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A Guide To The Best Erosion Control Plants For Slopes

Source: Google

Best plants for erosion control on slopes can be a great solution for preventing the erosion of your property. Many different types of plants can be used for this purpose, so choosing the right one for your specific situation is important.

Big Blue Lilyturf

Source: Google

Big blue lilyturf, also known as Liriope muscari, is a popular choice for slope erosion control. 

Key Features

  1. Deep Root System: Big blue lilyturf has a deep root system that helps to anchor the soil and prevent erosion. This is particularly important on slopes where soil erosion can be a major problem.
  2. Low Maintenance: Big blue lilyturf is a low-maintenance plant that requires little attention once established. It is drought-tolerant and can thrive in various soil types, making it an ideal choice for slope erosion control.
  3. Beautiful Appearance: Big blue lilyturf is an attractive plant with long, slender leaves and purple flower spikes that bloom in the late summer. It can add a touch of beauty to a sloping landscape while also serving a functional purpose.
  4. Versatility: Big blue lilyturf can be used in various settings, from residential landscapes to commercial developments. It can also be used with other erosion control measures such as retaining walls and terracing.
  5. Cost-effective: Big blue lilyturf is an affordable option for slope erosion control. It is relatively inexpensive to purchase and requires minimal maintenance, which can save money in the long run.

Creeping Phlox

Source: Google

Creeping phlox (Phlox subulata) is a low-growing, spreading plant that gives excellent protection against erosion:

Key Features:

  1. Ground Cover: Creeping phlox forms a dense mat of foliage that covers the ground, preventing soil erosion. The plant spreads rapidly, forming a thick, weed-resistant ground cover that helps stabilise the soil and protect it from erosion.
  2. Roots: Creeping phlox has a shallow root system that helps anchor the plant to the soil. The roots spread over a wide area, forming a network that holds the soil in place and reduces erosion risk.
  3. Drought Tolerance: Creeping phlox is a drought-tolerant plant, making it well-suited for planting on slopes that receive less water than flat areas. Once established, it can survive periods of dry weather without frequent watering.
  4. Low Maintenance: Creeping phlox is a low-maintenance plant that requires little care once established. It is resistant to pests and diseases and does not need frequent fertilisation. This makes it an ideal choice for planting on slopes where maintenance may be difficult or expensive.
  5. Attractive Flowers: Creeping phlox produces clusters of small, colourful flowers in the spring. These flowers come in various colours, including pink, white, blue, and purple. The flowers are not only attractive but also help to prevent erosion by holding the soil in place.
  6. Wildlife Attraction: Creeping phlox is a favourite of butterflies and other pollinators. The plant’s flowers provide nectar and pollen for these insects, helping to support local wildlife populations.

Creeping Juniper

Source: Google

For several reasons, the creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis) is a popular choice for erosion control on slopes. 

Key Features:

  1. Excellent Ground Cover: Creeping juniper has a low-growing, spreading habit, making it an ideal ground cover for slopes. It forms a dense mat of foliage that helps to hold the soil in place and prevent erosion.
  2. Drought Tolerant: Creeping juniper is a hardy, drought-tolerant plant, which means it can withstand periods of low water availability. This makes it a great choice for slopes, where rainfall tends to run off quickly and not penetrate the soil deeply.
  3. Low Maintenance: Creeping juniper is a low-maintenance plant that requires very little attention once established. It doesn’t need to be mowed or fertilised and is resistant to most pests and diseases.
  4. Attractive Appearance: Creeping juniper has attractive blue-green foliage that adds colour and texture to slopes. It also produces small blueberries that provide food for birds and other wildlife.
  5. Soil Stabilisation: Creeping juniper has a deep, fibrous root system that helps to stabilise soil on slopes. The roots penetrate deep into the soil, holding it in place and reducing erosion risk.
  6. Cold Tolerance: Creeping juniper is hardy and can survive harsh winter conditions. This makes it a good choice for erosion control in areas with cold climates.

Mondo Grass

Source: Google

Mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonicus) is often chosen as one of the best plants for slope erosion control due to its unique characteristics and adaptability to various soil types and growing conditions. 

Key Features: 

  1. Dense root system: Mondo grass has a dense root system that helps stabilise soil on slopes and prevents erosion.
  2. Low-maintenance: Mondo grass requires minimal maintenance once established, making it a cost-effective solution for slope erosion control.
  3. Tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions: Mondo grass can grow in various soil types and is tolerant of both sun and shade, making it a versatile option for slope erosion control.
  4. Aesthetic appeal: Mondo grass is attractive, with dark green foliage and small purple or white flowers that bloom in summer. This makes it a popular choice for landscaping projects needing erosion control.
  5. Slow-growing: Mondo grass is a slow-growing plant, meaning it does not require frequent pruning or trimming.


Several plants can be beneficial for erosion control on slopes. The best option for each individual will depend on the specific situation, so it is important to consult with a gardener or erosion expert if you have questions about which plants are appropriate for your specific area.

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How can an eroding slope be stabilised?

The geometry of a slope can be altered by digging and regrading it, adding support structures to bolster the slope, providing a surface cover to the slope, or employing drainage to manage groundwater in slope material.

What kind of ground cover is ideal for a slope?

Perennials, including daylilies, creeping phlox, lamb’s ears, stonecrop, and many decorative blades of grass, thrive on steep, sunny slopes. Many woody plants, particularly creeping juniper, aromatic sumac, bearberry, and Russian arborvitae, also make effective groundcovers.

How steep can a slope get in the UK without a retaining wall?

A drive is a path for providing access when suitable. The maximum path slope should be 1:6. Steps could be needed for more extreme slopes.