huge slope!!!! need groundcover! which invasive?

aluminexApril 11, 2011

I was looking for some suggestions on possible ground cover for a huge slope I have in my yard. /zone6/invasive/

The slope drops off on the east side of my lawn about 70 degrees and into a ditch. Each year weeds are ramped on the slope and I can't even manage to climb the majority of the hill to weed-eat it. It's simply to steep! I have been doing some research on groundcover and finally decided to post in hopes of finding someone with a similar experience.

I live in zone 6 and the area would be 1/2 shade - 1/2 sun! I would like something that is extremely invasive and hearty! I know I will need to maintain weeds in this area occasionally but again I don't enjoy the thought of climbing this hill and falling into a ditch.

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I'd suggest a cotoneaster. These are woody, mostly evergreen GC's (hardy to zone 5) that spread a large distance and tend to be highly recommended for slope stabilization. They tolerate a range of soil and light conditions, are very drought tolerant once established and require virtually no maintenance. They also attract wildlife - bees flock to them when they bloom and they produce berries for the birds.

Cotoneaster dammeri is one of the most common GC forms of cotoneaster. If you can find it, the cultivar 'Eichholz' has one of the widest spreads - 6-8' for an individual plant. The closer the spacing, the faster the fill but this is recommended at 1-2 plants per square yard of land.

You will need to weed a bit until the plants become estabished and start to spread. Mulching after planting will help to reduce this.

FWIW, most GC's are not considered 'invasive' in the proper sense of the word, which implies a non-native plant that escapes cultivation to colonize natural areas and chokes out native habitat. What you are really looking for is an aggressive spreader and cotoneaster fits the bill.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 11:40AM
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marquest(z5 PA)

Bishopweed (Aegopodium podagraria 'Variegatum), and Chameleon plant (Houttuynia cordata) are aggressive. If you do a search everybody hates both of these plants because they are aggressive.

I used the bishopweed on a slop at a previous house. It was a slop that lead down to a cement area and I could not climb down to weed or mow.

I have Cotoneaster dammeri on a hillside at my present house but I can get down and weed in that area because it is not as steep as my other house, the dandelions, mustard and some ugly evil prickly weed still grows.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 12:48PM
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Both the Bishop's weed and houttunyia are herbaceous groundcovers, meaning they die back to the ground in winter, so less than ideal choices both for slope stabilization or for weed control. They DO spread quite aggressively under proper growing conditions, however :-)

I'd really focus on an evergreen groundcover.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 8:30AM
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Try english ivy!!!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 6:27PM
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Try crownvetch. You may have to purchase seed not plants.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 6:46AM
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jerseygirl07603 z6NJ

St. John's Wort! I had no idea how invasive it would be in my perennial border. As I struggled to remove it, I thought, hey, this would be a great groundcover for a difficult slope. And it's semi evergreen.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 8:05AM
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mistascott(7A VA)

The reason Crown Vetch is not sold as a plant anymore is because it is highly invasive. It is also deciduous, so the slope will not look attractive in winter. There are superior alternatives out there for erosion control including moss phlox (evergreen) and cotoneasters (some species evergreen).

Here is a link that might be useful: Crown Vetch

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 6:21PM
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