Loma Vista Nursery News

Slippery Slopes

Good design doesn’t have to take a back seat to slopes and swales. Rather, tricky spaces are perfect places for perennials such as milkweed, coneflower and goldenrod. These workhorse plants can withstand climate change adversities while holding their own in color, texture and form. Here are a few other favorites we grow at Loma Vista Nursery.

Big Blue Lilyturf (Liriope muscari ‘Big Blue’)

Big Blue Lilyturf (Liriope muscari ‘Big Blue’)

Color, form and four-season interest are benefits of Big Blue Lilyturf (Liriope muscari ‘Big Blue’). Habit is arching, with grass-like foliage. Evergreen through winter, it produces prolific spikes of blue flowers all summer. These give way to black berries in fall. Deer resistant, divide this liriope every couple of years in early spring and remove old foliage before new emerges.

Water-wise, Big Blue Lilyturf is perfect for tricky sites, slopes and embankments. It is tolerant of shade, sun, humidity and salt and performs well in normal, acidic, sandy and clay soil. Companion plants are hosta, coneflower and daylily. At maturity, height is about 1 foot tall and wide. Plant in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 10.

Sunny Boulevard® St. John’s Wort (Hypericum x)

Sunny Boulevard® St. John’s Wort (Hypericum x)

Hypericum have short, sturdy taproots with spreading rhizomes, making them good soil stabilizers on slopes, swales and embankments. Salt and drought tolerant, Sunny Boulevard® St. John’s Wort is a small shrub with a mounded habit and dark green foliage. Bright yellow flowers bloom continuously on new wood from July through September.

This hypericum attracts bees for pollination and is deer resistant. It is not fussy about soils but prefers sandy loams. Growing to about 3 feet tall and wide at maturity, Sunny Boulevard® St. John’s Wort is attractive in groupings, planted en masse and when used as perennial borders. It also performs well in landscape containers. Plant in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 8.

Dead Nettle (Lamium)

Dead Nettle (Lamium)

Low growing perennial dead nettle can be found in meadows, under shade trees and along stream banks and rocky slopes. Distinctive, densely clustered leaves may be spotted or variegated in shades of lime-green, gray-green or silver-green. Small tubular flowers bloom in pink, purple or white throughout spring and summer.

Dead nettle is a good groundcover for landscape projects that call for quick-growing plants along swales or slopes. With its spreading habit, it is perfect in areas where weeds are a problem. Dead nettle adapts well to various light conditions and is heat and drought tolerant while resisting deer. Mature height is about 1 foot. Dead nettle trails up to 2 feet and requires virtually no care. Plant in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 8.

Common Periwinkle (Vinca minor)

 Common Periwinkle (Vinca minor)

“Pretty tough” is a good description for common periwinkle. Pretty lavender, purple or white flowers bloom in spring. Foliage is dark green. Roots are shallow to only about 1 to 3 inches and fibrous to anchor soil. Trailing vines grow to 2 feet. Mature height is about 6 inches. In most cases, common periwinkle is not aggressive to nearby plants.

It is an excellent groundcover for areas where water causes ground erosion. It prefers soil with good drainage and partial shade but does well in varied environmental conditions. Plant with spring-blooming bulbs for color impact. Common periwinkle also is a stand-out as spillers in landscape window boxes or containers. Plant in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 8.

Show Off® (Forsythia x intermedia) – Photo ©Proven Winners ColorChoice®

Show Off® (Forsythia x intermedia)

Forsythia is usually thought of as a cheery, spring-blooming landscape specimen. So, it may be somewhat of a surprise that its strong root system makes forsythia a great shrub for erosion control. That’s because it has a thick, deep taproot and dense network of small roots that extend to about 2 feet under the soil.

A deciduous shrub that requires zero pruning, Show Off® Forsythia  is heat tolerant and requires part sun to full sun. It adapts to most soil types but Planprefers to spread its roots in loose soil that is well-drained. One of the first spring bloomers in the Midwest, Show Off® Forsythia has vibrant yellow flowers that bloom up and down its branches. It grows to about 6 feet tall and wide at maturity. Plant in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 8 as a natural security fence along shorelines and as an anchor on hillside landscapes and roadside slopes.

Learn More About Landscape Plants from Loma Vista Nursery

Loma Vista Nursery’s staff members are experts in the field. We love helping people learn and understand more about healthy plants that perform well in Midwest landscapes. For more information, visit our plant catalog. Feel free to email us at sales@lomavistanursery.com or call us at (785) 229-7200 to get answers to your plant-related questions.

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