En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Plants to prevent erosion on slope in Texas

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

Saturday - June 19, 2010

From: Groveton, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Edible Plants, Erosion Control, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Plants to prevent erosion on slope in Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We have an erosion problem developing on the low side of a gently sloping hill. We are in clay soil at the base of the hill with oaks and pines. We have a right of way that is without trees forty feet wide running parallel along the county road with ditches along side of the road.It is where the treeless right of way and ditches meet that we are developing gullies. The soil at the base of the hill is heavy clay while only about 350 yards away at the top of the hill there is 3 feet of sand! We are willing to plant grass, wildflowers, vines, anything that can survive on half day of sunlight and poor soil conditions. Sure we would prefer something pretty and wildlife friendly but right now we we just want something that works to prevent a minor to medium problem from developing into a major problem. Great website by the way, I am happy to be a member.

ANSWER:

Thank you for your kind words and we are very happy that you are a member!

Grasses with their extensive fibrous root systems are ideal plants to use for erosion control.  Here are several candidate grasses for Trinity County:

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)

Muhlenbergia capillaris (hairawn muhly)

The Houston Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas has a list of Native Plants for Erosion Control.  One suggestion from that list that might be appealing is Rubus trivialis (southern dewberry). They would do a great job of controlling erosion and could produce fruit for pies, jams and jellies, or just for eating.  Here are others from that list:

Physostegia angustifolia (narrowleaf false dragonhead) for spring blooms.

Physostegia virginiana (obedient plant) is a fall bloomer.

Rivina humilis (rougeplant)

Hibiscus coccineus (scarlet rosemallow)

Hibiscus moscheutos (crimsoneyed rosemallow)

Kosteletzkya virginica (Virginia saltmarsh mallow)


Bouteloua curtipendula

Schizachyrium scoparium

Sorghastrum nutans

Muhlenbergia capillaris

Rubus trivialis

Physostegia angustifolia

Physostegia virginiana

Rivina humilis

Hibiscus coccineus

Hibiscus moscheutos

Kosteletzkya virginica

 

 

More Erosion Control Questions

North Dakota Riverbank Stabilization
July 17, 2012 - Can you suggest plants to prevent and stabilize river bank erosion on Sheyenne River, ND? Must be tolerant to cold, varying level of salts and sulfates and water level (from drought to flooding)
view the full question and answer

Restoring tornado-damaged property in Alexander City AL
January 29, 2012 - Dear Mr Smartypants, We were struck by the outbreak of tornadoes last spring and our wonderful woods are now unsightly sloping pastures with erosion problems.. many stumps and coils of roots. We are...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping for slope in Kansas City
October 08, 2008 - We have a down sloping back yard and patio on the lower area. We need some water absorbing plants near the foundation and some in the front of the house, where water isn't a problem. We are allergic ...
view the full question and answer

Need to Stabilize River Bank in Kentucky
December 20, 2011 - My home borders the Ohio River. I have lost a great deal of soil to the river. I am looking for plants with tight root systems that are water tolerant to protect my shoreline. Thanks
view the full question and answer

Exposed Tree Roots in Austin
September 04, 2012 - I have a large ash tree with a lot of mud at the top of a sloping yard. I want to build a small retaining wall with the ground leveled above. This would entail covering exposed tree roots with 4-18 in...
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