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

Saturday - April 16, 2011

From: Buford, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Preventing erosion on a sloping lot
Answered by: Janice Kvale

QUESTION:

I am trying to find a native plant to use on a sloped area in my back yard to help prevent the slope from eroding away (zone 7- N. Atlanta, GA). I want something evergreen, between 6 to 30 inches tall, and somewhat fast growing. The slope gets about a half day's sun and ends in a natural wooded/stream area. Thank you!

ANSWER:

My goodness! Georgia must be a hilly place as we get many requests for slope plantings there. I am going to consider your request specifically but you may want to check other responses to this problem. To do so, click on Mr. Smarty Plants on our web site, in the upper right corner under Search put "plants for a slope in Georgia", and be amazed at the response.

To prevent erosion on a slope, you want a plant that forms a dense, fibrous root system. That usually means grasses, sedges or ferns. Grass tends to grow tall; ferns and sedges are evergreen and closer to your height preference. I've selected some plants close to matching your height requirements. Light requirement for a sun-loving plant is 6 or more hours daily, for part shade 2-6 hours, and less than 2 hours for shade. Many plants are quite tolerant of any amount of light and/or moisture. Here are a few for you to consider.

Grasses

Bouteloua curtipendula (Sideoats grama) 2-3 feet; sun, part shade.

Bouteloua hirsuta (Hairy grama) 10-18 inches; part shade.

Muhlenbergia schreberi (Nimblewill) 1-2.5 feet; part shade, shade.

Schizachyrium scoparium (Little bluestem) 18-24 inches dense mound, will shoot stems to 3 feet in fall; sun, part shade.

Sedges

Carex cherokeensis (Cherokee sedge) 12-18 inches; part shade.

Carex texensis (Texas sedge) 10-12 inches; sun, part shade.

Carex blanda (Eastern woodland sedge) 1-3 feet; sun, part shade, shade.

Ferns

Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern) 1-2 feet; part shade, shade; easily established.

Asplenium platyneuron (Ebony spleenwort) 12-18 inches; part shade, shade.

Thelypteris noveboracensis (New york fern) 12-18 inches; part shade, shade; spreads rapidly into dense colonies.

Woodwardia areolata (Netted chainfern) 1-2 feet; part shade, shade; appropriate near the pond.

Shrub

Gaylussacia dumosa (Dwarf huckleberry) 3-15 inches; part shade; slower growing ground cover that thrives at margins of ponds.


Bouteloua curtipendula


Bouteloua hirsuta


Muhlenbergia schreberi


Schizachyrium scoparium


Carex cherokeensis


Carex texensis


Carex blanda


Polystichum acrostichoides


Asplenium platyneuron


Thelypteris noveboracensis


Woodwardia areolata


Gaylussacia dumosa

 

 

More Erosion Control Questions

Retention ponds for states in southeast, from Greenville SC
July 14, 2012 - We provide maintenance for Stormwater detention ponds and are looking for native grasses to plant in the bottom and sides of typically dry detention basins. Prefer low growing grasses that spread to...
view the full question and answer

Native Streambank Plants for SE Pennsylvania
July 18, 2013 - I help manage a nature preserve in southeastern Pennsylvania. Along the stream the banks have been beaten down by a large number of visitors for their educational activities such as stream studies. Th...
view the full question and answer

Plants for difficult site in Jacksonville, TX
July 07, 2010 - East Texas (Cherokee County) red clay hillside, hard-packed, difficult to get to, 40' of it slopes 4' down in about 6'! Another 30' of it is flat. Between the hillside and the flat clay area is a...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for a Sunny, Steep Slope in Maryland
April 29, 2013 - I need a groundcover for a sunny dry steep slope in Towson, Maryland. The slope goes from the parking lot down to a deck area.
view the full question and answer

Erosion control for steep slope in Southern California
June 05, 2013 - I need help for soil erosion control for a steep slope in sunny Southern California. Thank you.
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