Ivy vs. Succulents for a hillside in Zone 10?

stinkerbellsmomApril 8, 2008

I live in California, and have a slope covered with well-established ivy (40 years worth). I just purchased the home and was planning to replace the ivy with succulents, however a geologist suggested I keep the ivy because it has deep roots and helps keep the slope stable. I know ivy harbors rats, and I suspect a few rattlesnakes as well, so I'd rather reduce it if I can't totally eliminate it. Any ideas or suggestions? I'd need something with low water requirements as well...

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lovelycherry(Z7 Long Island)

Ivy will not control erosion, that is an old idea. Read the link below, or do your own search.
Native plants would be your best plants. California grasses with deep roots, that don't need lots of water.
Over time you could take some of the ivy out and replace it with natives for your area.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ivy erosion control

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 7:23AM
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lovelycherry(Z7 Long Island)

Try this link as well. Good ideas for your area.

Here is a link that might be useful: Good ideas for California Erosion

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 7:26AM
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Ivy does not root very deeply in my experience. Like any plant it will hold the soil a little bit but not nearly as well as a deep rooting plant.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 8:48AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Ivy may not send roots very deep, but it is a terrible pain to remove!
Good luck!


    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 10:19AM
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Thanks for the links, Lovelycherry - I guess succulents are out (I was told they made a good firebreak though)and ivy is out too. Thanks for the input everyone!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 1:21PM
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Succulents might work but I can't say as I am a northeasterner. If you click around in the link that Lovelycherry provided you will find some pictures and descriptions of native California ground covers that are beautiful.

Regarding succulents, some sort of Prickly Pair cactus is the only succulent that I know to be native or survivable in this area and I don't see it very often. Oh, Yucca is sometimes grown around here but I don't know if that is a true succulent.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 3:11PM
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Succulents may not be the best choice either. In south Orange County, I've seen ice plants slide down slopes like carpet when it rains continuously for a week like it sometimes does.
They are also water hungry. On my slope, I planted acacia redolens, a tap root,wide spreading dense bush with low fuel value and excellent drought resistance when established. I water once a month in the summer, not at all in the winter. No weeds get through either.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 12:21AM
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