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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Desert321 -- I think that's a gross generalization. Depends on species, where they are, and if they are even native to you. (Personally, I have yet to have any of my 10 Carex species spread, which stinks.) Then there's the issue that, technically, native plants are not invasive -- exotics are; native plant can be aggressive, though. I know that sounds like I'm being a definition nerd, but the distinction reflects degrees of ecosystem health.

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I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice for the hillside behind our house. It drops off very steep, southern exposure and it's full sun with all clay and rock. There are woods behind that, but it pretty much gets no shade. We are in Missouri in the St. Louis area, so I believe that's zone 5 or 6.

Right now it's just ratty looking with weeds and little trees that are starting to grow. We're trying to pick which little trees to keep, if any, and we're thinking of ground cover to help with erosion. It's very hard for my husband to weed-eat the hillside.

I like the look of the arching Sprengels sedge. Do you think that would work for our area? Would we need to add top soil before planting and how could we keep it from washing away? Any other recommendations? Thanks.

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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

designsaavy -- I'd go with C. bicknellii or C. brevior for full sun; the roots are fibrous so hold in soil well over time. Try to find a supplier of plugs -- cheaper and easier to plant and plants won't wash away. Then you also want to think flowers with deep taproots -- Asclepias tuberosa, Amorpha canscens, Eryngium yuccifolium, Baptisia australis, Baptisia australis minor.... If you'd like more help see

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