Dichondra argentea is a small herbaceous perennial covering, native to central-northern America; it is also often cultivated as an annual. It has a creeping habit and grows 15-25 cm in height, while in length it can reach 35-50 cm quickly; the foliage is roundish, small in size, very dense and compact, silvery green. In late spring it produces small, not very bright green flowers, usually grown for foliage and not for flowering. These plants are evergreen, although they tend to lose some of the foliage with the arrival of the winter months; the more the climate is rigid and the more they tend to lose foliage, until becoming annuals in areas with very cold winters, with very prolonged frosts. They are therefore used as ground cover perennials in areas with a mild winter climate; they can also be cultivated in pots, and they are very suitable to be planted in hanging baskets, from which they fall elegantly.
Dichondra argentea is grown in a sunny or partially shady place, where it can enjoy direct sunlight for at least a few hours a day; in fact, direct sunlight, so for plants as well as for men, is essential for good health and well-being. In general it can withstand temperatures of some degrees below zero, in areas with very cold winters it is cultivated as an annual, or it moves in a cold greenhouse, or in a protected place, during the cold season.
It tolerates drought without problems, therefore from March to October it is sporadically watered, only in the case of prolonged lack of rainfall, or of particularly dry soil; we avoid excesses. To obtain a luxuriant and dense plant it is advisable to provide fertilizer for green plants, every 15-20 days, mixed with the water used for watering. From October until the following spring, watering and fertilizing are avoided.
If you want to cultivate Dichondra argentea at its best, you need to put it in a good universal soil, mixed with a good amount of sand, to increase drainage and avoid dangerous water stagnation. Plants grown in pots generally do not need very large containers.
The reproduction of the plant takes place by seed, in the spring season; the rapid development of Dichondra argentea allows to get good sized plants starting from the first season. It is also possible to propagate the plant by dividing the clumps or by cutting. The latter consists of using a fragment of the plant (specially cut and carefully placed in the ground, in a vase, in water or in a container) to allow the missing parts to regenerate. However, both the cutting and the division of the clumps are not very common practices. In fact, the simplest seed technique is preferred.
Dichondra argentea: Pests and diseases
The plant can be attacked by aphids and mites. Aphids can be eliminated by using specific broad-spectrum insecticide products while mites with acaricide products. A further problem of the plant is given by the excessive humidity of the soil which can cause the development of root rots.