Looking for Dichondra lawn pros and cons? Any worthwhile decision you take on is usually accompanied by the contemplation of what the advantages and disadvantages of that decision would be.
And it is no different when it comes to aspects of your garden – specifically the array of options to substitute your lawn grass. We look at the pros and cons of a Dichondra Lawn.
If you’re looking for an alternative to grass in your yard, for whatever reason, Dichondra could is a worthy candidate to consider.
Also known as kidney grass, mouse ear, or leaf grass, this plant grows up to two inches and can keep its lush green color throughout the year in warm climates.
So, it’s no surprise that homeowners gravitate towards Dichondra – its attractive, dense growth gives lawns that carpet-like look and feel that many people stove towards almost all year round.
These characteristics make it a great alternative to have in your yard. You might be wondering what the downsides or drawbacks if any, are when it comes to this particular plant.
So, instead of leaving you to find out for yourself, we created a pros and cons list of a Dichondra lawn, so you don’t have to!
The Pros of a Dichondra Lawn
1. Low Maintenance
Once the plant has been established, little maintenance is required. Due to their low-growing nature, Dichondra will not grow out of hand and thus would require little or no mowing – depending on your preference, of course.
(Some people even go years without mowing their Dichondra lawn.)
However, if the 2 inches that it grows to is too much, mowing would still only be required a handful of times in a year. Trimming may be required a bit more often if you would like to stay in control of the spread on your lawn.
2. Drought Tolerant
The Dichondra plants are drought tolerant and do not require as much watering as traditional turf. In fact, the plants will grow poorly or be in jeopardy in waterlogged or soggy soil.
So, once the plant is established, it is recommended to let the soil dry out between waterings. That frequency would depend on the season and/or your climate and may differ from one garden to another.
Therefore, a check on the dampness of the soil will be required before watering.
3. Grows Well Where Others Don’t
Dichondra thrives on soil with low nutrients and grows well in areas where traditional lawn grasses might battle.
This also means that generally, no regular fertilizer is required for the plants to grow to their potential, but you are welcome to add fertilizer if you choose to.
Dichondra, by nature, also propagates easily and will cover a lot of ground with a small number of seeds, giving you that little more bang for your buck.
With hardly any effort, as mentioned above, Dichondra will stay green for a good part of the year.
And even though Dichondra is technically classified as a “warm-season” plant, it can still grow and stay green in temperatures as low as -3°Celsius or 25° Fahrenheit.
This makes it a suitable replacement for lawns in large parts of the United States for all four seasons.
The Cons of a Dichondra Lawn
1. Dichondra Battles to Grow in Shade
Dichondra grows best in sunlight. And while it can grow in partial shade, extra effort and maintenance would need to be put in for it to do so.
And even then, the leaves will tend to be smaller, and the stems won’t develop as dense. Therefore. It’s best kept growing in sunny areas if your yard allows.
Dichondras’ lush and soft touch makes it a joy to walk on, but it does come with a small price: it doesn’t hold up well in heavy-trafficked areas.
Therefore, it would only serve as a good lawn substitute if you plan on not frequenting the area that much and/or have pets and children that might want to play on it.
3. Prone to Some Pests
Dichondra plants are usually healthy and don’t encounter issues with diseases often. That said, flea beetles and cutworms like to feed on the plants which damage and can weaken the foil a little bit.
Healthy plants are usually able to overcome these issues, but should they not, you can treat them with insecticide.
4. Preparation can be Intensive
While the maintenance itself is fairly low once the Dichondra plants have been established, it can sometimes be a little tricky to set up correctly from the start. This means that it is essential to prepare the seedbed properly.
It is best suggested to plant the seeds in a weed-free, raked area, and optimal planting weather conditions would be during either early spring or early fall. If you would like an in-depth description of growing Dichondra, check this how-to out.
To sum up, we doubt that any lawn alternative would truly be without any drawbacks, and Dichondra is no different.
However, if low-cost, low maintenance, yet lush green lawn is something that appeals to you, then choosing Dichondra as a lawn alternative may be for you. Just be sure to contemplate all the advantages and disadvantages of your unique garden setup.