No Atlanta commercial landscape is completely flat—throughout the entire property. It’s natural that a landscape will bend and curve and rise and dip.
And no one likes to drive down the road and see an out-of-control slope full of mud and slush. The same can be said for one that’s a barren, mulch-speckled incline pitted with chunks of bald spots or turf washouts.
Sure, landscaping a slope isn’t easy. From establishing plants to controlling heavy rains, stormwater runoff can carry away any topsoil not held down by roots. And then during drought, slopes have a tendency to go dry, not giving desirable plants a chance to root, while seeming to give weeds free reign to roam.
With years of experience designing on Atlanta’s slopes, we have built an arsenal of plants for slope landscaping that can take a beating yet gain ground fairly quickly to provide an aesthetically friendly means of making the slope attractive while protecting the soil.
What Is A Slope And Why Do Selecting The Right Plants Matter?
A steep slope is typically a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio of horizontal to vertical feet. A mow-able slope can be 4:1. It can be expensive to take a slope and try to install retaining walls or engage a soil engineer or landscape architect to restructure very steep slopes. That’s why plants can be a great solution. They control erosion, minimize mulch application and provide a visually appealing way to do both—all while saving you money.
Best Plants For Slopes On Commercial Properties
To survive on slopes, plants must have hardy, aggressive root structures, be vigorous and fast-growing, have a mounding growth habit and, preferably, have spreading tendencies.
Without further ado, here is our list of the 6 best plants for slopes on commercial properties in Atlanta.
Junipers, which grow from 6 inches to 2 feet tall, make great woody, evergreen groundcovers, depending on the variety. Junipers have needle- or fan-shaped leaves that are green or blue-green in color. The best part: Junipers add a unique texture all their own that mixes well with other plants.
As vigorous growers, junipers can cover a large area fairly quickly, which makes them excellent plants for slopes and banks. By clipping main branch ends for the first two or three seasons, we can even induce a denser branching system.
The only trick: Junipers don’t like wet feet, so planting them in well-drained soil is important.
Roses come in so many colors and varieties, which means the options are endless for your Atlanta commercial property slope. There are more than 100 species and thousands of cultivars of roses. Flowers vary in size and shape and are usually striking and showy, ranging from whites and pale yellows and pinks to rich reds and salmons and magentas.
With roses, you can use a mass of one color, continue with another color and repeat a pattern or choose one shade for the entire slope or two shades that mix well together. The best design is usually done in waves and not straight lines. Scented roses can also add an additional sense to the slope in areas near where visitors gather on the property.
If your slope is very steep (4 to 1 or greater), lovegrass is a great solution. Lovegrass is a warm-season, perennial bunchgrass that grows rapidly, producing plants that reach heights of 2 to 4 feet. The basal leaves are 10 to 20 inches long and 1/4 inch wide, tapering to needle points.
The best parts: Lovegrass can be easily hydroseeded onto a slope, and while lovegrass grows well in light-textured, well-drained soil, it can thrive in low-fertility soils.
Magnolias provide magnificent flowers—striking blossoms composed of petal-like segments. Flowers can be white, pink, red, purple or yellow, depending on the variety.
Magnolias are fast growing, especially in full sun, so they provide some instant stability on slopes, in addition to showy color.
Pine trees make great, low-maintenance additions to any Atlanta slope. The many varieties of pines available provide variety and year-long green and firmness to slanting ground to give it height and permanence.
Pine trees also provide that earthy, natural, evergreen scent that brings an additional element to Atlanta commercial properties.
An inexpensive groundcover that is fast-growing, Asiatic jasmine adds oval, deep green leaves with small, star-like flowers that appear from spring through summer. On top of this, Asiatic jasmine provides an accompanying sweet scent that wafts through an area, enhancing your sense of smell as well as sight.
This plant prefers regular watering and rich loamy soil. By pruning in spring, we can maintain this groundcover’s neat appearance.
HighGrove Has Slope Landscaping Solutions For Your Property
When considering what to do with a slope, plants can make a great addition to provide stability, variety and low-maintenance and low-cost color. Whether you have a sunny or shady slope, steep or slightly inclined, there are a variety of plants that can enhance the erosion control and aesthetics on you property.
Landscaping on a slope is never easy. HighGrove can help you plan your slope right! Give us a call at 678-298-0550 or use our simple contact form.
And be sure to check out our 2015 Commercial Property Trends Report below for more tips and trends to help your commercial property become more attractive and more sustainable this year and for years to follow.Last modified: June 3, 2021