Dwarf gardenia plants are effective at controlling soil erosion because of their naturally compact roots which spread quickly over the growing environment. Dwarf gardenia grows well in partially shaded areas with a balanced soil fertilized to meet the plant's nutrient requirements. Some gardeners rely on dwarf gardenias to prevent costly and time-consuming damage to the land itself.
Wind and water can naturally remove layers of soil as time wears on. This is known as soil erosion and can have devastating consequences to the environment if left unchecked. Excessive rainfall can transport large amounts of soil deposits long distances, potentially damaging homes, agriculture and even whole towns.
Problems stemming from soil erosion can leave devastating consequences in their wake. Third world countries such as Haiti have suffered incalculable architectural, property and agricultural damage as the result of erosion, like the loss of products like cotton, indigo and tobacco. Soil conservation has been studied in America as far back as the mid-19th century.
Gardenia jasminoides 'Prostrata' is another name for trailing or dwarf gardenia. These small flowering plants thrive in slightly acidic soils and warm climates. The plant grows dense, strong root systems that provide excellent drought-tolerance after reaching maturity.
Dwarf gardenias can be an effective erosion control within relatively small areas. Plant the flowers about 2 to 3 feet apart. The flower's root can spread up to 6 feet wide, helping to control soil movement through both rain and wind. Small basins should be created around each plant by piling dirt in circles 1 foot from the base.
Vinca minor is a similar low-growing plant that helps control erosion. Other options include thick layers of organic mulch and hay bags built along the bottom of slopes to prevent sediment transportation. Some governments help protect citizens by aiding in the construction of trenches to redirect soil movement.