Choosing outdoor plants for a sloped yard can be a challenge. Drainage is uneven and erosion of the topsoil occurs after every heavy rainfall. Weeds always seem to grow well, but getting desirable plants to take root can be an “uphill” battle.

best outdoor plants

To overcome this challenge, fill your sloped, hilly or terraced yard with a mixture of plants chosen to diffuse the impact of rainwater drainage. Several beautiful varieties of shrubs, groundcover and flowering plants can thrive on Utah hillsides.

Slope-Friendly Shrubs to Help Control Yard Erosion

Garden shrubs come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Planting a mixture of low-growing and taller outdoor plant varieties will add visual interest and help control topsoil erosion.

To handle the difficult growing conditions of a sloped yard, outdoor plants need a vigorous, soil-holding root systems that can diffuse heavy rains.

The curl-leaf mountain mahogany, a densely-branched, slow-growing evergreen shrub, is a good choice for a sloped lot. The flowering alder-leaved service berry, the upright-spreading red twig dogwood and several species of dwarf forsythia are other slope-friendly shrubs that will do well in most areas of northern Utah.

Outdoor Plants for Groundcover in a Sloped Yard

Instead of wrestling with the mower, why not get replace the grass with groundcover? As these plants grow, they’ll spread to cover the area, filling in around your garden shrubs.

For a sunny, south-facing slope, you can plant Mediterranean herbs, miniature wormwood or gold sedum. If your yard is shady or only gets direct sun for part of the day, consider low-growing hostas, ferns, ornamental grasses or native prairie plants.

Flowering Outdoor Plants Add Color to a Sloped Yard

Would you prefer to turn your hillside into a gorgeous sea of color? Wildflowers are an ideal solution. Native wildflowers can dress up your slope, and they’re easy to maintain.

Start with top-quality seeds, as they’ll contain fewer weed seeds. For these flowering plants to establish well, you’ll need to be diligent about weeding for the first year or two. After that, the wildflowers will naturalize and create a self-sowing landscape that appears to be designed by Mother Nature.

If you prefer a more formal or intentional design, you can plant clusters of perennials. Mountain pinks, candytuft and dwarf iris are just a few of the varieties of flowering outdoor plants with strong enough root systems to handle the conditions of an incline.

The friendly staff at Millcreek Gardens can offer more tips on landscaping your sloped yard. Visit us in Salt Lake City, Utah, today for help in choosing the right outdoor plants for your hillside.