The best plants for hillside landscaping are those that need deep, well-draining soil and can withstand drought. They should also have deep roots and be tolerant of dry conditions. If you’re not building a retaining wall to protect your yard, then you may want to consider planting a low-growing ground cover. These are ideal for small yards, and they grow quickly. This will minimize watering and maintenance requirements.
When choosing the best plant for a hillside, the first thing to consider is the soil and the slope. If your hill is surrounded by clay, you may want to avoid hellebores. This is because clay has very fine granules of soil, and it tends to be acidic. Hellebores, on the other hand, do well in neutral to slightly alkaline soil. A clay slope does not absorb water well and sheds it quickly, resulting in a low water-retention rate. It is best to choose a slope with good drainage to minimize water loss.
For new plants, hellebores can be transplanted and are best started by giving them an inch of water each week. If your hill has a dry winter, you may have to thin the plants and give them more space. Hellebores are drought resistant, but they are susceptible to aphids and downy mildew, so you may need to treat them with neem oil. You can also look out for problems such as black death and leaf spots, which can be treated with a fungicidal treatment.
While the original hellebore is native to China, American breeders began bringing them home to grow in their gardens. Most of the spectacular hybrids available in North America are actually the result of multiple species of hellebores. Although most of these plants were created from seed strains, some are the offspring of open-pollinated plants and controlled crosses that are made each year. You can also plant hybrid hellebores in your garden.
The blue blossoms of the California lilac contrast beautifully with the glossy green foliage. The leaves are small to medium in size and are typically serrated. Some species have spiny holly-like leaves. These plants are extremely versatile and can be planted in full sun or partial shade. This flowering shrub grows to be 15 feet tall at maturity. It’s self-fertile and considered a nitrogen-fixing plant.
The California lilac is a drought-tolerant shrub with beautiful, fragrant blooms in late spring. This shrub can reach up to 10 feet in height, but can also grow as a low groundcover. It tolerates heavy soils better than most upright Ceanothus species, and once established, is relatively drought-tolerant. It’s also a pollinator-friendly plant that can attract a variety of birds and insects.
This drought-tolerant shrub requires deep watering once established. Once established, California lilacs are relatively drought-tolerant but may require additional irrigation during long periods of dry weather. Although California lilacs can tolerate most types of soil, they’ll need good drainage to thrive. Soil that’s too chalky will cause the leaves to yellow. Planting them on mounds will promote fast runoff, and adding organic matter will improve the soil’s drainage.
The Concha shrub can reach a height of eight to ten feet, depending on its size. It’s difficult to transplant, so it’s best to plant it permanently. It will need full sun and well-drained soil. It is also relatively easy to propagate through semi-hardwood cuttings. It’s important to keep in mind that the California lilac is poisonous to deer, but pruning the damaged ends will prevent it from killing it.
You may be wondering why creeping juniper is a good plant to plant on a steep hill. This evergreen tree fills in thickly and beautifies a hillside. This shrub is not just for steep hills though, because it can also be planted near a sidewalk. These plants require plenty of sun and drainage. Despite this, they are still very suitable for almost any type of soil.
There are many types of creeping juniper. Blue Rug is short and low growing, while Wiltonii grows tall and wide. Bar Harbor is native to Maine, and grows to around 3 feet tall. Blue Acres is blue in color and spreads quickly. This plant is great for low-water landscaping and rock gardens. It spreads between four and ten feet.
The soil requirements for creeping juniper are easy. They don’t need special soil, but they do need adequate drainage. They will grow well even in zone 9 but need full sunlight to grow properly. Shaded plants won’t look as healthy and won’t spread as widely as the ones in full sunlight. If you’re planning to grow this plant on a hill, it will be a good choice for your hillside.
When to plant your creeping juniper, make sure you plant it at the appropriate time of the year. Junipers need full sunlight to thrive. Without full sun, many types of juniper will look dull and pale. Once established, however, they will make do with natural watering. A rule of thumb is to water often during the first two years of growth. Then, after that, you can let it dry out on its own.
As a native of the Russian Alps, Siberian cypress is a cold-hardy shrub that can survive temperatures well below freezing. Once established, it thrives in a variety of soil types. Once established, it can tolerate slightly drier soil conditions, as long as the roots remain moist. Mulch is essential, as dry leaves can result in matted leaves or even dieback of evergreen fronds.
A fine-textured evergreen shrub with feathery foliage, the Siberian cypress is a low-growing, shade-tolerant shrub with a low crown and spreading branches. It is native to the Sikhote-Alin mountain range in eastern Russia. Once established, it can tolerate drought well, but should be provided with afternoon shade, especially if growing in hot, humid regions.
Siberian cypress is exceptionally hardy, and grows in zone three and sheltered zones of zone 2. They can rival some of the best-spreading junipers, and don’t suffer from the same diseases and pests. Unlike junipers, they are tolerant of less shade and don’t care too much about soil. They are best in moist, well-drained soil that is not too acidic.
While the Siberian cypress is a relative newcomer to the horticulture world, it has been popular since its discovery in eastern Siberia in 1921. The USSR has kept this plant secret for many years and only revealed its name fifty years later. In the meantime, it has become a staple of the nursery trade. And, despite its cold hardiness, this shrub has become popular worldwide.
Aside from being a drought-tolerant perennial, catmint is also a pollinator favorite and deer-resistant. Catmint is one of the few plants that rarely suffer from leaf spot and diseases, making it the perfect plant for the hillside garden. Once established, catmint will bloom continuously from late spring to fall. It can be divided and transplanted to provide new plant growth without a problem.
Among the many catmint varieties, Catmint hybrids produce dense clusters of indigo blue flowers from stem tips to the base of the plant. Even after the flowers have faded, their rosy calyces remain, extending the plant’s colorful display. This flowering perennial forms a large mound in a sunny spot, and produces blooms for two to three seasons. To keep it looking its best, shear off the dead stems before new growth begins in early summer.
Another choice for a hill garden is ‘Walker’s Low’. Although named for a garden in Ireland, this variety has a similar shape and color to the Six Hills Giant. In Chicago, this plant blooms mid-May to late September and was chosen as the 2007 Perennial Plant of the Year. Catmint is tolerant of drought, so if you live in a region where there is not much water, you can grow a few plants and enjoy the beauty of a hill garden for a long time.
One of the most striking features of Arctostaphylos is its exfoliating bark, which can be highlighted by pruning. Pruning can also help maintain compact growth and density. Generally, pruning is done on old wood and useless twigs at the base of the plant. The main exception to this rule is pruning the plant when it is in its juvenile growth stage. Otherwise, pruning Arctostaphylos is completely unnecessary.
Despite its name, Arctostaphylos can be a beautiful addition to a mountainside or shady area. It is widely planted and has many uses, from accent plants to a lush hedge. This plant will look fantastic in any garden, and will make a great addition to any yard. Choosing a variety will depend on your climate and the style of your garden. If you have a dry, shady area, choose a plant that requires little water.
The ‘Pacific Mist’ variety is a good choice for a shady area because it has light green leaves. Sunset manzanita, for example, is 3 feet tall and 6 feet wide. In California, this plant prefers a shady location and needs a small amount of shade. It’s also quite drought-tolerant, and grows well in adobe soil.