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

Tuesday - July 02, 2013

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Erosion Control, Groundcovers
Title: Ground cover for a slope in San Antonio TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Slope growing, no or little irrigation ground cover. The slope is probably greater than 30%. The area is currently a construction road at the base, cut into the hill. To re-establish with a ground cover that would be short enough not to need mowing. Pedestrians walk through the area so a short growth plant for safety. Prefer a bedding plant vs. grass.

ANSWER:

It would be helpful to know whether the area is in sun (more than 6 hours of sun a day), part shade (2 to 6 hours of sun per day) or shade (less than 2 hours of sun per day).  Since I don't know the sun situation on the slope, please be sure to read the information on GROWING CONDITIONS on each of the species pages that I recommend.

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida (Prairie verbena) grows only 6-12 inches tall and has blooms from March through December.

Oenothera speciosa (Pink evening primrose) is semi-evergreen and is usually a sprawling plant.

Wedelia texana (Zexmenia) should be evergreen in San Antonio.   It blooms from June through November.

Calyptocarpus vialis (Straggler daisy) is semi-evergreen and usually grows to less than 1 foot.

Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit) is semi-evergreen and blooms May to October.

You might consider using one of the sedges.  There are species that grow to less than 1 foot high and do well without irrigation after they are established.   Here is more information about sedges from McNeal Growers in Austin.  Here are two that are native to Bexar County:

Carex perdentata (Meadow sedge) grows in sun to about 8 inches high.

Carex planostachys (Cedar sedge) grows best in part shade to 6 inches high.

Using a combination of plants is your best bet.  That way you will learn what will grow best on your slope and a mix of heights and colors will make the area more interesting.   Any of the plants above will require irrigation to become established. 

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Prairie verbena
Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida

Pink evening primrose
Oenothera speciosa

Zexmenia
Wedelia acapulcensis var. hispida

Straggler daisy
Calyptocarpus vialis

Texas frogfruit
Phyla nodiflora



Cedar sedge
Carex planostachys

More Erosion Control Questions

Plants for steep clay bank in Summerfield OH
April 07, 2012 - Hello, We have a steep 15-20 foot high bank behind our house here in southern Ohio. Probably 50 ft.long. What could we plant for beauty and erosion control. It is nasty clay soil with lots of shale an...
view the full question and answer

Long Island Barrier Beach Plants
April 22, 2013 - I live on the south shore of Long Island on a barrier beach and am landscaping my property as a result of Sandy damage. I am going with a sand base, and I am looking for suitable trees and shrubs for...
view the full question and answer

Reconsideration of previous question from Hays County TX
February 21, 2014 - QUESTION: Please reconsider this question that I sent to you last week. Our home address is in Bastrop County, but the Blanco River property that we own is in Hays County near Wimberley. Our proper...
view the full question and answer

Plant Suggestions for a Partly Sunny Steep Bank in Illinois
November 09, 2013 - I am looking to plant something on a steep clay bank on our Illinois property. It is on the edge of our dirt road with trees above the bank and is partly sunny. What would work best for that type of a...
view the full question and answer

Plants for erosion control in southern Maryland
September 03, 2009 - Would you recommend a plant that would act as erosion control for woodlands in Southern Maryland? The soil has a high clay content with a mature hardwoods population.The current erosion is significant...
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