Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
2 ratings

Wednesday - February 03, 2010

From: Carlsbad, CA
Region: California
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Shrubs to stabilize steep slope in California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Suggest shrubs to stabilize steep bank that are drought resistant and resistant to too much rain. Cape honeysuckle? oleander? bottle brush? What?

ANSWER:

Tecoma capensis (cape honeysuckle) is a native of  South Africa, Nerium oleander (oleander) is native to the Mediterranean and Asia, and Callistemon sp. (bottlebrush) is native to Australia.  Additionally, oleander is listed in the California Invasive Plant Inventory Database as moderately invasive.  So, since the focus and expertise of the Wildflower Center are with plants native to North America, Mr. Smarty Plants wouldn't recommend ANY of the above plants.  We can, however, recommend plants native to Southern California that will work for you.  Las Pilitas Nursery (with nurseries in Escondido and Santa Margarita) has a very good article called Simple Erosion Control for a Hillside or Garden Slope with suggestions for native plants.  Here are some suggested native plants for your area from us and from that list:

Arctostaphylos patula (greenleaf manzanita)

Artemisia californica (coastal sagebrush)

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus (blueblossom)

Ceanothus leucodermis (chaparral whitethorn)

Salvia sonomensis (creeping sage)

Eriogonum fasciculatum (Eastern Mojave buckwheat)

Diplacus longiflorus (southern bush monkeyflower)

Epilobium canum ssp. angustifolium [syn. Zauschneria californica] (hummingbird trumpet)

You can find more native plants for Southern California on our Recommended—Southern California page.

Here are photos of the above plants from our Image Gallery:


Arctostaphylos patula

Artemisia californica

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus

Ceanothus leucodermis

Salvia sonomensis

Eriogonum fasciculatum

Diplacus longiflorus

Epilobium canum ssp. angustifolium

 

 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Evergreen shrubs for urns at entryway in Midland, Texas
November 16, 2009 - I am looking for plants for large urns at my entry .. prefer something evergreen. The urns are about 3' tall with an opening of 10-12" .. also prefer a plant that is not too bushy or whose roots wi...
view the full question and answer

Savannah Holly True to Seed?
July 03, 2016 - I read your information on Savannah holly. Does this mean that none of the berries will produce a Savannah holly (Ilex x attenuata) but will either be Ilex cassine or Ilex opaca seeds? Thanks so much...
view the full question and answer

Possumhaw losing leaves in Liberty Hill, TX.
July 11, 2011 - I have two female possumhaw trees and one of them is losing its leaves. I planted both of them in February and they were doing very well, getting green and full. What's happening?
view the full question and answer

Low evergreen drought-resistant shrubs for area in partial shade
January 03, 2014 - I promised my mom to help her with some new plants for her house, so here goes. She lives near Waco on Blackland clay soil. The problem area is right in front of the house. It only receives a few hour...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen privacy screen 8 feet or less
January 29, 2016 - In needing to plant an evergreen privacy screen, what is the tallest Ceniza variety? I'm having great difficulty finding an evergreen hedge material 8' or less. After having taken a class in pla...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.