What would be some good full-sun groundcover or perennials for a sloping hillside? The first 25 feet of the hillside is rather flat but becomes rather steep and that part is not mowable. The steep part I need ideas to help with erosion control.
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Kathy: Planting on a slope can be tricky but if you choose the right plant material it will help with erosion and keep the maintenance down on your part in terms of mowing. There are a variety of sedums (also known as stonecrop) that would work well in your situation. They are all sun lovers that are available as groundcovers as well as taller perennials and once established are very low maintenance. They are succulents and will not require as much moisture as other plants. Other options for the steeper space include lower growing juniper such as ‘Grey Owl,’ vinca, lysmachia, ivy, plumbago, and perennial thyme. Ornamental grasses would be a good option for the first 25 feet as well as Russian sage or an assortment of sun-loving perennials. Visit your local garden center to see what is available. Erosion control does not seem to be much of an issue for the first 25 feet so choosing plants for this space will not be as limited as they will for the sloping area. As with all plantings, they will need a little more attention on your part for the first growing season. Additional moisture is needed to help them establish a healthy root system, which will help keep the soil intact and then maintaining the space will be much easier than mowing.