The Q&A Archives: Groundcover for Dry Rocky Soil

Question: I have a slopping hillside which is somewhat rocky and gets direct sunlight most of the day, I would like to plant a ground cover/flowers but I can't seem to get anything to grow in this area. I live in zone 5. Can you help?

Answer: Would you consider a prairie on your hillside? Rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan) and Echinacea (Purple Coneflower) are just two of the native prairie plants that should do well there once established. If you are looking for a low groundcover, try lamb's ear or a low growing sedums. They should tolerate the dry sunny site well. The trick is to make sure they are well established before letting them "on their own." If you are starting plants from seeds, it is critical to remove grass and weeds from the hillside. Both seeds or plants must be watered well when planting and for the entire first season after planting. Once well established they should do just fine. Good luck!

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