office for Harris County. They may already have bulletins or plant lists tailored to the problem you are having.

Grasses to Control Erosion in Georgia

Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem) - warm season perennial, 4 to 8 ft. tall, medium water use, sun or part shade, acidic or alkaline, loam or clay soil

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama) - 2 to 3ft., perennial, medium water use, sun or part shade, loam or clay

Bothriochloa laguroides ssp. torreyana (silver beardgrass) - deciduous, 3 to 6 ft., sun, clay soils that are well drained

Paspalum floridanum (Florida paspalum) - 3 to 6 ft., medium water use, part shade, sandy, loam or clay

Poa arachnifera (Texas bluegrass) - 3 to 6 ft., medium water use, sun or part shade, sand, loam or clay

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem) - 18 to 24 inches tall, low water use, sun or part shade, well-drained sand, loam or clay

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass) - 3 to 8 ft. tall, sun, part shade or shade, sand, loam or clay

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats) - 2 to 4 ft., medium water use, part shade or shade, sand, loam or clay


Andropogon gerardii

Bouteloua curtipendula

Bothriochloa laguroides ssp. torreyana

Paspalum floridanum

Poa arachnifera

Schizachyrium scoparium

Sorghastrum nutans

Chasmanthium latifolium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Erosion Control Questions

Controlling erosion in Leburn KY
July 21, 2009 - I would really appreciate advice on controlling a serious erosion problem in eastern Kentucky. The slope is north facing, shady and moist with rich soil. Would prefer to use native Kentucky plants. ...
view the full question and answer

Erosion Control with perennials for a shady Dallas bank
July 25, 2013 - Thank you for your help with turf or perennials on a shaded bank, 4000 sq ft, for the Dallas area that has good roots, grows in semi shade to shade, is on a steep bank so cannot mow, and flowers the l...
view the full question and answer

Grass for erosion control
July 19, 2008 - I have a very shaded sloped back yard. I have not been able to get grass to grow due to the shade. There are approximately twenty 30-40 ft. Oaks in the yard. The yard slopes toward the house. I wo...
view the full question and answer

Erosion Control for a NC Clay Slope
June 06, 2013 - Hi, We have a large slope on the road edge of our property that has been gradually eroding with spring rains (NC red clay). We would really like to plant something for erosion control but the bank is...
view the full question and answer

Erosion under a Live Oak in Edom TX
March 31, 2009 - We have a large Live Oak tree in the front yard that I wouldn't part with for the world. The soil is almost solid sand underneath the tree, and in deep shade. It is on a slight slope and eroding wi...
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