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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - October 28, 2009

From: Jonestown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Plants for seeping hillside and muddy bottom area
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We live on the north side of Lake Travis. About half acre of our property is currently planted with natives. The other half consists of a huge limestone ledge, a steep slope with little soil that seeps water when we get enough rain, and a very flat bottom-slope area with more exposed limestone and soil in some parts. The bottom area is full of King Ranch bluestem, a cedar elm and 3 mesquite. Any suggestions for what to use on the slope that seeps or to put in the bottom area that stays muddy after rain? We don't irrigate. Thanks so much!

ANSWER:

The amount of sunlight will be important for what will grow best in your two areas.  Check the 'Growing Conditions' on the species pages to compare with your sites.

Here are some suggestions for the bottom area:

Andropogon glomeratus (bushy bluestem) sun

Equisetum hyemale (scouringrush horsetail) sun, part shade, shade

Helianthus maximiliani (Maximilian sunflower) sun

Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem) sun, part shade

Asclepias asperula (spider milkweed) sun

Muhlenbergia lindheimeri (Lindheimer's muhly) sun

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats) part shade, shade

For the slope that seeps:

Adiantum capillus-veneris (common maidenhair) part shade, shade

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine) part shade, shade

Melica nitens (threeflower melicgrass) part shade

Tradescantia gigantea (giant spiderwort) sun, part shade

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye) sun, part shade

Woodsia obtusa (bluntlobe cliff fern) sun, part shade, shade

Pellaea ovata (ovateleaf cliffbrake) sun

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama) sun, part shade

You can see more possibilities by choosing 'Hill Country Horticulture' under Just for Central Texas on Recommended Species page and then using the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to limit your results to plants that grow in 'Moist' and/or 'Wet' soil.


Andropogon glomeratus

Helianthus maximiliani

Asclepias asperula

Chasmanthium latifolium

Adiantum capillus-veneris

Aquilegia canadensis

Pellaea ovata

Bouteloua curtipendula

 

 

 

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