The Q&A Archives: What And How To Plant On An Embankment

Question: We have an embankment that runs the length of our backyard. It doesn't go far up, but everything I've planted doesn't seem to do well because of run-off. Do you have some tips for how to plant at an angle? It gets direct California sun all day, no shade. What about roses? Thanks for your help!!

Answer: For best results, I'd chose plants that like arid conditions, such as Cistus (rock rose), Cordia, Buddleia (butterfly bush), Echium, Lavender, Sage, Aptenia 'Red Apple' (a groundcover), Gaillardia, and Rosa Rugosa. The first year your new plants will need some help becoming established. After that the roots will have penetrated deeply enough to get by with occasional watering during the warmest summer months. So to get them off to a good start, make a little basin around each plant so you can apply water directly to the root mass by flooding the basins once each week. If you'd like to plant hybrid roses, they should get along nicely, as long as you provide adequate water to the plants all through the growing season.

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