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

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

Shady Groundcovers for NC
April 23, 2015 - I have a side yard that gets very little sun during the day and have tried St. Augustine grass unsuccessfully. Can you recommend a groundcover? We live close to the coast in Southeastern N. Carolina...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for sunny slope in Minnesota
May 24, 2016 - Hi, I'm from Apple Valley, MN. We backyard has large slope areas that get sun through out the day. We have huge weed and buck thorn problem. Can you please suggest a good ground covering plant that gr...
view the full question and answer

Wisconsin Ground Cover for Acid Soil
July 09, 2012 - What type of native wisconsin ground cover plants do best on acidic bare areas under pine trees such as blue spruce?...and where is best source for these plants or seeds? Thanks so much for your help
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for drainage ditch in Bastrop
October 02, 2008 - A friend in Bastrop has a drainage ditch in front where she'd like to use a groundcover. Normally it's very dry, but when it rains, can have 1-2" of water. Gets mostly sun. I was wondering about ...
view the full question and answer

Flowering groundcover for Indiana
May 25, 2009 - I live in southern Indiana and am looking for a nice flowering groundcover that will overcome the grass. It is on a hill that is very hard to mow.
view the full question and answer

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