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?


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

Monday - June 06, 2011

From: Elgin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Preventing Soil Erosion in Elgin, Texas
Answered by: Mike Tomme


I live in Elgin,TX and our property is basically a slope with dense oak and cedar trees on the back of the property. The soil is sandy loam. What type of native plants or grasses can I plant to stop soil erosion. The plants or grasses will have dappled to dense shade. Thanks


Rather than start from scratch, Mr. Smarty Plants is going to refer you to a couple of previously answered questions about situations similar to yours. These two answers will give you a good education in growing native grasses in the shade.

First question

Second question

Almost anything you plant will help prevent soil erosion, so your main criteria for selecting native plants should be shade and sandy soil conditions. Here's how the native plant database can help:

Go to Wildflower.org, then click on explore plants and plant database. Click on the central Texas region of the map. This will produce a list of plants recommended for the region. Narrow your results by selecting shade under Light Requirements and the growth habit of the plant (herb, shrub, tree, etc.) you would prefer under General Appearance. You can further limit your search by selecting your favorite bloom color and the time of year the blooms appear.

Here are a few central Texas favorites that would do well in your situation:

Salvia coccinea

Coreopsis lanceolata

Malvaviscus arboreus




More Erosion Control Questions

Need recommendations for native plants on a dry sunny hillside in Baltimore Maryland.
July 28, 2009 - Need native recommendations for sunny, dry hillside for ground cover or shrub in Maryland. Mowing the grass is a pain and an energy waster (and I don't want to be tempted to extend some adjacent exi...
view the full question and answer

Stabilizing a shale slope in Virginia
April 08, 2009 - I have family members who recently built a new home in Virginia. The site required extensive excavation resulting in a large 30 foot, nearly vertical, shale wall behind the house. They now want to r...
view the full question and answer

Plant for Erosion Control on Wooded Slope in MD
May 19, 2015 - We are looking for a plant to help with erosion control on a wooded slope next to our drive. The roots of several of the trees are exposed like a shelf, so I think it's a fairly severe problem. We ar...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control in Santaquin UT
August 11, 2009 - I have a hill in my backyard; it is about 40 ft tall and about 80 ft wide. It is probably a 1.5 to 1 slope ratio. I am going to be landscaping my back yard and have top soil put on the hill as well. S...
view the full question and answer

Native plants to stop pond bank erosion
June 04, 2008 - I recently purchased a home with a small pond in which a nearby stream daylights. The former owner placed large field stone around the pond and the small stream; however, the area around the pond and...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center