Shrubs for Slopes

bob64(6)November 13, 2006

The November-December 2006 issue of Fine Gardening has an article reccommending the following shrubs for slopes: Cutleaf Stephanandra, Dwarf Forsythia, Golden St. John's Wort, Winter Jasmine, "Texas Scarlet" Flowering Quince, Chenault Coralberry, "Grow-Low" Sumac, "Sixteen Candles" Summersweet (Clethra Alnifolia).

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lovelycherry(Z7 Long Island)


    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 8:40AM
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I should have mentioned that I am not necessarily reccommending these shrubs myself. Some are not native and possibly invasive. I would be particularly wary of the coralberry which is a honeysuckle type shrub. Just sharing the info.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 8:56AM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

Thanks for the list, I'll have to check into some of them. I have the "Sunburst" St. Johns Wort on a modest slope and it does very well - it also has a nice rounded form so it looks great from the bottom or the top and is covered with yellow blooms for weeks.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 11:30PM
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lovelycherry(Z7 Long Island)

I looked at the flowering quince, the Sixteen Candles the coralberry and liked them very much.
I see we are all in the same zone..

does the St John's attract bees and butterflies?

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 3:53PM
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I know I brought it up but please don't use the coralberry. Non-native honeysuckle shrubs are major invaders.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 8:27AM
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lovelycherry(Z7 Long Island)

Don't worry bob.. I will check the plants attributes before I plant anything. I don't have any money to spend on plants and most of them would require ordering. But I do love to dream.
Thanks for caring, Cherry

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 12:13PM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

Bob, I thought the coral honeysuckle was a non-invasive cultivar ... I found a couple of sites that indicated it wasn't. Have you heard otherwise?

Here are a couple of links about the coral honeysuckle....

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 7:58PM
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I am just paranoid about non-native honeysuckle shrubs as I am battling an invasion of various types now. You did the right thing and researched the plant.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 8:45PM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

I feel your pain Bob, I'm battling japanese honeysuckle and I'm afraid I am loosing the battle. I also have russian olive and multi-flora rose that is taking over.

And you do have to research the plants - don't count on what the seller tells you. I bought some "sterile" loosestrife for a boggy area from a local nursery. Later I discovered that sterile only meant it wouldn't produce seeds but it could still cross-pollinate with the invasive varieties so I got rid of it.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 7:32PM
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You have nothing to fear from the Symphoricarpus. S. xchenaultii is a hybrid of two native species (Snowberry or coralberry are excellent native plants) and it makes a particularly attractive, low growing spreader. It shares none of the unpleasant characteristics of Lonicera (to which it is ony distantly related) and is in fact recommended as an alternative planting to a number of exotic invasives.

While they don't always hit the mark 100% of the time, Fine Gardening is a very well-respected publication and they do do their research on invasives before making recommendations. But since invasiveness is always related to specific location, it is always practical (and safe) to do your homework as well.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 8:55AM
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Thanks everyone. I managed to learn something by sharing a little bit of info.
FYI, I dug up and transplanted some staghorn sumacs last year and new ones have grown up from the old site. I guess they really can regenerate from root fragments.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 8:38PM
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madtripper(5/6 Guelph)

So what makes these suggestions better for a hill than any other shrub???

    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 11:40PM
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In addition to being attractive ornamentals, they share the similar characteristics of a low and spreading growth habit, often expanding by suckering or rhizomatous stems. This is one of the features recommended in a plant selected for erosion control. And that low, spreading growth habit provides for visual interest in both looking up or down a slope. They also share a wide hardiness range and an adaptability to a range of planting conditions and are not considered invasive species (although several could be considered rather aggressive spreaders). I would certainly not consider this to be a complete listing of shrubs suitable for hillside or sloped planting, but it's a great place to start for those gardeners who are unfamiliar with a wide range of plants.

One feature they lack that is notable in its omission is that none of these are evergreen.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 5:36AM
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