In addition to grasses and shrubs, the best plants for erosion control on slopes are those that hold soil in place. Here, we’ll examine European dune grass, Beach strawberry, and Chenault coralberry. Read on for more information! Also, read about the benefits of each of these plants. These species have different levels of soil retention and can improve the aesthetics of a slope while controlling erosion.
Eastern red cedars
When it comes to erosion control on slopes, eastern red cedars are one of the most effective plants. These trees are able to grow on a variety of soils, including calcareous and nutrient-poor soils. They are particularly effective in recovering soils after they have been eroded or in areas that are highly acidic. Eastern red cedars have numerous cultivars that differ in their appearance and characteristics, including the overall tree shape and color of the female cones. In addition to their adaptability to a variety of conditions, planting success is increased if the seeds are collected from a nearby area. Additionally, if the seeds are collected in the fall, scarification is necessary.
This species has a sex ratio of about one:one. The ratio is sometimes higher, due to harsh conditions. Regardless of the ratio, however, if it’s the correct tree to use, it will be more effective. If properly managed, eastern red cedars can dramatically reduce erosion and help protect slopes from flooding. However, they may also pose a threat to livestock and livelihoods if they aren’t controlled.
European dune grass
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Soil Conservation Service uses European dune grass to stabilize slopes in the Pacific Northwest. The grass is a native to Europe and is an effective sand binder and dune builder. Several species of Ammophila are effective in erosion control, including the European dune grass Ammophila arenaria and the American beach grass Ammophila angustifolia. However, both are aggressive invaders in some climate zones and have reduced species diversity in others.
The species grows most vigorously on open sand dunes. It can tolerate broad diurnal temperature differences. It prefers sand dunes above the water table. Its roots reach depths of two to five meters and are very deep. It is not suitable for steep slopes and older dunes are more susceptible to wind erosion. In order to achieve the best erosion control, A. arenaria should be planted in small patches.
Spinifex plants are native to Australia and New Zealand. They form roots at the nodes of the plant and are able to colonize dune ridges. Their upright shoots help to reduce surface wind velocity and accumulate sand. They are best suited for low-angle dune faces and are tolerant of high winds and salt spray. They also tolerate drought.
The Beach strawberry is an attractive groundcover that grows low to the ground, spreading by rhizomes. It produces a small, white flower in spring and edible fruit in fall. Beach strawberries are drought tolerant and spread by runners, making them a good choice for sloping areas. This plant is not bee-friendly and will overrun other plants in a garden. The Beach strawberry is one of the parent species of the modern strawberry.
A good way to keep soil in place is to mulch heavily. Use mulch to keep the roots cool and suppress weed growth. If you have the space, plant a mix of flowering ground covers, interspersing them with better erosion-busters. Remember to stagger the flower displays so that the groundcover does not go bare for long periods of time. Adding a few smaller, native plants can break up the mass of beach strawberry and a larger, more effective erosion-buster plant.
Another option for controlling soil erosion is a native shrub. A variety of ferns are excellent erosion-control plants. Big leaf aster is a good choice for the east and west coast. It grows three feet high and is not eaten by deer. A few species of fern are native to the U.S. and are also good erosion-control plants. If you live in an area with a lot of shade, ostrich fern and cinnamon fern are both suitable.
The Chenault coralberry is an excellent groundcover plant for sloping areas. It’s a 2-foot-tall shrub that grows up to 10 feet, producing pink or white fruit and smothering weeds. This plant can tolerate a range of soils and is easily controlled with pruners. It also tolerates partial sunlight. Its fruit is edible and can cause a mild stomach upset if consumed.
The snowberry is another good choice for slopes. It grows in dry shade or part shade, and is disease-free. It grows best on the edges of trees and is suitable for shady sites. Moreover, it will naturalize readily in shaded areas, and will protect the slopes from erosion. The plant also benefits wildlife. Many birds and small mammals use it for food and nesting sites. The University of Texas at Austin’s Wildflower Center records that coralberry attracts large numbers of bees. Pollinator bees will love it!
Another good choice for slopes is the Hancock’s Coralberry. It grows up to 1 foot tall and will form new stems from its roots. In a few years, it can cover a slope up to six feet wide. The shrub will spread quickly, so make sure you choose a location where it won’t be too crowded. It has small, oval leaves that look very attractive in any landscape.
If you are planning to landscape your slope, you must know which plants are good for controlling erosion. Deciduous and evergreen shrubs are excellent erosion control plants. You can also plant vines that spread quickly and need little maintenance once they establish. Trailing geraniums and English ivy are low-maintenance ground covers. If you don’t have time to do the landscaping, you can choose to plant flowering plants. But keep in mind that flowering plants aren’t the best erosion control plant.
When deciding on which plants are best for preventing erosion on a slope, you should consider the kind of soil, the angle of the slope, and the climate. While English ivy is effective for controlling erosion, its shallow roots and lack of a dense mat may cause it to fail. You can plant several different plants on a slope to increase their root mass. This will help stabilize the soil and help prevent erosion.
If you’re planting a sunny slope, you can plant cotoneaster. This beautiful perennial offers year-round interest and is ideal for pollinators and birds. There are several species to choose from, including Rockspray cotoneaster, willow leaf cotoneaster, and ostrich fern. The best type of cotoneaster to plant will grow from one to two feet tall and between two and three feet wide. The foliage of these plants protects soil and adds to the beauty of the slope. Choose plants a few feet apart in USDA zones three through eight.
For most soil conditions, the Apache plume is the best plant for erosion control on slopes. It can tolerate full sun, but it can also thrive in partial shade. The reflected heat from the sun promotes the growth of this plant. This is an excellent choice for slopes and other areas where soil erosion control is necessary. To ensure a healthy plant, water it once every two or three weeks.
This native shrub grows 2 to 6 feet tall and is easy to identify. It has grayish-white pubescent stems and small white flowers. It grows well in sandy loam, clay soils, and rocky areas. Moreover, it is very drought-resistant. It is an excellent plant for slopes and is ideal for the rocky, sand, and clay soils of the Southwest.
This shrub is a major browse species in the Trans-Pecos shrub savanna and provides shelter for ground-birds and small mammals. In addition, this plant attracts house finches, blue grosbeaks, and varied buntings. Hence, the Apache plume is the best plant for slope erosion control on slopes. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance plant for slopes, this plant may be your best bet.
For a tough slope, you may want to look into the ostrich fern. Its thick roots will quickly cover bare slopes. It can grow to 3 feet tall and doesn’t attract deer. Growing in USDA zones three to eight, ostrich ferns can thrive in any soil type. The foliage of St. John’s wort can protect wet slopes, and the berries are a great source of food for hummingbirds.
The best plants for slopes will have a strong root system, spreading foliage, and resistance to deer eating. They will also be vigorous and resistant to eroding conditions. These plants should strike a balance between function and beauty. While they might be attractive to look at, a plant that is aggressive can become a major maintenance nightmare. If you’re unsure of which plants are best for a slope, consult with your local Cooperative Extension System office or garden center.
There are several native plants that are suitable for shady slopes. Coir fiber, shredded redwood, and white alder are all effective groundcovers for shady slopes. They tend to grow tall and tolerate a wide range of lighting conditions. Sweet-smelling blooms are particularly appealing in shady locations. Other native plants for slopes are black-eyed stella, flowering dogwood, and yellow alder.