Anti-erosion groundcovers for shady hill

Asked June 10, 2016, 4:37 PM EDT

Hi, I have a hill in my backyard that is pretty shady. Parts of the hill are flatter and parts are pretty steep. Six months ago, I cleared it of ivy, covered with mulch, and am pulling up any re-growths this summer. In the fall, I'm hoping to start planting on the hill. What kinds of perennial groundcovers will best grow in shade and prevent erosion on the steep areas?

Montgomery County Maryland groundcovers plant selection shade

3 Responses

Consider a mix of plant species so you do not lose the whole stand to a disease or insect problem. Also, you will have to keep the plants well watered for a season to get them well established.
Shrubs - Itea
Groundcovers & Perennials - Chrysogonum virginianum , sedum ternatum, ferns such as Christmas ferns, Hay scented ferns, Maidenhair ferns, and sensitive ferns. Other groundcovers, include tiarella (running or clumping), Canadian ginger, Phlox stolonifera, and Pa sedge. You will have to check with nurseries to see if these plants will be available in the fall. Otherwise, you may have to wait until next spring.

Thank you so much for these helpful suggestions. I would like to plant some of these in the fall and can get them by mail order in "bare root" form. Is there any down side to planting them as bare roots in the fall, as opposed to the spring? Specifically, I would be ordering the sedge, chrysogonum virginianum, sedum ternatum, and stolonifera. Possibly a few ferns as well.

Bare root or packaged plants are obtained through mail order or at garden centers and are sold as dormant material. These are usually available for spring planting only.
You may not find the above plants in nurseries or garden centers now. If you do find the plants in containers, the planting season often extends well into the summer and early fall and can be planted now. Keep well watered up until the ground freezes. Otherwise plant in the spring.