Dichondra, also known as kidney weed or lawn leaf, is a genus of flowering plants in the morning glory family, Convolvulaceae. It is typically a small, herbaceous plant that only grows up to 15 cm tall but spreads several feet wide. Dichondra is known for its trailing or creeping habit, making it an ideal ground cover plant.
Growing and Caring for Dichondra
Growing Dichondra is relatively easy, and it thrives in well-draining soil with plenty of sunlight. When planting Dichondra, ensure the soil is loose and rich in organic matter. Regular watering is essential, especially during dry periods, as Dichondra prefers consistently moist soil. If the plants dry out, strands will brown and make the plant aesthetically unattractive.
Dichondra is a strong grower and needs little pinching. Space 4″ plants about 6 to 12 inches apart to allow for proper spreading and growth. Dichondra generally has no pest or disease issues, which makes it maintenance free for the most part.
Leaves and Flowers
The leaves of Dichondra are small, rounded, and vibrant green or, in the case of Silver Falls Dichondra, gorgeous silver. The plants can form lush mats that gracefully carpet the ground or spill over containers. Their soft, velvety texture invites gentle caresses and adds a touch of elegance to any landscape.
Uses in Gardening & Landscaping
One of the primary uses of Dichondra is as a ground cover. Its low-growing and spreading nature allows it to form a lush carpet-like cover over the soil, suppressing weeds and providing an aesthetically pleasing alternative to traditional lawns. Dichondra is also used in hanging baskets and garden containers. Its trailing and cascading growth habit creates a graceful and soft appearance, making it an ideal choice for hanging baskets where its foliage can gracefully spill over the edges. Dichondra can trail up more than 6 feet during one season.
Furthermore, its adaptability to various soil types and ability to thrive in both sun and partial shade make Dichondra a versatile and reliable choice for container gardening in different environments. Beyond its decorative uses, Dichondra has practical benefits in erosion control. Its dense mat of foliage helps stabilize soil, preventing erosion on slopes and hillsides.
Silver Falls Dichondra
One of the most popular species of Dichondra is Dichondra argentea, commonly known as Silver Falls Dichondra. This plant is widely used as a ground cover and it is also commonly used in hanging baskets and containers, where it can be grown as a trailing plant. At Martin Garden Center, we grow Silver Falls Dichondra and also purchase it from our vendors. We attempt to stock 4″ Silver Falls Dichondra from early spring to late summer. We also use it in mixed hanging baskets as a spiller.