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

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

Native Groundcover Suggestions for Under Florida Oak Trees
April 03, 2015 - I am looking for native plants that will do well under several oak trees in Northeast Florida. My yard doesn't get much sun and I'm told I have acidic soil. Are the any plants that would do well wit...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for a Sunny, Steep Slope in Maryland
April 29, 2013 - I need a groundcover for a sunny dry steep slope in Towson, Maryland. The slope goes from the parking lot down to a deck area.
view the full question and answer

Drought tolerant plants for IN
August 23, 2011 - What are some plants that would do well in an east facing area near my front door? I live in Indianapolis IN. I need something that is drought resistant and will fill in a 4x3 foot walled off area th...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen groundcover or ornamental grass to plant under tree
November 09, 2007 - What can I plant under my tree as a groundcover? I would like an evergreen groundcover, how about ornamental grasses?
view the full question and answer

Santa Fe orchard groundcovers
September 05, 2008 - Howdy We were wondering what kind of ground cover you would suggest to use in a sunny area that has a few new apple trees [7' high]. The area is about 80' x 100 '. The soil is clay & was used to ...
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