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

Groundcover for foot traffic in dry shade from Prineville OR
May 12, 2013 - I live in central Oregon. I have an area under a large elm tree that slopes on all sides and has lots of foot traffic and no sun. (my kids have a swing in the tree and play around it a lot.) It's a v...
view the full question and answer

Plants for Erosion Control on Lake Bank in Wahpetan,IA
September 20, 2010 - We have a steep 15 to 20 foot high bank on the glacial formed lake, West Okoboji. We are experiencing erosion and would like a solution to prevent further erosion. We have wild roses, sumac, wild qui...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control for steep creek bank in Tennessee
June 12, 2010 - I have creek bank erosion problems in Woodlawn, Tennessee, northwest of Nashville. What plants can I place there. The bank is approximately 12ft almost vertical.
view the full question and answer

Plants to grow in sandy shade with steep slope
August 14, 2014 - I'm a very experienced gardener but I'm completely stumped on this one. We live among the dunes in SW Michigan. Our yard mostly consists of Ammophila breviligulata and Asclepias syriaca bisec...
view the full question and answer

Plants for slopes in South Texas
October 05, 2009 - Can you provide a list of plants for use on slopes in S. Texas?
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