Q&A: Groundcovers for a Hill

Here's a tip on hillside gardening.
space_knockout

space_knockout

Q: I have a steep yard that I don't want to mow. What's a good fast-growing, non-invasive groundcover for a mostly sunny area?

A: You have plenty of choices: Various junipers and other typical groundcovers are often selected for full-sun sites, but you can broaden the definition of groundcovers by also considering wide-spreading shrubs. The Prague vibrunum is a fast-growing shrub that offers white spring flowers and mostly evergreen leaves and eventually achieves a 10-foot girth. Snow-in-summer (Cerastium tomentosum) produces white flowers in summer and has fuzzy, gray-green leaves (USDA Zones 3 to 7). The Knockout rose would love a sunny area and give you lots of color too. And because it's self-cleaning, you wouldn't have to deadhead the blooms.

Junipers are slow-growing, so you might want to combine them with a fast-growing herbaceous plant like hardy geranium. 'Rozanne' blooms for a long period of time — all summer until first frost. And if your summers are sizzling, you might want to consider groundcovers that thrive in dry heat. And for still more options, try some vines that can grow out as well as up.

If you can't afford to plant the whole hillside at one time, carve out plantable landscape beds on the steepest part of the slope, and start with those. If the slope is very steep, be sure to secure the mulch with netting to keep it from washing away.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Great Groundcovers and More

Great groundcovers are among this physician's favorites.

Purple Heart

The flowers of purple heart are pretty in their own right, but it's the rich purple foliage that really steals the show

Seek Cover: Grow Groundcover Plants

Use low-growing perennials and shrubs as groundcovers to cover slopes or to replace high-maintenance lawns.

Shore Juniper

The low-growing shore juniper, or Juniperus conferta , is a beautiful plant for dry areas.

Q&A: Snags, Money Tree and More

Master gardener Paul James answers gardening questions about mums, horsetail rush, snags, money tree and more.

Q&A: Overwintering Thyme

Learn how to help thyme survive the winter months.

Q&A: Fading Coleus

Here's a tip on caring for a coleus plant over the winter.

How to Plant a Kitchen Herb Garden

Have some extra space in your yard or garden? Plant a fresh and simple herb garden only steps away from the kitchen.

Terrific Tuber Tips

Hilling potato plants increases tuber production and prevents the potatoes from turning green.

Growing a Better Grape

A grape grower in the Napa Valley suggests tips for growing better fruit.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.