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Groundcovers for Slopes

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Groundcovers for slopes must be able to hold the soil and protect the ground. They must be able to withstand wind and rain. Their roots and foliage must grow quickly and laterally to hold the soil.

Many groundcovers for slopes have a matting habit—growing low and wide. The spreading nature of groundcovers keeps wind, rain, and irrigation from eroding the soil and leaving bare spots.

When planting groundcovers on slopes consider the spread of the plant at maturity then plant intensively so that stems and foliage of neighboring plants will overlap and protect the soil.

 Bearberry cotoneaster, Cotoneaster dammeri
Bearberry cotoneaster, Cotoneaster dammeri

Groundcovers for Slopes

A-I Common NameBotanical NameZones
Basket-of-goldAurinia saxatilis4-8
Blanket flowerGaillardia x grandiflora2-9
Candytuft, evergreenIberis sempervirens4-8
Coralberry, prostrate ChenaultSymphoicarpos x chenaultii4-7
Cotoneaster, bearberryCotoneaster dammeri5-9
Freeway daisyOsteospermum fruticosum8-10
Hens and chicksSempervivum tectorum4-10
Ice plant, hardyDelosperma nubigenum6-9
Ivy, EnglishHedera helix5-9
Juniperus horizontalalis
J-P Common NameBotanical NameZones
Jasmine, AsiaticTrachelospermum asiaticum7-10
Juniper, Andorra compactJuniperus horizontalis ‘Plumosa Compacta’3-9
Juniper, Bar HarborJuniperus horizontalis ‘Bar Harbor’3-9
Juniper, Blue ChipJuniperus horizontalis ‘Blue Chip’3-9
Juniper, Blue Pacific shoreJuniperus conferta ‘Blue Pacifica’5-9
Juniper, Blue RugJuniperus horizontalis ‘Wiltonii’3-9
LilyturfLiriope muscari7-10
Mondo grassOphiopogon japonicus7-9
Phlox, mossPhlox subulata2-9
Pink, Bath’sDianthus gratianopolitanus4-9
Goldmoss sedum, Sedum acre
Goldmoss sedum, Sedum acre
R-Z Common NameBotanical NameZones
Rose, Alba MeidilandRosa ‘Alba Meidiland’4-8
Sedum, goldmossSedum acre4-9
Spurge, cypressEuphorbia cyparissias4-8
Strawberry, alpineFragaria vesco3-9
Verbena, mossVerbena pulchella8-10
Vinca, little leafVinca minor4-8

Also of interest:

Groundcovers in Garden Design

Groundcovers for Shade

Groundcovers for Hot, Sunny Areas

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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