Planting slopes

Wed. Apr. 3, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Planting slopes

If you’ve ever had to push a lawn mower up a hill you’ve probably thought, what can I plant to get out of this horrendous chore!  You’re not alone, folks are always asking about what they can plant on slopes.


That’s a tough one.  You’re looking for plants to prevent soil erosion and yet the site is usually difficult to work on for anything including maintenance.  Adding a mix of shrubs, grasses, perennials and hardscape items is work, but worth it.  Think about your budget too!

Take a peek at Garden Aesthetics – dilemmas.  There’s some great information.

If you don’t mind a wilder look, there are some native grasses that look great. Think of the habitat you’re providing!!

Sideoats grama , is the smallest of the grasses I would suggest at 1 to 2 feet tall, it has pretty seed stalks that hang to one side.

Sideoats Grama
Sideoats grama flowers

Canada wild rye grows 2 to 4 feet tall and spreads quickly by self seeding, it also has a pretty drooping seed head.

Canada wild rye

In the shrub department, fragrant sumac is an option, it spreads easily and has pretty fall color.  A favorite of the highway department is the burning bush, it grows 4 to 8 feet tall, has great looking bark and stunning fall color.

Dwarf burning bush
Fragrant sumac in fall

For sun or shade, the Taunton yew grows 3 to 5 feet tall and spreads easily.  This is one tough shrub. It’s leaves, branches and fruit of the yews are toxic to animals and humans.  Although most people and pets are not really interested in eating it.

Taunton yew

Midwest Gardening has a couple of great articles on other great plants for slopes and a how-to as well!

Selecting plants for slopes

Planting on a slope