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

Thursday - April 25, 2013

From: Manassas, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives, Erosion Control, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Non-native daylilies for steep hill in Manassas VA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Would like to plant steep hill w perennial flowering plants like daylily. The daylily farm said this would work great but not sure if we should lay landscaping fabric and poke through holes to plant daylilys or just plant amongst existing grass growth Don't really want to create additional erosion by removing grass/weeds before replanting. I saw your post about planting grasses but I prefer flowers if possible.

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is committed to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants grow naturally; in your case, Prince William County, VA. Daylilies, once erroneously placed in the Liliaceae family of plants, now are considered to be in the Hemerocallis family. They are native to Eurasia - China, Japan and Korea - and are therefore out of our line of expertise. From the Univesity of Minnesota Extension Service, here is an article on Growing Daylilies. We understand there are many thousands of cultivars and selections of this plant, perennials which bloom one day, in the nursery trade, but beyond that, we know nothing about them.

However, we can talk about erosion; we don't know specifically which one you read but we have many previous answers on ways to control slopes. We saw a reference to the use of daylilies on a slope to control erosion because the roots reproduced, creating a network of roots which helped to hold soil on a slope, but we can't answer your question about landscaping cloth. Since we have no personal experience with it, we went looking for other information and found this funny article from North Coast Gardening Why I Hate Landscape Cloth. Here is a previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer on controlling erosion which includes further links to still other previous answers in various spots on the East Coast, including one from Virginia. We still prefer grasses with their long fibrous roots for erosion on a slope, but there are not many flowering plants that will have that sort of root.

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Perennial for cemetery plot in Massachusetts
August 03, 2010 - What perennial would work well in a cemetery plot that has very dry sun?
view the full question and answer

Hybrid Impatiens leaves yellowing from Marietta GA
June 23, 2012 - My impatiens looked great when I went out of town, I had recently fertilized. The person left to water them fertilized them. Now they are yellow and dwarfed. Anything I can do?
view the full question and answer

Growing conditions for Giant Coneflower from San Antonio
August 09, 2013 - Rudbeckia maxima is considered to be a perennial plant for the sun but I have had a difficult time maintaining it in a pot in full sun before attempting to plant. Do you feel that it will survive and...
view the full question and answer

Failure of TX bluebonnets to thrive
May 28, 2015 - We have had extraordinary luck with bluebonnets growing in our driveway of decomposed granite--until last year and this year. The bluebonnets seem to be drying up and wilting away. The ones in other a...
view the full question and answer

Low maintenance replacement garden in Ashburn , VA
April 30, 2009 - We live in Ashburn, VA (Northern VA). Our house is 10 years old and the contractor grade plants have died. We are planning on digging everything up and re-doing the landscaping in our front yard - r...
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