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 plants to control erosion on a hillside in Nashville, TN.
February 28, 2012 - Recently, a rogue contractor scraped all the sod off of my Tennessee hillside. Now the clay soil is exposed and washing away quickly. The hill slope is approximately 30 degrees. In the spring I'd ...
view the full question and answer

Grass-planting time in Mt. Pleasant, TX
December 15, 2010 - We are new to Texas and just finished building a house. The builder wants to seed the grass now (December). Will it germinate or will we have to replant in spring?
view the full question and answer

Removal of previously-planted perennials
July 23, 2008 - HI I JUST MOVED INTO A NEW HOUSE THIS YEAR THE PREVIOUS OWNERS PLANTED A LOT OF BEAUTIFUL PERENNIALS BUT I WANTED TO PLANT OVER ONE OF THE PERENNIALS THAT I REALLY DO NOT CARE FOR. IS THAT POSSIBLE? I...
view the full question and answer

Freeze-resistant palms for Central Texas
November 09, 2012 - I live in Lytton Springs just north of Lockhart. What is a good hardy palm that I can get that will grow without the worry of freeze?
view the full question and answer

Native plants for Summer Planting in Vernal UT
May 24, 2011 - What are the native plants that I could plant this summer in Vernal, Utah
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