Ground Cover for Plants for Hill Banks

Updated November 21, 2016

Hill sides, river banks and steep slopes are perhaps the most difficult areas of a yard for a homeowner to landscape. Some of the best planting choices for these challenging areas include ground cover plants. Ground cover plants will spread quickly over a hill bank, making an attractive, textural scene. Ground cover plants also help prevent soil erosion, which can be a problem with hillside landscaping.

Creeping Juniper

Creeping juniper is an evergreen, creeping plant that can easily cover a large area, according to the Virginia Cooperative Extension. Creeping juniper thrives in full sun and is able to withstand hot and dry conditions. This evergreen ground cover is known for its blue-green, needle-shaped foliage. In the winter, creeping juniper plants may turn slate grey or purple. Mature creeping juniper often reaches heights between 1 and 2 feet tall. Trimming branches after the first growing season helps promote a thick, dense cover.


Forsythia is another ground cover plant well adapted to covering a hill side and preventing soil erosion, according to the garden columnist Walter Reeves. Forsythia is an ideal choice for shady hill banks, as the plant adapts well to partially shady conditions. This shrub, also known as the golden bell, blossoms in the spring with yellow blooms, according to the National Garden Association. This hardy shrub works well in many soil conditions, and thrives best in planting zones 5 to 8.

Western Pearly Everlasting

Western Pearly Everlasting causes a hillside to blossom with cottonlike, white blooms in the summer, according to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. This creeping ground cover reaches a mature growth between 1 and 3 feet high. The blooms often form together in clusters, giving the stalks the appearance of having a fluffy crown. This plant is also known to provide a food source for the Painted Lady butterfly. The Western Pearly Everlasting grows best in partial shade to full sun and is well adapted to grow throughout most of the United States.

Wild Strawberry

The wild strawberry plant is another attractive way to landscape a hillside, according to Walter Reeves. This plant features white blooms in the early summer, with red fruit following later in the growing season. Wild strawberries are well adapted to growing zones 3 through 6 and thrives in partial shade to full sun garden conditions. This plant reaches heights between 6 and 10 inches, according to the National Garden Association. The wild strawberry also provides an excellent food source for a variety of birds.

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