En Español

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

Monday - April 02, 2012

From: Simi Valley, CA
Region: California
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Groundcover for Southern California clay slope
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a 30 ft. high by 96 ft. long slope with clay soil slope that I want to plant a low height ground cover. Any recommendations on what ground cover possibilities to use.

ANSWER:

Las Pilitas Nursery with stores in Escondido and Santa Margarita has an excellent article, "Simple erosion control for a hillside or garden slope", that has good advice about landscaping slopes and offers some suggestions for native plants for using in Southern California.  Here are some possibilities from the list for clay slopes:

Arctostaphylos edmundsii (Little sur manzanita) grows in full sun and here are photos and information from Las Pilitas.

Baccharis pilularis (Coyotebrush) will grow in full sun and part shade and here are photos and information from Las Pilitas.

Ceanothus griseus (Carmel mountain lilac)

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus (Blue blossom) grows in part shade.  Las Pilitas shows a cultivar, C. thyrsiflorus repens, that is low-growing.

Eriogonum fasciculatum (Eastern mojave buckwheat) grows in full sun and here are photos and information from Las Pilitas.

You can see other groundcovers listed by height on the Las Pilitas site.

 

From the Image Gallery


Coyotebrush
Baccharis pilularis

Blueblossom
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus

Eastern mojave buckwheat
Eriogonum fasciculatum var. polifolium

More Groundcovers Questions

Groundcover for parking strip in Pasadena, California
January 04, 2010 - Can you suggest a low growing, low maintenance plant which will spread to cover parking strip in Pasadena, California? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Groundcovers to choke out invasive species in Virginia
June 08, 2015 - My yard has open woods and dappled light with clay soil. Thirty years ago we removed huge briars and since English Ivy was getting in by itself, we thought we would let it come; unfortunately, it not ...
view the full question and answer

Native Plants for Shaded North Slope in Ohio
January 03, 2013 - I have a shaded north hillside which needs erosion control plants. Mostly moss and very thin grass grows there now. Please help!
view the full question and answer

Eliminating straggler daisy from St. Augustine grass in Hochheim TX
May 14, 2010 - I have straggler daisy in my St. Augustine grass. What herbicides work well on straggler daisy and won't ding up the grass too bad?
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for Southern California near the beach
February 27, 2011 - I'm in Southern California near the beach (3 miles away). I am looking for a front lawn ground cover that can stand many hours of daily direct sunlight, but will also get cool breezes off the ocean a...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center