Native Plants for Erosion Control

Asked September 5, 2020, 2:40 PM EDT

Hello, We live in Calvert County and have a gentle slope from our lawn/home to a woods line where the slope gradually increases. The soil seems to be pretty loomy with sand/clay mix. On a normal rain, we don't have any issues, but water does pick up velocity on larger downpours. We don't have erosion issues yet, but want to be a bit preventative. We have started to plant some red twig dogwoods, cypress, and butterfly bushes on the slope, but was was looking to see if you had any recommended plants that could help stabilize, soak up any water, and survive tucked under the wooded canopy a bit.

Calvert County Maryland

1 Response

The online publication, "Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping" is a good resource for choosing plants. It sounds like you'll want to look in the shrub section for those that tolerate semi-shade. All plants will soak up water. However, at a wood edge or in the woods, plants have more of a problem with the intense root competition from the established trees and the resulting drought. Be sure to water during dry spells for the first 2 years.

You don't have standing water, but the following rain garden information includes plants that will enjoy plenty of moisture: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/stormwater-water-rain-gardens This page has lots of ideas for you.

Clethra, winterberry holly, American holly (semi-shade) and buttonbush (full sun) are all terrific landscape plants.
In a natural wooded area, you can also arrange fallen branches so that they go across the grade and slow rain flow.

Ellen