En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - August 07, 2013

From: Gainesville, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Erosion Control, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Hillside Erosion Control for Gainesville GA
Answered by: Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I have a steep bare hill and the runoff from it is heavy this year. I need help with a fast growing groundcover that will help control erosion and runoff. Planting on the hill is difficult because you can't stand up and put your foot on a shovel. It gets about 6 hours of sun a day. It has some sandy areas but mostly clay. It has a row of cedar trees at the top on the east side. But it gets sun from about 12 PM to 5-6 PM

ANSWER:

  As a general approach the best plants to stabilize a slope and prevent erosion are plants like grasses that have fibrous root systems and shrubs and perennials that spread with runners to form thickets.  Here are a set of question/answers that Mr Smarty Plants has already put out for areas near to yours with suggestions as to good approaches:

Stopping Soil Erosion on a Slope in Bonaire GA  contains a link to a University of Georgia publication on this topic, which further links to a selection of Georgia groundcovers, several of which are specifically noted as native.

Preventing erosion on a sloping lot from Buford Georgia has a good list of recommended plants

Erosion control on partially shaded slope from Atlanta GA, has a link to the Georgia Native Plant Society and a list of suggested plants

Grasses for erosion control in sand on coastal Georgia is a little farther from home but covers a different set of natives with a list of natives more suited to Nassau County.

From these recommendations, here are several plants that may prove useful:

Sedges:  Carex blanda (Eastern woodland sedge),  Carex texensis (Texas sedge)

Grasses: Schizachyrium scoparium (Little bluestem), Bouteloua hirsuta (Hairy grama), Bouteloua curtipendula (Sideoats grama)

Herbs:  Phlox subulata (Creeping phlox),  Pachysandra procumbens (Allegheny spurge)

Vine:  Gelsemium sempervirens (Carolina jessamine)

 

From the Image Gallery


Eastern woodland sedge
Carex blanda

Carolina jessamine
Gelsemium sempervirens

Texas sedge
Carex texensis

Creeping phlox
Phlox subulata

Hairy grama
Bouteloua hirsuta

Allegheny spurge
Pachysandra procumbens

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Native landscaping plants for Sherman, Texas
December 19, 2007 - We are starting from scratch on landscaping our new yard. We live in Sherman, TX and I would like to use plants and flowers that are native to Texas and have a good chance of surviving. What are you...
view the full question and answer

Trimming bloom stalks of iris
April 15, 2008 - Mr. Smarty: I live in Nevada, and have some very beautiful Iris plants. They have all blossomed and now I am left with stems. Is there any way I can cut them back so they blossom again? If so how shou...
view the full question and answer

Need plants beneficial or attractive to bees in Dripping Springs, TX
January 27, 2014 - Can you provide a specific list of plants beneficial or attractive to honey bees in the Texas Hill Country (we raise bees in Dripping Springs, TX.) Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Low Groundcovers for Pennsylvania
September 18, 2015 - Hi Mr Smarty Plants, I'm looking for a low growing grass or ground cover for an area that is between my neighbors horse fence and mine it is about 2 feet wide 30 ft long. It is impossible to mow and ...
view the full question and answer

Patience pays off with chile pequin in Austin
September 24, 2011 - Hello. Re my June 08, 2011 message -- Guess what! The chile pequin is finally flowering and setting fruit in its container on my apartment patio. You said patience, you were right, and hooray once aga...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center