Growing Dichondra Flowers
Dichondra: Cultivate Lush, Robust Green Dichondra Ground Coverage
Dichondra is a terrific ground cover that thrives well during warm season. It belongs to the family convulvulaceae and is native to Korea, China and Japan. These perennial herbaceous plants grow close to the ground.
They have creeping stems that take root at the leaf nodes, along with lush, kidney-shaped leaves that grow alternate to each other. Dichondra flowers come in white, yellowish or greenish shades and about 2-3 millimetres in diameter.
The actual number of dichondra species is still undefined. However, one of the more popular species is dichondramicrantha.
It has been a well-sought substitute for grass in lawns in California during 1950s and 1960s. Dichondra’s bright green leaves provide a cushion feel underfoot. It forms a mat around 1 1/2 to 3 inches high. Generally, dichondra does not require mowing, but if you want a thick carpet look with smooth finish then try mowing them a bit low.
In some places though, dichondra plants are regarded as weeds. But why consider them a nuisance if you can cultivate them as a ground cover?
First off, evaluate your location because dichondra plants do not grow well in most parts of the Northern United States.
When propagating dichondra, follow these tips:
In order to germinate well and sprout, dichondra seed needs a warm soil temperature, so make sure to grow them when winter has passed.
1.Prepare the planting site. Spade the seed bed 5 or 6 inches deep to promote good drainage and to loosen the soil. Rake the planting site before scattering the seeds. The seeds should be sown or broadcast at the rate of 1 pound per 500 to 1,000 square feet. Cover the seeds lightly with soil.
2.Proper watering is the most important part in starting any kind of lawn. Keep the seed bed moist but never soppy. This is why finding a spot with good drainage is imperative. Fungal problems may occur if you let dichondra plants sit in wet environment. A good tip is to use a fine mist to dampen the seed bed, yet prevent the seeds and soil from washing away.
3.Now listen. Do not allow the seeds to dry out, or the seed sprouts will die. The recommended sprinkling a day to keep the soil moist is 3 to 5 times. Dichondra seeds should sprout in 1-2 weeks in warm weather.
How to Grow Dichondra
Honestly, maintaining a leafy dichondra lawn is a little difficult and requires a lot of attention. So that being said, here are some key guidelines that you can follow to grow and maintain an attractive groundcover this season.
Fertilization – Feed the dichondra lawn monthly with about 1/2 to 1 pound of actual nitrogen. Avoid applying fertilizers when the leaves are wet and make sure to water the leaves after fertilizing. This will carry the plant food into the soil. During fall and winter months, fertilization is a must.
Watering – The most common mistake of growers is to water dichondra plants too lightly and too often. This will cause shallow rooting which makes the plant very weak. This also makes the plant susceptible to diseases and weed invasion. Here is a good rule of thumb. Apply at least 1 inch of water every application (or calculate depending on your soil runoff issues).
Maintaining a neat and well-maintained lawn serves as dichondra’s initial line of defense against weeds and pests. This is developed through good management including watering, fertilization and mowing. Overwatering may result to Alternaria fungus. Insecticides are very useful in controlling cutworms, flea beetles and other pests. Some newer herbicides can help with weed control.