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

Saturday - June 09, 2012

From: Ridgeway, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Erosion Control, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Need a pretty ground cover to control erosion in Rigdeway, SC.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

What is a fast, pretty ground cover blanket to control erosion on steep hill. gets full sun.

ANSWER:

You didn’t mention the size of your slope, or how steep it is, but we’ll press on. The words erosion control always cause Mr. Smarty Plants to think about grasses and grass-like plants because their fibrous root systems are very good at holding soil particles.

Lets start by looking in our Native Plant Database and use the Combination Search option. Select South Carolina under State, grass/grass-like under General Appearance, and perennial under Lifespan. Check Sun under Light Requirement, and dry under Soil Moisture. Click the Submit combination Search button. You will get a list of 26 species that meet these criteria. Clicking on the Scientific name of each species will bring up information about its characteristics, growth requirements, and in most cases, photos. As you go through the list, select the best match between the plant and your growth conditions. Several of these are probably taller than you want.
Grasses aren’t the only kind of plant you can use, so lets do another Combination Search. Start as before, but this time, select herb under general Appearance and leave the other choices the same. Clicking on the Submit combination Search button will bring up 83 species to explore.

Your best bet may be a combination of grasses and wildflowers to have a colorful erosion control blanket.

Two other sources of information and assistance are the South Carolina Native Plant Society, and the Fairfield County Office of Clemson Cooperative Extension.



 

More Erosion Control Questions

Stabilizing a sand bank in VT
August 13, 2011 - We have a summer cottage in Burlington, Vt. and need to stabilize a mound of sand. The "bank" we are trying to stabilize has partial sun and faces south. It measures approx 4' high and is 30' long...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control plants for steep slope in Austin, TX
April 09, 2007 - I'm interested in finding native plants, either perennials or grasses, that would help control erosion on a fairly steep slope. These plants would be in a park, and volunteers will be watering the pl...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control in Charleston WV
August 26, 2009 - I live in Charleston, WV and just purchased a home that has a hill side out back that has some erosion occurring. I was wondering what would be the best ground cover to plant in my area to control the...
view the full question and answer

Plants to hold a slope in Northern New York
December 10, 2009 - I'm looking for native (South shore, Lake Ontario) plants to slow erosion on a steep, 20 foot bank. They don't have to be decorative (although flowering plants are always nice), but they should SPRE...
view the full question and answer

Shade tolerant plants for erosion from Austin
May 03, 2014 - I live in Austin and my house backs up to Shoal Creek. I am looking for a native creeping vine or something that will grow on the shaded bank to help prevent erosion. It should be able to tolerate the...
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