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 - May 11, 2013

From: Stamford, CT
Region: Northeast
Topic: Drought Tolerant, Erosion Control, Groundcovers, Herbs/Forbs, Vines
Title: Groundcover for Sunny Slope in CT
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I need a plant to use as groundcover and for erosion control on a sunny slope in southwestern Connecticut. Any suggestions other than juniper?

ANSWER:

The first place to go to find a list of potential plants is our Native Plant Database.  Use the Combination Search feature instead of Recommended Species. This will provide a bigger selection with much more choice to narrow down. The volunteers and staff at the Wildflower Center who maintain the database have partners in different regions to help with these recommended species lists based on what is easy to access in local nurseries.

Under Combination Search, select the following categories: Connecticut, Habit – vine, Duration – perennial, Light requirement – sun, Soil moisture – dry (because of the slope).

Some of the more drought and sun tolerant possibilities that could be used as groundcover vining plants include:

Campsis radicans (trumpet creeper)

Celastrus scandens (American bittersweet)

Clematis virginiana (Devil’s darning needles)

Parthenocissus vitacea (Hiedra creeper)

Vitis riparia (Riverbank grape)

And some herbaceous plants to consider:

Desmodium canadense (showy tick trefoil)

Pycnanthemum incanum (hoary mountain mint)

Rubus pubescens (dwarf red blackberry) likes moister soils.

Salvia lyrata (lyreleaf sage)

 

From the Image Gallery


Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans

Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans

American bittersweet
Celastrus scandens

American bittersweet
Celastrus scandens

Devil's darning needles
Clematis virginiana

Devil's darning needles
Clematis virginiana

Riverbank grape
Vitis riparia

Riverbank grape
Vitis riparia

Showy tick trefoil
Desmodium canadense

Hoary mountain mint
Pycnanthemum incanum

Dwarf red blackberry
Rubus pubescens

Lyreleaf sage
Salvia lyrata

More Drought Tolerant Questions

Small native plants to line driveway in Los Fresnos, Texas
March 15, 2010 - I have a 70' driveway. What are recommended drought resistant dwarf (no more than 3 feet) plants to line the driveway?
view the full question and answer

Drought & Deer Resistant Shrub for Shade in Medina, TX
June 14, 2013 - We are dedicated to native plants in Medina, but are desperate to find a drought and deer resistant shrub for shade. Would we be too far off base with an oleander bush? We know birds and most butterfl...
view the full question and answer

Cenizo dropping leaves from Corpus Christi TX
February 20, 2014 - Leucophyllum frutescens:I planted a Texas sage hedge in September of 2012. One of the plants is dropping its leaves. It is situated at the corner of an L-shape at the end of drive and corner of road. ...
view the full question and answer

Do I need to cover my Habiturf planting with straw?
March 02, 2012 - I'm preparing to seed the Habiturf in my front yard in a couple of weeks. My dad has suggested I spread some straw to help protect the seeds. Your thoughts? Thanks!!!
view the full question and answer

Blue Natives for San Antonio
June 28, 2012 - What are the best flowers or trees to buy since we are always in stage 2 and sometimes in stage 3 water conservation? I love flowers that are blue, preferably year around. THANK YOU
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