En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Ground cover that won't hide snakes from Asheville NC
June 29, 2012 - I have an unusual situation: several bare areas in an otherwise wooded area, which receive partial sun, and are not near water -- it rains here frequently, but the soil can become quite dry at times. ...
view the full question and answer

Plants to prevent bank erosion in Georgia
January 20, 2009 - I NEED LIST OF PLANTS TO HELP PREVENT BANK EROSION. WE LIVE AT BOTTOM OF HILL THAT FURTHER SLOPES TO A POND. THE AREA IS SHADY AND WET FACING NORTHEAST. ANY RAIN CAUSES THE POND TO MUD UP. WE HAVE...
view the full question and answer

Plants for pond, for incline and area with poor soil
April 23, 2012 - I have three plant recommendation questions for Austin, TX. 1. I have a large pond that I would like to put native aquatic plants in. What are some hardy aquatic natives I could put in? The pond ...
view the full question and answer

Plants to prevent riverbank erosion in VA
March 05, 2011 - Looking for a plant to prevent erosion on a riverbank on the Rappahannock River in Virginia. Prefer something low, bank is a bit steep for regular mowing but could be mowed infrequently. Riverbank h...
view the full question and answer

Plants for erosion control in southern Maryland
September 03, 2009 - Would you recommend a plant that would act as erosion control for woodlands in Southern Maryland? The soil has a high clay content with a mature hardwoods population.The current erosion is significant...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center