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

Tuesday - March 20, 2012

From: Fairfax, VA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Planting, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Best way to plant sedges on a slope in Fairfax, VA.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Best way to plant sedges on a slope. WE are in the LONG process of trying to convert our backyard to a native wildlife friendly habitat. The slope is about 30 degress and it's a large space 1/2 acre?? When we moved in it was covered with english ivy which was killing all the trees. WE have removed all of the ivy and now have zillions of violets-grr, but we want to plant PA sedge. We have also added many native wildflowers and shrubs- including va bluebells, fringed bleeding hearts (the native ones), sweetspire, spicebush, viburnums, snowberry, nine bark, cardinal flower, wood aster, columbine, highbush bluebery, americanbeauty berry, service berry, va creeper, sea oats and winterberry, oh and jacobs ladder and cinnamon ferns- all of those flowers and shrubs are thriving except the cinnamon fern and the jacobs ladder. We tried some other sedges but they didn't work so we have finally found some PA sedge. We have about 25 small bare root plants to plant. The question we have is what is the best way to distribute them to help control the erosion, naturalize the space, and still be able to enjoy the lovely wildflowers we have growing? Across the hill? randomly? in rows? aisles? Also, will it spread on it's own, or will we need to buy more next year? We just don't know where to begin. thanks so much!

ANSWER:

You have an quite ambitious project underway, and we appreciate your use of native plants.

Pennsylvania sedge Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge) is a low, clumped, grass-like perennial, 6-12 in. high. It is a fine ground cover, spreading relentlessly by rhizomes.

As to planting, I think I would place them in a random pattern across the hill, tucking them between your other plants, to give a more natural look.

They are perennial, and they spread readily. Dividing the mature plants will give you new plants, and you shouldn't need to buy any more Pennsylvania sedge.

 

From the Image Gallery


Pennsylvania sedge
Carex pensylvanica

More Planting Questions

Need native grasses to re-introduce on land in Live Oak County, Texas.
July 21, 2009 - How do I find out what type of grass is native and how to reintroduce it (once we get some rain)? The area is southern Live Oak County approx 10 miles north of Orange Grove TX, about 2 miles from Lak...
view the full question and answer

Sumacs under live oaks dying in Austin
August 08, 2010 - Converted my yard to native plants last fall. All of the fragrant and evergreen sumacs are dying off one by one - they have never thrived. I ensure they get a good soaking at least once a week. I w...
view the full question and answer

Shade trees for Tucson AZ
May 25, 2012 - I need to plant some "fast growing" trees or shrubs on my southwest yard in order to reduce the heat in my bedroom. What do you suggest? I live in Tucson, Arizona. Thank you in advance. I'm...
view the full question and answer

Putting in native grass in June in Manor TX
May 31, 2012 - We are moving into a new-built house in the middle of June. We opted to not have them put in Bermuda grass as we wanted to seed a native mix. From my understanding, mid June will be too late to start ...
view the full question and answer

How do I save my recently transplanted yaupon holly?
April 20, 2011 - Recently transplanted (two weeks ago) a yaupon holly tree from one part of the yard to another. Leaves are beginning to turn yellow and fall. What can be done to save this plant?
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center