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Erosion Control

Plants that root on slopes can absorb wind and water that erode topsoil.

When selecting plants for erosion control or slope stabilization be sure to consider soil depth and drainage. Areas where erosion control is an issue, soil is usually lacking microorganisms and nutrients or suffering from compaction. Applying compost as mulch can be used as an erosion control material that also enhances soil.

When tilled into the surface, compost modifies the physical soil properties, improving water-holding ability and resistance to compaction. The microorganisms in compost aid in the formation of soil aggregates, the building blocks of good soil structure. Spaces in the aggregates allow water to percolate the soil and air to reach plant roots. When soil particles aggregate together, they are less likely to erode during rainstorms.

In clay soils, compost reduces the bulk density and increases the porosity, thus improving the exchange of air and water through the soil. In sandy soils, compost increases the water-holding capacity and soil aggregation.

  • If you cannot amend the soil of the entire slope, amend it a hole at a time.
  • Fast growing species that have spreading root systems will “hold” the soil in place quicker.

Ornamental grasses offer a variety of design ideas and options to planting a slope. Recommended ground covers for erosion control includes: Ajuga (sun & shade), Ceratostigma plumbaginoides (Sun or light shade), Chrysogonum virginianum (light shade), Convallari majallisa (shade), Dianthus gratianopolitanus (sun), Dryopteris erythrosora (Part sun to full shade), Epimedium (Sun or light shade), Euonymus (sun & shade), Hedera (sun & shade), Hypericum (sun or light shade), Lamiastrum (sun & shade), Lantana (sun), Liriope muscari (sun & shade), Liriope spicata (sun & shade), Mazus (sun), Ophipogon japonicus (sun & shade), Pachysandra (shade), Phlox subulata (sun), Rubus (sun), Santolina chamaecyparissus (sun), Trachelospermum jasminoides (sun & shade), Vinca major (sun & shade):

  • Liriope muscari 'Classic Blue'

    Liriope muscari 'Classic Blue' (2.5 inch pot)

    Liriope muscari 'Classic Blue'Ingwersen Lily TurfLiriope muscari 'Classic Blue' (a.k.a.'Ingwersen') has ½" wide, green leaf blades. Blooms profusely with long, full, lavender flower spikes mid-Summer. Classic Blue Liriope stays in clump form. It...

    $2.37
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  • Phlox s. 'Eye Shadow'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Phlox s. 'Eye Shadow' PPAF (25) BR Plants

    Phlox s. 'Eye Shadow' PPAF (25) Bare Root Plants Common Name: Creeping Phlox, Moss PinksCreeping Phlox are a classic harbinger of spring, exploding with color as a sign that the final days of winter are past. 'Eye Shadow' forms a mound of bright green,...

    $167.40
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  • Ophiopogon p. 'Arabicus' (3.5 inch pot)

    Ophiopogon p. 'Arabicus' (3.5 inch pot)

    Ophiopogon p. 'Arabicus'aka 'Ebony Knight' and 'Nigrescens'Common Name: mondo grassType: Herbaceous perennialFamily: AsparagaceaeZone: 6 to 9Height: 0.75 to 1.00 feetSpread: 0.75 to 1.00 feetBloom Time: July to AugustBloom Description: PinkSun: Full sun...

    $9.34
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  • Rubus calycinoides

    Rubus calycinoides (3.5 inch pot)

    Rubus hayata-koidzumii is better known (incorrectly) as Rubus calcinoides. Common names: Creeping Raspberry, Crinkle-leaf Creeper, Taiwanese Creeping Rubus, Creeping Bramble, and Emerald Carpet. Sun to Medium Shade Zones 6 to 9Grows 3 to 6 inches high...

    $4.06
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  • Phlox subulata 'Snowflake'

    Phlox subulata 'Snowflake' (3.5 inch pot)

    Phlox subulata 'Snowflake' Common name: Phlox-Creeping, Moss Pinks. Zones 2 to 9. Full sun. Plants reach 4 to 6 inches tall and 12 to 18 inches wide; spreading, mat-forming habit. Growth rate: Moderate, easy to grow. 'Snowflake' forms a short, tight,...

    $4.06
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  • Phlox subulata 'Red Wing'

    Phlox subulata 'Red Wing' (3.5 inch pot)

    Phlox subulata 'Red Wing' Common name: Phlox-Creeping, Moss Pinks. Zones 2 to 9. Full sun. Plants reach 4 to 6 inches tall and 12 to 18 inches wide; spreading, mat-forming habit. Growth rate: Moderate, easy to grow. This compact variety forms a short,...

    $4.06
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  • Phlox subulata 'Purple Beauty'

    Phlox subulata 'Purple Beauty' (3.5 inch pot)

    Phlox subulata 'Purple Beauty' Flower Colour Mauve/Lilac Blooming Time Mid SpringLate Spring Foliage Color Deep Green Plant Uses ; Characteristics Alpine ; RockContainersDrought TolerantEdgingEvergreenGround CoverWild Flower Click here for more ordering...

    $4.06
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  • Phlox subulata 'Candy Stripe'

    Phlox subulata 'Candy Stripe' (3.5 inch pot)

    Phlox subulata 'Candy Stripe' a/k/a Moss Phlox. Zone: 3 to 9. Full sun to filtered sun.Mature size: 6 to 8 inch height; spreads 2 feet. Fragrant, pink and white stripe flowers atop a dense carpet of needle-like foliage. Colorful and compact, creeping...

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  • Phlox subulata 'Blue Emerald'

    Phlox subulata 'Blue Emerald' (3.5 inch pot)

    Phlox subulata 'BlueEmerald' Common Name: Creeping Phlox or Moss Phlox.Zones 3 to 9; Full sun to partial shade. Colorful and compact, creeping Phlox can reach 6 inches in height and spread out 2 feet, creating a thick mat of evergreen to semi-evergreen...

    $4.06
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  • Ophiopogon japonicus 'Nana'

    Ophiopogon japonicus 'Nana' (bare root plant)

    Ophiopogon japonicus 'Nana' dwarf mondo grass, dwarf lily turf, snakebeard Zones 6 to 10; Filtered sun or deep shade. Mature size 2 to 3 inches height, forms a dense grass-like groundcover. Dark green, very fine, grass-like leaves emerge in clumps from...

    $1.46
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  • Mazus reptans (3.5 inch pot)

    Mazus reptans (3.5 inch pot)

    Mazus reptans blue a/k/a Creeping mazus, Blue mazus. Zone: 4 to 8, may need to mulch or protection in zone 4 and 5. Full sun to part shade. Mature size: 3 inch height, quick spreading groundcover. Narrow, bright green leaves form a dense, foliage...

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  • Mazus reptans 'Alba'

    Mazus reptans 'Alba' (3.5 inch pot)

    Mazus reptans 'Albus'a/k/a Creeping mazus, White mazus. Zone: 4 to 8, may need to mulch or protection in zone 4 and 5. Full sun to part shade.Mature size: 3 inch height, quick spreading groundcover. Narrow, bright green leaves form a dense, foliage...

    $4.06
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  • Liriope spicata

    Liriope spicata (bare root plant)

    Liriope spicata a/k/a Creeping lilyturf Zones 4 to 10; Full sun, filtered sun or deep shade. Mature size 10 to 16 inches height, forms a dense grass-like groundcover. Spreads quickly by underground rhizomes to form colonies, and can be somewhat...

    $1.46
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  • Liriope spicata

    Liriope spicata (3.5 inch pot)

    Liriope spicata a/k/a Creeping lilyturf Zones 4 to 10; Full sun, filtered sun or deep shade. Mature size 10 to 16 inches height, forms a dense grass-like groundcover. Spreads quickly by underground rhizomes to form colonies, and can be somewhat...

    $3.58
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  • Liriope muscari 'Variegata'

    Liriope muscari 'Variegata' (3.5 inch pot)

    Liriope muscari 'Variegata' - Flat Variegated Lilyturf, Border Grass, Blue Lilyturf Zones 5 to 10; Full sun, filtered sun or deep shade. Mature size 10 to 16 inches height, forms a dense grass-like groundcover. Evergreen, clump-forming perennial with...

    $3.93
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  • Liriope muscari 'Variegata'

    Liriope muscari 'Variegata' (2.5 inch pot)

    Liriope muscari 'Variegata' - Flat Variegated Lilyturf, Border Grass, Blue Lilyturf Zones 5 to 10; Full sun, filtered sun or deep shade. Mature size 10 to 16 inches height, forms a dense grass-like groundcover. Evergreen, clump-forming perennial with...

    $2.61
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  • Liriope muscari 'Royal Purple'

    Liriope muscari 'Royal Purple' (bare root plant)

    Liriope muscari 'Royal Purple' Big Blue Lilyturf Zones 5 to 10; Full sun, filtered sun or deep shade. Mature size: 14 to 20 inches height,forms a dense grass-like groundcover. Evergreen, clump-forming perennial displays narrow blade-like, green foliage...

    $1.70
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  • Liriope muscari 'Royal Purple' (3.5 inch pot)

    Liriope muscari 'Royal Purple' (3.5 inch pot)

    Liriope muscari 'Royal Purple' Big Blue Lilyturf Zones 5 to 10; Full sun, filtered sun or deep shade. Mature size: 14 to 20 inches height,forms a dense grass-like groundcover. Evergreen, clump-forming perennial displays narrow blade-like, green foliage...

    $3.70
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  • Liriope muscari 'Big Blue'

    Liriope muscari 'Big Blue' (bare root plant)

    Liriope muscari 'Big Blue' Big Blue Lilyturf Zones 5 to 10; Full sun to dense shade. Mature size 12 to 18 inches height, clump forms a dense grass-like groundcover. Evergreen, clump-forming perennial displays wide blade-like, dark green foliage. Dense...

    $1.46
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  • Liriope muscari 'Big Blue'

    Liriope muscari 'Big Blue' (3.5 inch pot)

    Liriope muscari 'Big Blue' Big Blue Lilyturf Zones 5 to 10; Full sun to dense shade. Mature size 12 to 18 inches height, clump forms a dense grass-like groundcover. Evergreen, clump-forming perennial displays wide blade-like, dark green foliage. Dense...

    $3.58
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  • Liriope muscari 'Big Blue'

    Liriope muscari 'Big Blue' (2.5 inch pot)

    Liriope muscari 'Big Blue' Big Blue Lilyturf Zones 5 to 10; Full sun to dense shade. Mature size 12 to 18 inches height, clump forms a dense grass-like groundcover. Evergreen, clump-forming perennial displays wide blade-like, dark green foliage. Dense...

    $2.37
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  • Lantana 'New Gold'

    Lantana 'New Gold' (3.5 inch pot)

    Lantana x. 'New Gold' Zones (7) 9 to 11, Full Sun. Mature size can reach 12 to 15 inches tall and 2 feet wide ;sub shrub-like growth habit. Dense clusters of brilliant golden yellow flowers. Numerous, 1 to 1-1/2 inch flower blossoms cover dark green...

    $4.06
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  • Lamiastrum g. 'Variegatum'

    Lamiastrum g. 'Variegatum' (3.5 inch pot)

    Lamiastrum galeobdolon 'Variegatum' a/k/a Yellow Archangel Zones 3 to 9; Sun to partial sun. Mature size can reach 10 to 15 inches height, mounding 2 to 3 feet wide. Semi-evergreen, shiny silver variegated foliage forms a radiating clump which may...

    $4.18
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  • Juniperus procumbens 'Nana'

    Juniperus procumbens 'Nana' (3.5 inch pot)

    Juniperus procumbens 'Nana' Dwarf Japanese Garden Juniper Zone: 4 - 9 Evergreen Height: 1 foot Width: 4-5 feet Sun or Shade Very short, ground hugging juniper Dense mound of branches that radiate from the center New growth is bright green turning to...

    $5.75
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  • Juniperus h. 'Wiltonii'

    Juniperus h. 'Wiltonii' (3.5 inch pot)

    Juniperus h. 'Wiltonii' Blue Rug JuniperEvergreen Common Name: creeping juniper Type: Needled evergreen Family: Cupressaceae Zone: 3 to 9 Height: 4 to 6 inches Spread: 6 to 8 feet Sun: Full sun Water: Medium Maintenance: Low Trailing juniper has a...

    $4.54
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  • Juniperus c. 'Blue Pacific'

    Juniperus c. 'Blue Pacific' (3.5 inch pot)

    Juniperus c. 'Blue Pacific' Blue Pacific Shore JuniperCommon Name: shore juniper Type: Needled evergreen Family: Cupressaceae Zone: 6 to 9 Height: 6 to 12 inches Spread: 4 to 6 feet Sun: Full sun Water: Medium Maintenance: Low Use: Ground Cover,...

    $4.54
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  • Hypericum calycinum (3.5 inch pot)

    Hypericum calycinum (3.5 inch pot)

    Hypericum calycinum 'St. Johns Wort' a/k/a Aaron's beard, creeping St. John's wort Zones: 5/6 to 9/10; Full sun to part shade. Mature size can reach 12 to 24 inches height; semi-evergreen subshrub or shrublet. Leaves emerges chartreuse-bronzed, but...

    $4.18
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  • Hedera helix 'English'

    Hedera helix 'English' (3.5 inch pot)

    Hedera helix 'English' Zones 4 to 10; Sun to filtered sun, and tolerates deep shade. Mature size can reach 12 to 18 inches height. Leaves are dark green with white veins, waxy to leathery, and arranged alternately along the stem. Leaf forms include a 3...

    $3.58
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  • Euonymus f. 'Coloratus'

    Euonymus f. 'Coloratus' (bare root plant)

    Euonymus fortunei 'Coloratus' a/k/a Japanese Euonymus, purple leaf wintercreeper, wintercreeper euonymus, purple wintercreeper euonymus Zone: 4 to 9. Sun to Shade. Mature size: 8 to 24 inches height; fast spreading, vine-like growth.Extremely hardy,...

    $1.56
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  • Euonymus f. 'Coloratus'

    Euonymus f. 'Coloratus' (3.5 inch pot)

    Euonymus fortunei 'Coloratus' a/k/a Japanese Euonymus, purple leaf wintercreeper, wintercreeper euonymus, purple wintercreeper euonymus Zone: 4 to 9. Sun to Shade. Mature size: 8 to 24 inches height; fast spreading, vine-like growth.Extremely hardy,...

    $3.83
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  • Euonymus f. 'Coloratus'

    Euonymus f. 'Coloratus' (2.5 inch pot)

    Euonymus fortunei 'Coloratus' a/k/a Japanese Euonymus, purple leaf wintercreeper, wintercreeper euonymus, purple wintercreeper euonymus Zone: 4 to 9. Sun to Shade. Mature size: 8 to 24 inches height; fast spreading, vine-like growth.Extremely hardy,...

    $2.48
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  • Euonymus f. 'Acutus' (2.5 inch pot)

    Euonymus f. 'Acutus' (2.5 inch pot)

    Euonymus f. 'Acutus' Wintercreeper Zones: 5 - 9.Full sun to partial shade Evergreen, trailing groundcover with 1" - 1 1/2" leaves. Only new growth turns purple in fall. Mature height 1' - 2'. Flower Color: White. Bloom Time: Late winter to early spring...

    $2.48
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  • Dryopteris ludoviciana

    Dryopteris ludoviciana (3.5 inch pot)

    Dryopteris ludoviciana - Southern Shield Fern aka Aspidium ludovicianum, D. floridana, Nephrodium floridanum, Florida Shield Fern, Southern Wood Fern Zone: 6a to 9b Height: 2-4 ft Width: 1-2 ft Evergreen For part-shade to shade. Semi-evergreen fronds...

    $4.90
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  • Dianthus g. 'Firewitch'

    Dianthus g. 'Firewitch' (3.5 inch pot)

    Dianthus 'Firewitch' CHEDDAR PINK Zones 3 to 8. Full sunMature size: 6 to 8 inches tall, spreads to 12 inches wide. Low-growing, compact ground cover. Magenta pink, serrated edged petals appear in mass above silvery-blue evergreen foliage. Heavy late...

    $4.35
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  • Dianthus g. 'Fire Star'

    Dianthus g. 'Fire Star' PP14895 (3.5 inch pot)

    Dianthus 'Fire Star' PP14895 Zones 5 to 9.FullSun to partial sun. Mature height is 8 inches. Space 8 to 12 inches apart.Vigorous growth rate, for a dianthus. Fire red flowers with a crimson eye have the spicy scent of cloves. These bright flowers shine...

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  • Dianthus g. 'Bath's Pink' (3.5 inch pot)

    Dianthus g. 'Bath's Pink' (3.5 inch pot)

    Dianthus gratianopolitans 'Bath's Pink' Common Name: Cheddar Pinks Zones: 3 to 9 Flower height reaches to 10 inches. Low-growing, spreading, dense mounds of grassy, blue-green, linear foliage and numerous, fringed, reblooming, fragrant, soft pink, 1 inch...

    $4.35
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  • Chrysogonum v. 'Pierre' (3.5 inch pot)

    Chrysogonum v. 'Pierre' (3.5 inch pot)

    Chrysogonum virginianum 'Pierre' aka Golden Star, Green and goldZone: 5 to 9. Sun to Shade, usually requires moist soil in full sun. Mature size: 3 to 4 inches tall; mat-forming with moderate growth rate. Shiny, deep green foliage; with one-inch,...

    $4.18
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  • Ceratostigma plumbaginoides

    Ceratostigma plumbaginoides (3.5 inch pot)

    Ceratostigma plumbaginoides 'PLUMBAGO' a/k/a Dwarf Plumbago, Leadwort, Chinese Leadwort, Blue Ceratostigma. Zone: 5 to 9, may not be reliably winter hardy throughout Zone 5. Full sun to part shade. Mature size: 9 to 12 inch height,semi-evergreen, wiry,...

    $4.18
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  • Ajuga r 'Catlin's Giant'

    Ajuga r 'Catlin's Giant' (3.5 inch pot)

    Ajuga reptans 'Catlins Giant' a/k/a Giant Carpet Bugle, Carpenter's Herb, Comfrey, Creeping Bugleweed, Catlin's Carpet Bugle, Sicklewort.Zone (3)4 to 9, Sun or shade.Mature foliage height 5 to 7 inch, maybe 10 inches. Larger than other Ajugas;fast...

    $4.06
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  • Ajuga r. 'Burgundy Glow'

    Ajuga r. 'Burgundy Glow' (3.5 inch pot)

    Ajuga reptans 'Burgundy Glow' a/k/a Carpenters Herb, Comfrey, Creeping Bugleweed, Creeping Carpet Bugle, Sicklewort Zone 3 to 9, maybe 3 to 10 Sun or partial shade (morning sun only). Mature foliage height 3 to 4 inch; fast growing groundcover...

    $4.06
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  • Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip'

    Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip' (3.5 inch pot)

    Ajuga "Chocolale Chip" a/k/a Carpenters Herb, Comfrey, Creeping Bugleweed,Creeping Carpet Bugle, SicklewortZone 4 to 9, maybe 3 to 10,Sun to full shade, at least 3 to 4 hours of sun for best foliage color .Mature foliage height 3 to 4 inch; dwarf habit...

    $4.06
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  • Phlox subulata 'Blue Emerald'

    Phlox subulata 'Blue Emerald' (25) BR Plants

    Phlox subulata 'Blue Emerald' Common name: Phlox-Creeping, Moss Pinks. Zones 2 to 9. Full sun. Plants reach 4 to 6 inches tall and 12 to 18 inches wide; spreading, mat-forming habit. Growth rate: Moderate, easy to grow. 'Blue Emerald' has delicate...

    $159.80
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  • Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Niger'

    Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Niger' (30)ct Flat

    Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Niger' (30) Flat a/k/a: Black mondo grass, black lilyturf, snakebeard;f/k/a O. nigrescens 'Black Dragon'. Zones 5 to 9; may need a protected location in Zone 5 and 6A. Full sun to partial shade, part shade is probably the best to...

    $220.12
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