Steep slope, sandy soil , part shade

carol23_gwJuly 18, 2012

I've been volunteering at a public garden with a woodland area designated exclusively for native plants. Some areas have sandy soil. What could be planted on a slope to stop erosion and hold the soil? Are there Pycnanthemum that would grow with minimal direct sunlight and mostly shade? Any thoughts? Plants growing there now include Virginia creeper. There are also oxeye daisies and Commelina which need to be removed but not before we have a replacement. Would Chrysogonum work?

I donated Lobelia cardinalis for an area that is not on a slope and is in sun and they do not seem to like the sandy soil.

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lycopus(z5 NY)

Carex pensylvanica will probably do what you want. There are also more bunching sedges like C. radiata, C. rosea, and C. appalachica that could be used to help hold soil. Then you could mix in forbs that like sandy soil and part shade such as lupines.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 11:45PM
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Thank you for the suggestion. I have emailed the person in charge so we can begin to search for a plant source.
I've seen plants in a very sandy ( white sand) area of PA but most was in full sun and there were many blueberries, Kalmia and some Viola pedata. It was part of the state game lands.

I would like to know if there is a list of shade tolerant natives that like sandy soil.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 7:19AM
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lycopus(z5 NY)

Don't know of such a list but going through some photos taken on some old dunes in IL (sandy soil in shade) I came up with the following that might work (pardon any spelling errors):

Geranium maculatum
Viola pubescens
Podophyllum peltatum
Maianthemum canadense
Maianthemum stellatum
Anemone cylindrica
Lithospermum canescens
Viola sororia
Smilax ecirrhata
Pedicularis canadensis
Viola sagittata
Phlox pilosa
Fragaria virginiana
Viola pedatifida
Viola pedata
Zizea aurea
Osmorhiza longistylis
Lupinus perennis
Anemone canadensis
Allium canadense
Coreopsis lanceolata
Tradescantia ohioensis
Oxalis violacea
Campanulastrum americanum

Then some from the pine barrens of new jersey

Kalmia latifolia
Vaccinium angustifolium
Vaccinium pallidum
Gaultheria procumens
Comptonia perigrina
Helianthemum canadense
Leucothoe racemosa
Pteridium aquilinum

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 8:33PM
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Thank you so much! That is an extensive list.
I love Comptonia and that would do well on the sunny side of that bank.
We have Viola pedata in the sandy area with sun. The steep slope bank is beyond that area.

I like the idea of Maianthemum , too, as well as many others.
That list will surely fill a lot of holes and make for a much more interesting planting. Further down the bank in the shade are some ferns growing by large rocks.

Your having observed so many plants in their native habitats is so helpful!
I am grateful for your experience and the time you spent helping me. ( and our public garden)


    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 8:58PM
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interesting thread!

re Lobelia is native where i live (Ozarks) and can be found in part shade to sun exposures on bottom areas where the soil is a bit richer, more organic matter so holds also grows along stream banks in half sun.

the combo of sun and sandy soil is probably way too dry for it.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 8:16PM
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