Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - July 26, 2011

From: Marion, AL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Erosion Control, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Plants for slope in central Alabama
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Our home is atop a 20-25' eastern facing sandy loam slope in central Alabama. It was previously covered w/ kudzu. After 3 yrs. of eradication of the kudzu we are ready to plant with native grasses/plants. Obviously our concern is soil erosion, but we would like to maintain our beautiful view. Any suggestions? Thanks so much

ANSWER:

Congratulations to you for eradicating the kudzu!  Be vigilant and don't let it get a foothold again.

Assuming that your slope is mostly in the sun or at least only part shade, here are some recommendations for grasses and annual or perennial herbaceous plants that are generally less than three feet high.  You should read the GROWING CONDITIONS for each of the recommended plants on each species' page to be sure that they are compatible with your site.

Grasses:

Bouteloua curtipendula (Sideoats grama)

Muhlenbergia capillaris (Gulf muhly)

Poa arachnifera (Texas bluegrass)

Schizachyrium scoparium (Little bluestem)

Perennial herbaceous plants:

Achillea millefolium (Common yarrow)

Conoclinium coelestinum (Blue mistflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Eastern purple coneflower)

Oenothera speciosa (Pink evening primrose)

Annual herbaceous plants:

Coreopsis tinctoria (Plains coreopsis)

Gaillardia pulchella (Firewheel)

 Monarda citriodora (Lemon beebalm)

Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed susan)

You can find more possibilities on the Alabama Recommended page.   You can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option, using several different criteria such as Light Requirement, General Appearance, etc., to look for your preferred type of plant.

 

From the Image Gallery


Sideoats grama
Bouteloua curtipendula

Gulf muhly
Muhlenbergia capillaris

Texas bluegrass
Poa arachnifera

Little bluestem
Schizachyrium scoparium

Common yarrow
Achillea millefolium

Blue mistflower
Conoclinium coelestinum

Eastern purple coneflower
Echinacea purpurea

Pink evening primrose
Oenothera speciosa

Indian blanket
Gaillardia pulchella

Plains coreopsis
Coreopsis tinctoria

Lemon beebalm
Monarda citriodora

Black-eyed susan
Rudbeckia hirta

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Need suggestions for plants for a 45 degree slope in Falls Church, VA.
January 23, 2013 - Have a 45 degree hillside 50 feet wide by 60 feet long on north side of 26 story building. Very little sun with the need for soil retention plants. Would like a native plant or plants to cover area...
view the full question and answer

Controlling erosion in Leburn KY
July 21, 2009 - I would really appreciate advice on controlling a serious erosion problem in eastern Kentucky. The slope is north facing, shady and moist with rich soil. Would prefer to use native Kentucky plants. ...
view the full question and answer

Low maintenance grass for shade in Conroe, TX
September 15, 2012 - What is the best low maintenance grass to plant in front lawn shaded, no traffic area?
view the full question and answer

Plants for a sandy slope at a weekend cabin in central WI.
June 30, 2009 - I have a cabin in central Wisconsin where the soil is equivalent to a sandy beach. There are some areas that are nearly impossible to mow because of how steep the incline is. Could you recommend som...
view the full question and answer

Central Texas native plants good for cut flowers in Austin
March 15, 2010 - What are the best native plants to Central Texas that can be used as cut flowers for indoors in the home? I have a large garden that will be partly vegetables, partly for cut flowers. Thank you for ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.