Plants for steep slopes

Having a slope as part of your property could be a bit challenging because you need to find ways to make it look good and functional while making sure that it’s a safe place for you and your family.

But a slope can actually be a gem for your property if you know how to embrace its imperfection and turn it into something beautiful.

One of the best ways to spruce up a steep slope is to add plants to it. If done right, plants will look like they’re cascading a waterfall. You can even add a few extra details like décor and outdoor furniture to complete your slope. Plants also help control erosion on slopes to make your property safer.

The best plants for erosion control on a slope

Erosion can be a huge problem for sloped properties, but you can address that without sacrificing the look of your outdoor space by choosing these plants that help with erosion control:


Forsythia is a flowering shrub that grows 4 to 6 feet tall. It usually flowers in the early spring. One type known as the weeping cultivar, the Forsythia suspensa, is an excellent choice for controlling erosion. It works well as a ground cover because of its drooping branches. It will usually root where ever its branches touch the ground. This allows it to spread and strengthen the side of your slope.

Spotted dead nettle

This perennial plant may be a bit similar to Japanese spurge, but it looks more attractive with its beautiful leaves and even stunning blooms that are usually purplish or white in color. It can also tolerate a lot of shade so you won’t have any problems maintaining it.

Black mondo grass

This unique-looking grass will easily make visitors interested in your sloped yard. Black Mondo or Black monkey grass grows up to 6 inches tall. It has beautiful black grass-like blades and flowers that make for the perfect contrast to colorful plants in your landscape.

Interrupted fern

If you’re dealing with wet soil or a damp slope, you need to add wild plants like the Interrupted fern as part of your landscape. This plant is highly tolerant of wet soils and it also spreads beautifully to prevent erosion.

The best plants for ground cover on a slope

Ground covers really help a lot in retaining soil on your slope and these are some of your best options:

Creeping myrtle

Also known as Vinca minor, this ground cover plant works best on shaded slopes. It can grow from 3 to 6 inches. Creeping myrtle is also a drought-tolerant plant making it a great option for the lower parts of your slope that are not as easily accessible to watering.

Creeping juniper

Creeping juniper is a favorite among landscapers because it holds on to slope soil. It can take a lot of sun, making it perfect for highly exposed areas on your slope. Creeping juniper also comes in different cultivars that produce beautiful colors all-year round.

Some of your best choices include “Blue Rug” for its beautiful blue foliage, “Lime glow” for its yellowish-green foliage and “Prince of Wales” for its short but stunning growth.

Japanese Spurge

Growing only 6 inches tall, Japanese spurge is a beautiful ground cover for shade where its leathery leaves and sometimes small, white flowers instantly add a touch of sophistication to your home.

The best perennials for a slope

Landscapers and gardeners love perennial plants for slopes because they offer a lot of colorful flowers. More importantly, though, they help minimize erosion. They’re also very easy to maintain.

Now if you’re looking to add perennials to your landscape, here are some of your best options:


The hellebore plant is not only a favorite because it flowers early, but also because it’s extremely durable making it perfect for a slope. You can plant several hellebore plants around your slope so you can enjoy different colored-flowers with freckled patterns all-year round.


Of course, you can’t miss adding roses on your slope for more color and a touch of sophistication. Roses are very tolerant to sun exposure and they also offer good soil retention. Choose from a wide variety of rose plants depending on the look that you want for your outdoor space. Some of your best options are Floribunda roses and English roses.


This shrub is another favorite among landscapers because it holds itself well on sloped areas, it has very sturdy branches and it produces stunning flowers that will make your backyard pop.

The best drought-tolerant plants for a slope

Planting on a slope means you need to deal with the lack of accessibility to maintain your plants. This is why most landscapers prefer using drought-tolerant plants that can hold their own even if they’re not watered every day.

Here are some of the best ones out there:


You can never go wrong with aloe because it looks unique, has a lot of health benefits and it can tolerate even the driest climates. You can also choose from different types of aloe vera species including soap aloe, jewel aloe, and tiger aloe.


If you want to plant something on a slope that you can eat in the future, it has to be artichoke. This plant can tolerate heat well and can thrive without constant maintenance as long as you’re planting it on well-draining soil. And yes, you can harvest some artichoke flowers in the future.

Kangaroo paw

Native to Australia, this beautiful plant can grow on a dry, sandy area and thrive in it even without regular maintenance. It also has a unique rosette form and tall flower stalks that pop out as it grows.

There’s definitely a lot to learn when it comes to choosing plants for your steep slope. The trick here is to plan everything out, choose your options and make sure that every plant fits the look and feel that you’re going for.

Of course, you should also think about how to maintain these plants once they’re added to your slope. This will help you keep a beautiful landscape and not waste your time and money by allowing them to die.