The Q&A Archives: What to plant on rocky - thin soil slope

Question: Have a significant slope and need ideas for ground cover, and hedge.

Soil is very thin , clay based and rocky. rock ranges in size from 3/4 inche to 2 inch in size. Rock a result of builder cutting home site into hill and backfilling.

When looking at slope, you are facing south east. it rise approx 20 feet at 50 degree angle.

Homes will be built at top of slope and we want to create a screen blocking view to backyard and pool.

This is zip code 92584 and water is at a premium. Will proably use a toro blue stripe drip system,


Answer: Erosion control is sometimes a difficult proposition. There are several groundcovers that might suit your purpose. Ajuga, Rockcress, Manzanita and Carex (New Zealand Hair Sedge) are first choices. Ice plant, Wild Buckwheat, Acacia redolens, and Gazania would also grow well once established. Why not check around and see what other plants are growing in your area? Perhaps you'll see something you like even better than the above suggestions.

As for the screening hedges, how about Oleander, Glossy Abelia, Barberry, Natal Plum, Euyonmus, Leptospermum (tea tree), Escallonia, Ceanothus, or Nandina?

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