The importance of grass is known to all the gardening brains out there. A garden is incomplete without the green carpeting of grass on the ground. Well-maintained and healthy grass adds to the beauty of any lawn or garden. In this world of modernization, people are smart enough to find better alternatives for every useful thing. One such better alternative is popularly known as Dwarf Carpet of Stars.
This resilient and dense mat-forming plant is a dwarf variety of plant Ruschia lineolata. This pretty vibrant green plant variety native to South Africa is currently known as the best alternative to grass.
Dwarf Carpet of The Stars Nana
Ruschia lineolata is a succulent plant. The succulents are xerophytes with thick fleshy leaves with water-storing ability. The “succulent” comes from the Latin word “succus” which means sap or juice. Since Ruschia Nana is a dwarf variety of the plant Ruschia lineolata, so it is called Dwarf Carpet of the Stars Nana.
Features of The Dwarf Carpet of Stars
This plant has the following features which make it an excellent choice to be used in place of common grass.
Evergreen Plant Variety
This is an evergreen plant form and retains its green fresh and beautiful color in all seasons. This makes it a perfect choice to make the natural carpet in lawns and gardens. Grass varieties commonly turn yellow in fall giving a not so pleasant appearance to the garden. On the other hand, Dwarf Carpet of the Stars has a lead over the common grass that remains green throughout the year.
The height of the plant remains as low as 1 to 2 inches and does not grow any further, making it further perfect for land coverings.
It can thrive in bright light and medium shady places.
It is resilient towards severe temperatures. The lower range is 20F and the higher temperature range is almost 120F.
The rubbery textured succulent gives beautiful small flowers of a pink base with white stripes. The blooming season is Spring and Fall.
It is tolerant to high levels of rain and droughts. It requires almost 70 % a lesser amount of water for its growth and life, so it is perfect for water conservation. This drought resistance has been recently discovered and tested by California-based DLT Growers.
The thick and crowded plant variety can bear heavy traffic so commonly used in pathways and stone footways.
It is a dense plant and makes the soil safe from the negative effects of erosion.
The close-growing pattern of the plant leaves no place for the weeds to grow. This gives it weed resistance.
The Dwarf Carpet of the Stars Nana is pretty resistant to diseases and pests. This resilience further enhances its edge over the competent common grass. However improper watering schedule may lead to some issues in the foliage.
As the height of the succulent does not exceed 2 inches, so no mowing is required. Low water requirement, weed resistance, and heat tolerance make Dwarf Carpet of the Stars a perfect low maintenance alternative to grass.
Speed of Growth
The plant grows quickly and spreads much faster as compared to the common grass varieties. If it is planted with centers of 6 inches, proper care will yield resulting filled up the carpet in a 3 to 5 months time period.
This succulent variety is perfectly soft and safe for health. It gives a cushioned feeling to the feet during the walk. So it is pretty preferable in domestic lawns and public parks.
Dwarf Carpet of The Stars Ground Cover
Ground Covers in the gardening concept are the layer of plants that form a layer over the ground. Grass and its types are common ground covers. Nana is getting popular due to its resistance to drought, temperature, pressure, and dormancy.
The weed resistance and ability of the plant to save the soil from erosion are also key features increasing its importance as ground covers. These are easy to grow and the frequency of growth is higher. Due to all these qualities, Dwarf Carpet of the Stars Ground covers is preferably used as a modern alternative to grass in parks and domestic lawns.
Cultivation of Dwarf Carpet of The Stars
The Nana is usually planted in the form of plugs. After the roots get strongly footed in the soil, the plant starts to spread quickly forming a closely knitted carpet.
Season of Planting
Another unique feature! You don’t need to wait for the right season to get this thick ground cover. In fact, you can simply plant them throughout the year. However, the speedy growth and filling of the carpet will take place in Spring up till the Autumn season in September. Planting in optimum season will require 3 to 5 months, while pugs planted at the ending of fall and winter will take up to 5 to 7 months to fill up.
The number of pugs required to grow the best carpet is found by a specific technique involving some mathematical calculations. The total number of pugs in a tray is divided by the value obtained by multiplying the planting area taken in square feet and the conversion factor of 0.4 for the spacing of 6 inches in the center. The cultivators advise not to split the pre-prepared plug trays to maximize the growth process.
Soil Requirements and preparation
The normal requirement of healthy soil clean soil is the optimum condition.
- However, if the soil is sandy, you need to add organic material as fertilizer to enhance the growing capacity of the plant in the soil.
- If the soil has added clay in it, you need to loosen up the upper 3 to 4 inches to enable the plugs to form roots easily and grow up speedily into a dense carpet.
- If the land is full of grass varieties like Bermuda or Kikuyu, you need to consult local gardening services for proper removal. These grass varieties have underground growth potentials and can destroy the plant seeds and even the newly forming roots.
- Other harmful stubborn weeds need proper chemical weed removal processes to provide a suitable and healthy growth surface to the plugs of the Dwarf Carpet of the stars.
- The proper level of soil should be seen before planting. As the dwarf Nana will not grow up to 2 inches, so you do not want to create a ground cover below the required surface level.
- The pugs need to be watered properly before being planted. You can use the hand watering process or simply soak the plugs in a large container for optimum absorption of the water in the plugs.
- While planting, a hole twice in-depth and diameter of the plug is required. The plug should be placed completely at the bottom of the hole. After putting it in the soil, just cover the plug soil with the soil of the land and leave the foliage above the ground to save the plug from drying out.
In cooler weather, rodents have the potential to destroy the baby foliage. So to avoid this issue it is advised to create a temporary protection fence or choose some other warmer season for the quick and optimal growth of the Dwarf Carpet of stars.
Dwarf Carpet of The Stars Care
This is a low-maintenance ground cover, yet some important points need to be addressed.
The unplanted plugs need proper care. They should be kept in an open area with a supply of sunlight. These plugs need to be kept watered properly to avoid drying until you finally plant the plugs in the soil.
Let us learn about fulfilling the basic requirement i.e.watering for this tiny succulent. You have to water according to the needs in different stages of life.
Irrigation requirement on the initial level
Once the plugs are planted, they need to be watered softly in lower quantities. Experts advise following the drip irrigation to make sure the water properly reaches the plug heads and ample moisture is provided.
Please note that because the Dwarf Nana is drought resistant, it should not be confused to require any water during its initial phase of growth. Once the roots get footed in the soil and the foliage becomes thicker, the water requirement changes by the passage of time.
Irrigation requirement after 8 weeks
Once 8 to 9 weeks have passed, the plugs will be out of the initial growth requirement and regular watering.
Now you can reduce the watering amount. A lower amount of water is required thrice a week on alternate days. You should also try deep water irrigation at least 2 times a week and keep an eye on the moisture levels of the soil.
Hot weather may require an addition in the quantity and frequency of watering.
Irrigation requirement after maturity
Once the plants are fully grown, you just need once a week deep irrigation schedule for the low maintenance and resilient Nana.
The above irrigation routine is in the optimal situations, however, you need to know the condition of the soil and plants to adjust the watering schedule. Water requirements may change according to the under mentioned conditions:
- Weather and climate of the area.
- Condition and nature of the soil.
- Type of irrigation used.
If you notice a yellowing of the leaves, this indicates an over-irrigation.
While light green or grayish shades usually show that the plants need more of your love through watering.
During the initial growth phases, you need to keep a check on any unwanted weed growth and remove it before it starts flowering or multiply further.
The soil is fertilized in earlier stages of preparation before planting.
The next stage of fertilizer is when the leaves start to grow which is around 1 month or three weeks. You need to get a good fertilizer with suitable ratios of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. The experts or gardeners may help you in the fertilizer selection and quantity.
Mowing and Mulching
The already mentioned above, Dwarf Carpet of Stars is a low maintenance variety, so mulching is not required. The height of Dwarf nana remains under 2 inches so it saves them time and energy used in other grass covers for mowing.
If proper rules are followed for the dwarf carpet of the stars’ care, you will get a pretty and well-maintained grass cover for the lawn.
Dwarf Carpet of Stars Reviews
We have collected some reviews from people who are using the Ruschia Nana as ground covers.
Let us see what they think;
Mark Gray says; “I wanted a denser and low maintenance variety for the lawn of my home. Since I am a busy person and do not want to spend my time and energy mowing and watering. I searched the internet and found about the Dwarf Carpet of the Stars. I got them planted with the help of a local gardening expert in May. got a good green-covered lawn which is healthy and pretty without even getting much attention from me.”
Clara St. says “I and my mother have always been gardening enthusiasts. Mom suggested the Dwarf Nana for my lawn and Voila, I am totally in love with the dense cushioned feeling I get while walking on the law. My friends and my husband also admired my choice for the perfect ground cover instead of the common grass.”
Anthony Lewis says, “I have always believed in the conservation of resources. I wanted a low-maintenance ground cover for the lawn of my new office. The gardening expert advice about the Nana. It proved to be a good suggestion and I even felt a reduction in garden maintenance expenses, isn’t it cool?”
Dwarf Carpet of the Stars is a modernized and best option for ground covers. This resilient, easy to grow and low maintenance succulent has excellent tolerance towards drought, rough weathers, pressure, weeds diseases. If you are thinking about the type of grass or grass cover for your domestic or official lawn, the easy to grow and beautiful ground cover which will give your lawn a beautiful and serene look is non-other than the Dwarf Carpet of Stars.