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
9 ratings

Tuesday - June 07, 2011

From: Rhinelander, WI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Plants for a shady hillside in WI
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

I would like to know what kind of plants I could plant on a northern exposure hillside to stop erosion. At the bottom of the hill is a lake. Also would putting rocks from the area as natural retaining work to stop erosion. There are a mixture of a few pines, maples and birches on this hillside also. I don't want to put any more trees on the hillside just some plants. Thanks

ANSWER:

It's a good idea to use the native rocks strategically to stabilize your slope.  They don't necessarily need to be lined up as for a retaining wall, but can be placed as nature would.  This will create places to nestle plants around them and slow the flow of water down the slope.

There are many woodland shrubs and herbaeous plants (grasses, ferns and perennials) that will grow oon your shady slope and complement the trees you have growing there.

The plants you use for the project will ultimately be the ones that are available in the nurseries, but to learn about the plants that are native to your area and suitable candidates visit our Native Plant Database and do a Combination Search for Wisconsin, the plant type (shrub, herb etc) and your conditions (shady and dry or moist?).  The database will generate lists of plants with links to detailed information pages.

Some plants fom those lists to consider are:

Shrubs

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Kinnikinnick)

Diervilla lonicera (Northern bush honeysuckle)

Gaultheria procumbens (Checkerberry)

Hypericum prolificum (Shrubby st. johnswort)

Physocarpus opulifolius (Atlantic ninebark)

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (Coralberry)

Perennials & Ferns

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Maianthemum stellatum (Starry false lily of the valley)

Mitchella repens (Partridgeberry)

Penstemon hirsutus (Hairy beardtongue)

Polygonatum biflorum (Smooth solomon's seal)

Polypodium virginianum (Rock polypody)

Pteridium aquilinum (Western bracken fern)

Tradescantia virginiana (Virginia spiderwort)

Here are some photos fom our Image Gallery:


Arctostaphylos uva-ursi


Diervilla lonicera


Gaultheria procumbens


Physocarpus opulifolius


Hypericum prolificum


Symphoricarpos orbiculatus


Aquilegia canadensis


Maianthemum stellatum


Mitchella repens


Penstemon hirsutus


Polygonatum biflorum


Polypodium virginianum


Pteridium aquilinum


Tradescantia virginiana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Ground cover under live oaks
June 18, 2012 - I have some areas under Live Oak trees (maybe 200 sq. ft.)that remain bare, in spite of trying Habiturf. Soil is dry, poor and shallow. Can you suggest a living ground cover that would not require m...
view the full question and answer

Low-growing plants for a slope in the shade
July 08, 2013 - Hello, I'm looking for native plants to put in the shade (within the drip-line) of a well-established American Holly. The area gets deep shade; it is also on a very gentle north-exposure slope. We ...
view the full question and answer

transplanting Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum capillus-veneris)
October 25, 2011 - Behind our house is a huge grotto with a spring flowing through it that runs into a creek. Because of the constant flow of water, there are many of the Maidenhair Ferns (Adiantum capillus-veneris). I ...
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing vine for shade in Brooklyn
June 05, 2011 - I am looking for a flowering vine that is fast growing and will be able to flower this season if I plant it within next couple weeks (in June) here in Brooklyn. I want something that will grow up a pi...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping with wildflowers in shade in Maryland
January 11, 2008 - I'm an old White House Correspondent who covered LBJ as well as Mrs Johnson and knew and admired her. I visited the Wildflower Center with her on one occasion. I hope you will forward this to an appr...
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