The bad news: wind and rain erosion causes the loss of topsoil, changes the landscape, and contributes to environmental pollution. The good news plants can help control erosion while beautifying the environment! Plants prevent erosion during heavy rains and high winds by holding soil in place with their roots and minimizing runoff. Many different kinds of plants contribute to erosion control in unique ways:

Ground Covers

Autumn sage and yarrow are two ground covers that hold soil in place with a low-profile. Most ground covers spread easily on their own, and can be grown in many different soil and sun types. Here are some examples of more good ground cover varieties.

Small Shrubs

Buckwheat and apache plume are two small shrubs recommended for erosion control. They have strong root systems and grow to a height of about 18 inches.
here are some examples of
shrubs that grow well on slopes and other areas.


Due to their size, trees have the ability to contribute to the erosion control of an entire hillside. A wide network of roots stabilizes the soil during harsh weather conditions. Some good varieties include live oak and holly. Click here for more trees that help with erosion control.


There is mixed advice out there about using grass for erosion control, but it is an inexpensive and quick way to stabilize an area of exposed soil. Grasses grow rapidly and spread out to cover an entire area, making them a good choice in some situations. Read more by clicking here.

Whatever your location and specific needs, you can find beautiful plant varieties that will contribute to erosion control. Do a little research to find the plants that are the best fit, and then put them to work protecting your hillsides. Gather a team of environmental volunteers, and in an afternoon you can contribute to erosion control in your area!


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Posted by Mark Contorno.


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