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Plants for slope stabilization: 10 plants that stabilize slopes in your garden and minimize soil erosion

The best plants for slope stabilization would be those ground covers and shrubs that are vigorous, beautiful to look at, and have a root system strong enough to be able to hold the soil on the slope and minimize soil erosion. They should have widely spread foliage to be able to mitigate the speed of heavy rain hitting the ground. You should also be as unappealing as possible to animals that might eat you. We have compiled some plants for you that meet these criteria, making them very suitable for the purpose. If possible, choose your plants based on both, attractiveness and practicality. Even the most beautiful plant will end up disappointing you if it doesn’t fit into its appropriate environment and die. Of course, you should also consider whether you would rather have low-maintenance plants in your garden or if you are willing to spend a little more time and effort for the sake of beauty.

Plants for slope stabilization: 10 plants that secure the ground on slopes

If your property is rather hilly or you have steep slopes in your garden, it is important to stabilize the soil and minimize soil erosion. For this purpose, certain plants are very suitable, which, due to the nature, structure and growth type of their roots, consolidate the soil on slopes. Also consider the nature of the land and compare with the requirements of the plant. For example, whether it needs more sun or can cope with a shady or semi-shady spot.

Plants for slope stabilization: Creeping juniper, ground cover that loves the sun.

Plants for slope planting creeping juniper ground cover for sunny places

Creeping juniper, Juniperus horizontales is a groundcover that needs a sunny spot. It is hardy and recommended for zones 3 – 9. In size it remains rather low, up to about 50 cm, but reaches a width of up to 1.5 meters. It grows very dense and flat. This evergreen plant adds color to your garden throughout the year. The root system forms underground intertwines that help bind and strengthen the stability of the soil on slopes. It is handsome and provides a romantic garden look as in summer so in winter. What further makes the plant appealing is the fact that it is non-toxic and thus poses no danger to pets or even children.

Ground cover against soil erosion: Small periwinkle, Vinca Minor

Vinca Minor shade plant tolerates drought, but is toxic to pets

Unlike juniper, small periwinkle is a ground cover plant that can tolerate shade. It remains quite small at your 7 to 15 inches and, as its name suggests, is also evergreen. The plant does well in zones 4 to 8 and forms a very dense carpet. Another advantage of this pretty flowering groundcover is that it is very insensitive to drought, which makes it very resistant. The flowering period is mainly in May and June, with post-blooming possible until late September. With all that said, however, you need to keep in mind with this little plant that, coming from the dog poison family, it is toxic to pets.

Forsythia, the golden lilac bush

Forsythia planting and care in the slope garden


Although the golden lilac is not a ground cover, but a bush, it still grows very well on sloping hillsides. It is a perennial, grows in zones 4 – 8, and gets quite large, ranging in size from 1.2 to 1.8 feet. But don’t let that deter you, as the plants can grow deep root systems, solidifying the soil on a slope. Even if it has to grow across, it will still do well on slopes because they can’t hurt the plant. Where the hanging branches touch the ground, they form roots that are very strong and penetrate deep into the soil, holding it back. This is how you act as a ground cover and stabilize the slope. The golden lilac blooms beautifully in yellow in the spring.

Plants for slope stabilization: Japanese ysander, the fat man

The Japanese Ysander, Pachisandra terminalis is, like the Creeping Juniper, an evergreen, with its up to 30 cm rather small, leafy plant.  It is a small shrub that grows very densely and forms a carpet. Those who have little patience and want to see quick results in the garden could opt for this ground cover. The plant grows creeping and quickly to form a carpet. Its roots also form a cohesive web, which strengthens the soil structure and minimizes soil erosion on steep slopes. Although the plant bears dainty little white flowers from April to May, it is more noticeable for its lush green foliage. The leaves are leathery, a rich green, grow profusely and will no doubt adorn your garden. Japanese ysander grows in partial shade to shade. The ysander requires little time and care and is quite undemanding. Attention, it is poisonous! So if you often have pets and small children visiting your garden, keep this in mind.

Spotted deadnettle, Lamium maculatum

Plants for slope planting Spotted deadnettle beautiful flowers loved by beneficial insects

Spotted deadnettle has beautiful serrated-shaped leaves and small flowers. Its leaves have a silvery color and in May, June and July it develops white, pink or purple flowers. The plant forms a cluster and grows rather in width than in height. It reaches a height of about 15 cm and a double width. It is fragrant and is especially liked by bumblebees, attracting them and other beneficial insects. A semi-shady to shady place is well suited for the plant. In winter, you do not need to worry about the plant, because it is hardy and can withstand temperatures of minus 30 degrees. Zones 4 to 8 are suitable for planting.

Lily vine, Liriope spicata

Lily vine suitable for the slope and against soil erosion

Lily grape, which appears to be an ornamental grass, or also called spikey bell grape, actually comes from the asparagus family. It is a perennial that grows about 30 inches tall and is suitable for zones 4 – 10 where it feels at home. They grow well in partial shade and beautify the hillside in your garden with their beautiful spikes blooming in a bright purple to lilac. It blooms in late summer to early fall in August, September and October. The perennial forms a carpet cushion and a plant horst. Thanks to this structure, the soil is well held together on slopes.

Black snakeweed, Ophiopogen planiscapus Nigrescens

Plants for slopes Black snakewort Pretty ornamental grass for partial shade to shade

Black snakeweed is an ornamental grass that grows well in partial shade to shade. It is easy to care for and requires rather little time. Pruning is not essential with this plant. The grass-like leaves form clumps over time that do not require mowing. Small flowers in white and pink appear in summer. They resemble small grape hyacinths. The fruits are small berries, but they are very inconspicuous and have a purely ornamental value, so they are not suitable for eating. They are very good for controlling soil erosion and do not like to be approached by wild animals. The color of the foliage can vary between blue, green, purple and burgundy. The zones where it grows well and perennial are 6 – 10.

Plants for slope stabilization: Carpet phlox, Phlox subulata.

Carpet phlox, or cushion phlox, is a carpet-forming, dense groundcover. This carpet, when in bloom, steals every show with the brilliant colors of its flowers. The flower colors can be purple, blue, white, pink and multi-colored, announcing spring in April and blooming until about June. The cushion phlox grows up to 15 inches tall and loves sunny to semi-shady spots in zones 3 to 9. The carpet phlox is a bee-friendly plant and there is a lively buzzing atmosphere in the field. Other good features of the plant are that it is hardy and also evergreen, so it always provides fresh color in the garden. The dense growth and equally dense root system binds the soil on slopes, stabilizing it and counteracting soil erosion.

Devil’s fern, Osmunda claytoniana

Plants for slope planting Devil's fern the wild variety against soil erosion

If you prefer a wild plant with rich color as a slope stabilizer for a steep, rather shady slope in the garden, the devil’s fern, or crown fern, from the royal fern family, might be the right choice. Growing up to 90 inches tall in zones 3 to 8, it is excellent for firming soil and minimizing erosion. The plant tolerates wet soil, making it suitable for a moist slope. The plant is very durable and requires little maintenance. The widely spreading foliage has a lush green color. The crown fern is cluster-forming and widely spreading, so only about 2 plants are needed per square meter. Pruning back the stems in the fall is beneficial to the plant. It is hardy to about minus 35 degrees Celsius.

Fan-shaped dwarf medlar, Cotoneaster horizontalis

Fan dwarf medlar Small shrub from the rose family with red fruit ornamentation

Fan dwarf medlar is a small shrub that is among the most suitable shrubs for the purpose of slope stabilization. It comes from the rose family and is suitable for zones 5 to 7. If you are looking for something that does not grow too tall, this small bush could be the right choice for you. It grows only 90 cm tall, but spreads strongly in width. The roots also grow into the width, stabilizing the soil structure on slopes. Another characteristic of the plant is its ability to grow roots where the branches hit the ground and make contact. The fall color and red berries make for a colorful and handsome look. In June, small pink or white flowers can be seen and then in the fall, well into December, the fiery red berries adorn the branches of the fan-shaped small bush. The best place is sunny to semi-shady, where the ground cover can develop its roots and strengthen the slope.