Dymondia margaretae silver carpet

Dymondia margaretae

Dymondia margaretae also known as Silver Carpet and Mini Gazania is native to the coastal plains of South Africa forms a slowly spreading, very flat, dense mat over time that chokes out virtually all weeds.

Mature plants are 1 to 2 inches tall with 1 to 2 inch long narrow leaves that are gray-green on top with white on the bottom. When deprived of water the leaf margins curl up giving the plant an appearance of being variegated. Small yellow flowers appear in the summer.

Plant in full sun to partial shade in a well-drained soil. Dymondia grows relatively slowly but with regular irrigation for the first year will speed up its spread. It’s fleshy foots allow it to be very drought tolerant and an ideal ground cover for those hard to water places.

Use Dymondia as a lawn substitute, between flag stone, stepping stones, pavers, soil retention on slopes of hills. Silver Carpt can handle heavy foot traffic , even an occssional car parked on it , and has been referred to as living cement.

It can easily handle 100 degrees F once established and is hardy to 25 degrees F.

We are offering a well-established clump of plants that are about 6 inches in diameter. This could be divided into 4 to 8 plants and planted out 4 to 6 inches on center

Dymondia Lawn Care – Tips On Using Dymondia As A Grass Substitute

Drought is a serious concern across much of the United States, and many homeowners are looking for attractive, low-maintenance lawn substitutes. Dymondia (Dymondia margaretae), also known as silver carpet, is worth considering if you live in a warm climate – using dymondia as a grass substitute is suitable in USDA plant hardiness zones 9b through 11.

Dymondia Lawn Alternative

Native to South Africa, Dymondia consists of low-growing mats of narrow, greyish-green leaves with fuzzy white undersides that give the plants a silvery appearance. In summer, this environmentally friendly plant produces masses of tiny, daisy-like blooms that are frequently visited by bees.

Using Dymondia

as a grass substitute isn’t the best option if your lawn receives a lot of activity, as Dymondia tolerates only light to moderate foot traffic. You can protect a Dymondia lawn by using flat paving stones to create walking paths through heavily trafficked areas, but if you have children that enjoy running and playing on the lawn, you may need a sturdier lawn alternative.

Growing Dymondia Lawns

Dymondia groundcover for lawns require full sunlight or light shade. Dymondia performs best in sandy, well-drained soil, and is easy to establish by planting flats, which are divided into small pieces and planted about 12 inches apart. However, you can also plant seeds, or you can plant divisions from existing plants.

Although Dymondia is extremely drought-tolerant, it requires regular water for the first six months. A layer of mulch will help keep the soil moist while the plant becomes established and spreads to fill in bare spots.

Dymondia Lawn Care

After the first six months, Dymondia is drought-tolerant; however, it benefits from an occasional watering when weather is especially hot and dry. Dymondia never needs mowing, but division will keep the stand vibrant and healthy if the plants eventually become overcrowded.

Dymondia, Silver Carpet

Category:

Groundcovers

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Foliage:

Evergreen

Smooth

This plant is resistant to deer

Foliage Color:

Bronze

Height:

under 6 in. (15 cm)

Spacing:

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown – Tell us

Danger:

N/A

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown – Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown – Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown – Tell us

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Unknown – Tell us

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Phoenix, Arizona

Berkeley, California

Carlsbad, California

Cupertino, California

Dana Point, California

Encinitas, California

Fremont, California

Huntington Beach, California

Indio, California

Long Beach, California(2 reports)

Pittsburg, California

San Diego, California(2 reports)

Sherman Oaks, California

Stockton, California

Vista, California(9 reports)

North Port, Florida

show all

Silver Carpet

Description

  • Dymondia magaretae is commonly known as Silver carpet
  • They are an evergreen indigenous groundcover
  • Dymondia margaretae is an evergreen perennial that grows up too 50 mm high and with a creeping, much-branched rhizome, at or just below the surface.
  • It is fast-growing, forming a dense, spreading, flat mat of growth, which completely covers the surface.
  • Blue-grey, basal leaf rosettes are borne on short erect shoots from the rhizome. The leaves are small, rigid and thick, linear-oblanceolate (narrowly lance-shaped with the broadest part above the middle), with 2-3 shallow, obtuse teeth on each side. Leaf margins are slightly incurved showing the pale, felt-like undersides. The upper leaf surface is dark green and glabrous (hairless).
  • Dymondia is attracts many insects including bees, beetles and butterflies. They assist with seed dispersal and plant propogation
  • Silver carpet is widely used in horticulture as a hardy, stout ground cover and filler between stepping stones.
  • It is a valuable landscape plant with its attractive appearance and hardiness and can be used in rockeries and coastal gardens.
  • It is known as a good lawn substitute. It can handle light or limited pedestrian traffic
  • Silver carpet excellent water-wise alternative.
  • It is ideal for borders, pathways or a lawn substitute in sunny courtyards.
  • It is a valuable plant in coastal gardens, helping to limit wind erosion in bare patches and retain soil on slopes.
  • In areas of high rainfall it should be grown on a generous slope or raised rockery to improve drainage.
  • It is tolerant of light frost
  • This plant can be grown from seed, cuttings or division. The most usual and easiest method of propagation is division followed by tip cuttings. Vegetative propagation is best done in late winter or early spring as the plant prepares for its new growth season.
  • Tip cuttings can be made from shoots off the rhizomes and, with the aid of a rooting hormone, should root within 3-4 weeks.

Dymondia margaretae hails from the daisy or aster family, Asteraceae and is a species of a flowering tolerant groundcover.

It is commonly known as Silver Carpet due to its silvery-green leaves.

The species is endemic to South Africa, specifically to the Cape Province region.

It is an evergreen perennial often used across the United States in harsh conditions.

From a South African native, this plant has now become a common plant in the Southern California landscape, where it is known as Mini Gazania.

In addition to its beautifully unique foliage, the plant produces small daisy-like flowers in the summer bloom time.

Did you know this plant is a rare case where the genus and species are both named after the same person?

Dymondia margaretae is named in the honor of Margaret Elizabeth Dryden-Dymond, a noted horticulturist from South Africa.

Dymondia Margaretae Care

Size & Growth

The foliage of silver carpet is the main reason for its popularity.

This is a ground-hugging plant, growing up to 1” to 3” inches tall at most and handles light foot traffic.

It has a slow growth pattern, spreading several feet across the ground.

The grey-green leaves have fuzzy with white undersides.

The white undersides help give the plant its silvery appearance.

The narrow leaves also curl inward, giving a variegated look.

Flowering and Fragrance

Yellow daisy flowers dot the gray-green foliage during the mid-summer bloom time.

Each flower is approximately 1” inch across in diameter and looks similar to Shasta daisies.

These flowers accent the lovely foliage for a good season, making pavers and groundcovers a little more exciting.

Light & Temperature

These plants are hardy to USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11 and thrive under the full sun or in light shade.

Partial shade is recommended for days when the sun is extremely harsh.

Otherwise, these plants are pretty sturdy in tough climates.

Watering and Feeding

the drought tolerant silver carpet Dymondia margaretae has low water needs.

This ground cover can survive extremely dry and warm climates without getting regular irrigation.

Occasional watering during hot and dry weather is appreciated for healthy and vibrant growth.

When the plants are young and freshly planted, they need to be watered regularly for the first six months.

Add a layer of mulch to keep the soil moist to establish roots successfully.

Fertilizers aren’t necessary but can encourage tightly-matted and vigorous growth.

For this, fertilize with an all-purpose, low-potency organic fertilizer.

Feed the plants only once a year in late winter or early spring.

Soil & Transplanting

Sandy, well-drained soils are perfect for silver carpet margaretae.

As for moisture, low to medium moisture will do perfectly as the plants are drought-tolerant.

When you’re transplanting offsets or root divisions, divide the plants into equally small pieces.

Discard ones with dry or fading roots.

Plant the healthy ones in a sunny location, spaced 12” inches apart.

Grooming and Maintenance

Unlike regular garden grass, D. margaretae doesn’t need to be mowed or cut to control its growth.

The only maintenance required is the division of rhizomes to prevent overcrowding.

Overall, the plant is pretty low-maintenance and is fine left to its own devices to thrive.

How to Propagate Silver Carpet

This plant type has deep, succulent roots. These roots or rhizomes, tubers, and corms or bulbs are divided and transplanted to new locations.

After the growing season, offsets and new growth are used to propagate silver carpet.

If you want to, the plant will propagate by seeds.

Before the last frost passes before spring, start the seeds indoors.

Let them germinate at a warm temperature before planting them outdoors in mid to late spring.

If you wait for the last frost to pass, sow the seeds directly in the ground.

Silver Carpet Pest or Disease Problem

These plants are gopher meals.

Don’t plant them in your garden of gophers are a major problem.

There may be some susceptibility to common perennial problems.

Otherwise, it is free from most pest and disease problems.

Suggested Dymondia Margaretae Uses

Since this plant has very low water needs and is drought tolerant, it is often recommended as a lawn alternative for areas with light foot traffic.

However, it is not like the usual garden grass and doesn’t do well in areas with heavy activity.

To find a way around it, make a path with paving stones, or flagstones and plant silver carpet around it as a paver.

Similarly, use it around rock gardens as a ground cover.

It also looks good in containers and on stone walls to create a cascading effect with its small yellow daisy flowers.

You don’t have to worry about using it around garden borders as it is deer-resistant.

However, it is not the right option if your garden has a gopher problem.

The lowdown on dymondia and three other lawn alternatives

Do you have any suggestions for drought-tolerant, kid-friendly ground cover? We’ve read that dymondia works well to fill in space between pavers but haven’t found any talk of how well this plant works as a grass substitute, spread across a yard.

Can our kids walk barefoot? Will the dymondia attract bees? And will it flourish in an area that gets sun and shade?

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Julie Cho
Irvine

Many drought-tolerant, kid-friendly lawn alternatives thrive in Los Angeles and can save money and time in addition to water. As many municipalities work to reduce outdoor water use, you may be eligible for grants and rebates. Even if we were to set aside those upfront cash incentives, I’d estimate that a family replacing 1,000 square feet of grass with a smart alternative could save as much as $3,500 a year in water bills, mowing service fees and other related maintenance costs.

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Dymondia comes from the Western Cape of South Africa, where the climate is similar to our own. It is drought-tolerant. It thrives in full sun and can tolerate partial shade inland. Bees tend to ignore it until the silvery foliage erupts with dainty, daisy-like flowers in summer. But the larger consideration: Anything more than light foot traffic presents problems.

To keep dymondia lush, my firm tends to use it with stepping stones in high traffic areas. When first planted, dymondia will need generous watering, thick mulch and regular weeding for about six months, or until it spreads to cover open spaces.

Dymondia is wonderful, but a few other lawn alternatives are worth consideration. Given that you’re looking for ground cover that can accommodate high levels of activity and be bee-free year-round, I think you would be happiest with a different lawn alternative. Each of the following will help you retire your mower, avoid chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and conserve water as well as create a lush, beautiful space for your family:

Carex pansa. A California native sedge, Carex pansa can take almost any amount of foot traffic. It emulates the true green of a traditional lawn, yet, because it has thicker blades (like soccer field grass), it’s tougher and needs 50% to 70% less water. Planted in plugs, it grows in 6-to-8-inch-tall mounds. The plugs form a solid ground cover in three to six months. With an occasional mow, it will be flat and foot friendly — and free of bees.

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Carex glauca. With fluffy, beautiful blades — a little narrower than Carex pansa and similar in color to dymondia — Carex glauca is another good choice. It spreads rapidly, and, if you accept blades that are 6 to 8 inches tall, it never needs mowing. The effect is akin to a meadow, with blades that are exceptionally soft to the touch. If you want Carex glauca to lie flat underfoot, simply mow it once per month. It produces seed heads, not flowers, so it attracts few bees. As a spreader, it does need edging or mulch to hold it to its territory.

UC Verde. Also known as Bouteloua dactyloides, this plant looks like Carex pansa with a finer texture. It performs like a Bermuda grass lawn. A chartreuse blanket takes three to six months to establish from plugs. It will need weeding while it’s getting established, and with the exception of a brief dormant period in summer, it has great color most of the year.

—Cassy Aoyagi

Cassy Aoyagi is co-founder and president of FormLA Landscaping, www.formlainc.com. She is an accredited designer in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, a licensed contractor and board president of the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wildflowers and Native Plants.

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