Which plants grow well on slopes

Planting a slope with ground cover: Here's how to proceed

In many gardens you have to deal with more or less steeply sloping surfaces. However, slopes and open garden soil are a bad combination, because rain easily washes the earth away. In addition, the soil on the slope is drier than in flat parts of the garden, there you can still water as much. Once the slope is overgrown with ground cover, both the leaves and the dense roots offer protection against erosion and if the soil is permanently improved, rainwater can also seep away better. It is problematic if the soil is completely or partially open after a new plant, redesign or even just a new planting.

Which ground covers are suitable for a slope?

Whether perennials or low trees - ground cover for slopes should develop a strong root system as soon as possible after planting, which can hold the soil in place. In addition, they should be easy to care for, you don't want to and can't constantly weed in between. In addition, ground cover for planting slopes should be robust in order to cope with the mostly dry earth on the embankment.

These plants are particularly suitable for planting a slope:

  • Evergreen cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus ‘Mount Vernon’): A 40 centimeter low wood that is quite wide. A sandy, humus garden soil in the sun or in the shade is ideal.
  • Astilbe (Astilbe chinensis var. Taquetii): The one meter high perennial grows with numerous runners covering the ground. The plants also tolerate short periods of drought and prefer partially shaded locations.
  • Small periwinkle (Vinca minor): The 15 centimeter high plants spread out in sunny and partially shaded locations with long shoots that take root when they come into contact with the ground. In the shade, the plants are not quite as dense and bloom significantly less.
  • Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis): The robust but poisonous plants for partially shaded and shady places pervade the topsoil with a dense network of roots. Bad soil doesn't scare lilies of the valley in the least.
  • Small shrub roses (pink hybrids): Like all roses, ground cover roses also have very deep roots. The roses are particularly suitable for hillside planting in combination with sun-hungry perennials.
  • Cranesbill (Geranium species): Robust and flowering - the cranesbill that covers the ground becomes very dense and is also suitable for planting larger areas on slopes. The class leader is the Balkan cranesbill (Geranium macrorrhizum).
  • Carpet golden strawberry (Waldsteinia ternata): These robust and evergreen ground cover plants are suitable for shady and partially shaded slopes. The plants form dense carpets with short runners.

Improve the soil on the slope for the ground cover

The soil on the slope should be loose and rich in humus. Only then can the soil absorb rainwater and it does not simply run off. Dig up the soil before planting, working in compost or potting soil right away - old soil from flower boxes too. Dig parallel to the slope - this acts like a brake for rainwater. Digging doesn't work very well on steep slopes, you can't hold on and you keep slipping away. Spread compost on such a slope and chop it in with a short-handled but sturdy hand hoe and use it to dig the planting holes. So-called Japanese hand hoes are ideal for this. If you are working your way uphill, you can even do it in a fairly comfortable position with knee pads. Ground cover plants that are not yet fully grown hate competition from root weeds such as couch grass or groundcover - so collect them.

Ground cover in the hillside garden needs a few years until they grow nice and dense and can finally secure and pave the hillside in teamwork. Until then, you should also secure the slope, which is an important difference to normal beds: even simple bark mulch or wood chippings act as a rain brake and significantly reduce the impact of thick drops. Embankment mats made of sisal are even safer and also suitable for steep slopes, which you place on the ground like a cloth and fix with pegs or tent pegs. This water and air permeable fabric remains on the ground and gradually rots away. To plant the ground cover, cut holes in the fabric at the appropriate places.

Practical video: Planting ground cover

Not only slopes, but also other corners in the garden can be greened with ground cover and thus designed to be easy to care for. You can find out how to properly plant ground cover in the video.

Do you want to make an area in your garden as easy to care for as possible? Our tip: plant it with ground cover! It's that easy.
Credit: MSG / Camera + Editing: Marc Wilhelm / Sound: Annika Gnädig

How do you care for hillside planting from ground cover?

Water with a fine spray jet so that the water has enough time to seep away. To make this even better, you should apply organic fertilizer in the spring, preferably compost. In this way, a loose soil structure can establish itself in the long term. This is also ensured by a layer of mulch, which can slip off on very steep slopes and should be renewed regularly. Don't let weeds grow in the first place; weed them while they are not yet established. Trees that cover the ground usually grow more densely if they are pruned regularly in spring.