- 1 Description of dichondra
- 2 Types and varieties of dichondra
- 3 Dichondra in landscape design + photo
- 4 How can dichondra be propagated
- 5 Optimal conditions for growing dichondra
- 6 How and when to plant dichondra correctly
- 7 Dichondra growing rules
- 8 Pests and diseases
- 9 Conclusion
Dichondra is an evergreen herb of the Bindweed family. Its name translates as "two grains": it is associated with the fruit of the plant, which looks like a capsule with two chambers. In its natural environment, it grows in the tropics and subtropics of America, East Asia, Australia, New Zealand. Planting and caring for dichondra in a temperate climate has its own characteristics.
Description of dichondra
The plant is a tropical vine. In temperate climates it grows up to 1.5-2 m in length.
The dichondra has creeping thin stems of a silvery or emerald color. On them are often petiolate leaves of a round shape, covered with a small fluff. Their size reaches 5-25 mm in diameter. Dichondra is valued precisely for its beautiful lush foliage, while its flowers are inconspicuous and of no decorative interest.
On the ground, the liana forms a thick carpet, its creeping shoots quickly take root thanks to the surface roots that form in internodes.
Dichondra blooms from May to August. Its flowers are small - about 2-3 mm in diameter. Their color can be light yellow, lilac, light green.
In temperate climates, the cultivation and care of ampelous dichondra has its own specifics, since it is cultivated as an annual. In warm regions, it is bred as a perennial plant.
Types and varieties of dichondra
In total, there are 15 species of this tropical plant. In Russia, 2 ornamental varieties are grown:
- emerald waterfall;
- silvery waterfall.
They differ in leaf color and stem length.
The emerald variety is endowed with a branched stem and small leaves of a round shape and rich green color. Most often it is grown in pots, as well as on lawns. The plant loves partial shade.
The silvery waterfall has long stems and silvery leaves. Prefers to grow in the sun, is not afraid of drought, quickly recovers after drying out the soil in a pot. It cannot grow in partial shade, with a lack of light, the appearance of the plant deteriorates.
Dichondra in landscape design + photo
Dichondra is used in landscape design for ampel design - that is, hanging pots with a liana are placed under the eaves of the roof to decorate the walls of the building, and also as a ground cover plant.
The plant is used for landscaping lawns, garden plots, terraces, verandas, gazebos, as well as for creating compositions on the shore of a pond or by the pool. It is not uncommon for landscape designers to use dichondra in patios instead of lawn grass to fill in the spaces between the tiles lined with walkways.
Dichondra is harmoniously combined with fuchsia, petunia, begonia, lobelia. She creates a spectacular backdrop for them.
How can dichondra be propagated
Dichondra is propagated by seeds, cuttings and layering. The first method is painstaking and time consuming. Therefore, dichondra cuttings and layering are more often practiced. The advantage of these two vegetative methods is not only in their simplicity, but also in that they make it possible to preserve all the characteristics of the parent bush.
How to propagate dichondra by cuttings
For reproduction of dichondra by ampelous cuttings, you can use shoots obtained after autumn pruning. They are placed in a moistened substrate to a depth of 3 cm, then watered with a growth stimulant. Next, they need to be covered using plastic bottles, glass jars, non-woven material, put on a windowsill or placed in any bright, warm place. When the first buds appear, the shelter is removed. In spring or early summer, when the weather is right, they are planted in the ground in a permanent place.
How to grow dichondra from seeds
Liana from seeds in temperate climates is grown by the seedling method; in the southern regions, it can be immediately planted on the site. It is necessary to sow dichondra for seedlings for subsequent movement into the ground in winter, since the seedlings grow rather slowly and may not have time to gain strength and get stronger by the time they are planted in open ground.
Propagation of dichondra by layering
This is the easiest and most reliable way. It consists in the fact that the layers are pressed to the moist ground at the locations of the internodes - at these points new roots will begin to form. They will appear in about 7-14 days, after another month they are separated from the bush and planted in a new place. The cuttings take root very quickly and take root well - thanks to the superficial roots.
Optimal conditions for growing dichondra
Dichondra is a tropical thermophilic plant, and appropriate conditions are needed for it. The air temperature at which the vine will grow normally should be 18-25 degrees. If the thermometer drops below 10, the plant withers and dies. Too high temperatures - about 30 degrees - lead to yellowing and drying out, therefore, in hot weather, dichondra must be watered often, while avoiding waterlogging of the soil.
How and when to plant dichondra correctly
The rules for planting dichondra in open ground and caring for it depend on the climate of the area. You can plant a plant only when the weather is warm in summer - the temperature is kept at around 20 degrees or higher.
In temperate areas, dichondra should be planted in June. In the southern regions, the landing time is mid-May.
Site selection and soil preparation
When planting outdoors, a non-ventilated location must be selected. The silvery waterfall prefers sunny areas, the emerald variety must be placed in partial shade.
There are no special requirements for the soil. The only condition is that the land is drained. The plant will thrive in loamy soil with a pH of 6.6 to 8.
How to plant dichondra in the ground
Liana grows quite slowly, and this must be taken into account when using it as a ground cover plant. When planting in the ground, it is necessary to observe the distance between the bushes - about 15 cm. The holes are dug to such a depth that the root with a lump of earth can freely fit in them. The seedlings are placed in the planting holes by the transshipment method, then they are covered with soil, tamped and watered.
Dichondra growing rules
Correct planting and caring for the ampelous dichondra is very important.Only if the cultivation technology is observed will the plant retain its decorative qualities for 5-6 years. She needs regular watering, fertilizing, weeding, pruning.
Watering and feeding schedule
Dichondra needs to be watered regularly as the land dries up. This should be done in the evening so that there is no scorching sun rays, otherwise the plant may get burned. You need to water at the very root. In addition, on hot days, daily moistening of the bushes is required in the morning or evening.
It is important not to allow stagnation of water and waterlogging of the soil, otherwise the roots will begin to rot.
Once every 2 weeks, it is recommended to feed with mineral fertilizers with potassium and nitrogen. You can use complexes designed for indoor deciduous plants. After fertilizing, the vine must be watered so that it does not get burned.
Loosening and weeding
The root system of the dichondra is close to the soil surface. In order not to harm it, weeding and loosening must be done very carefully and only by hand.
Pinching and trimming
After the formation of the eighth leaf, the dichondra is pinched to start branching and the formation of a lush crown.
Throughout the summer, as the shoots grow, they are pruned. Thanks to this, the dichondra always looks lush. Too long shoots that are knocked out of the composition are subject to pruning. The last procedure is carried out in the fall, before preparing the vines for winter. Cut cuttings can be used for propagation.
Preparing dichondra for wintering
In temperate climates, dichondra is cultivated as an annual plant. If you need to keep it until spring, you need to proceed as follows:
- Before the onset of frost, cut off the aerial part.
- Dig up the rhizome of the dichondra. Proceed gently to shake off the clod.
- Transfer to a basement with a temperature of at least + 10 degrees, cover with moistened peat or cover with a rather thick layer of wet sand so that the roots do not dry out.
After such wintering, new stems with roots should appear. They need to be cut off with a sharp knife and planted in individual pots. With the onset of warm weather, transfer the dichondra to open ground, while applying fertilizer. Or you can wait for optimal temperatures and immediately plant them in the soil without placing them in bowls.
In the southern regions, the dichondra is left to winter in the garden: it is covered with earth, covered with a film, on top of which fallen leaves or needles are laid.
If dichondra ampelous grows in a garden in pots, when cold weather sets in, it is transferred to a room: a closed veranda, a balcony, a loggia.
Pests and diseases
Dichondra is resistant to diseases and pests, and the fight against them is most often reduced to preventive measures:
- weed by hand in a timely manner, do not mulch the soil around the bush;
- do not overuse feeding, monitor the level of nitrogen - it should not be too high;
- with a heavily overgrown dense crown, reduce the number of watering so as not to cause the appearance of mold and fungi.
Important! Excessive moisture for dichondra is much more harmful than overdrying a clod of earth.
Pests that sometimes infect a plant include nematodes, flea beetles, whiteflies and aphids.
Nematodes can kill tropical creepers. They appear at high humidity. It is not easy to deal with them, as a rule, the plant is subject to destruction, and the soil is treated with chemicals.
The rest of the pests attack the vine less often. To destroy them, use acaricidal agents.
Planting and caring for dichondra is a rather exciting activity for amateur gardeners, there are no particular difficulties. The remuneration for labor will be a beautifully designed, pleasing to the eye site.