Explore Plants

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
    
 

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 Erosion Control Questions

Plants for a hillside in WI
February 18, 2012 - I live in Wisconsin and am currently doing a research project on plant variation on the north and south sides of a hill. I was wondering you could suggest any books to me that would address this issue...
view the full question and answer

Plantings for sides of retention pond in Willits CA
July 02, 2012 - I am looking for recommendations for ground cover for the outside of embankments which impound wastewater. This is to improve the aesthetics and deter weeds. The slopes are 1V:2H, so if we can avoid...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for creekside erosion control
December 16, 2006 - I need advice on what native plants I can use to slow erosion by my creek. The watershed for a large area ends up at my place, and nothing is growing where most of the runoff flows. I've got braken...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for erosion control in Missouri
July 23, 2008 - Can you suggest a ground cover to stop erosion on a slight slope in my backyard? I live in Missouri - the soil is very poor in this area and has lots of rock underneath the soil. The yard drains int...
view the full question and answer

Native grasses for erosion control
October 20, 2008 - I have moved into a home that had vinca covering the front yard which slopes to the sidewalk (18'x15'). I have removed 3/4 of the vinca by the roots and have placed several gulf coast muhly across ...
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.