Dikhondra - a great plant for decorating flower beds or to create green walls, cascades, arches, curtains, screens. The cascades of emerald or silver-green leaf-shaped shoots resemble a waterfall in shape.
It is widely used in the design of arbors, terraces, verandas. Most impressively, it looks in hanging pots. Some growers replace it with lawn grass - dichondra grows excellently in partial shade, hiding unsightly bare areas among trees, quickly forming a thick coating between the stones of the decorative walkway.
Ampelnaya dikhondra silver waterfall growing from seed photo
Dichondra (Dichondra) - a representative of the genus of herbaceous evergreen perennials of the family Vyunkovye, whose relative is a well-known morning glory. The name is inspired by Greek words, which in translation mean “two grains”, hinting at the similarity of the fruit of dichondra with a two-chamber capsule. Under natural conditions, it lives in the humid tropics of Australia, New Zealand, East Asia, and America.
The root system of the plant is superficial, the height of the shoots is not more than 15 cm, and the length of the creeping and creeping shoots reaches 1.5, and sometimes - 8 m. The stems have branched and quickly rooting with the help of roots formed in the internodes. Round coin-like leaves abundantly cover shoots. Leaves with silky pubescence are silvery or bright green - it depends on the variety. Ugly flowers bloom from mid-May to August.
About 10 varieties are known, but the two most famous varieties of dichondra are: “Emerald Falls” and “Silver Falls”. With proper care, it is very quickly gaining a green mass - for a month it is possible to assemble from several bushes an imitation of a waterfall or stream on the backyard territory.
Lighting and soil
Dichondra care is not burdensome and is available to any grower. Dikhondra loves a lot of light - it is located in sunny areas, it is tolerant to partial shade. With a lack of lighting, the silver foliage becomes greenish, the twigs are drawn out, and the leaves become shallow. It grows on almost any soil, but develops better on well-drained loam.
Dichondra is a representative of marsh flora - for it the humidity of the surrounding atmosphere is of extraordinary importance. The mass of leafy leaves increases the more, the more often you spray your plant.
But the excess moisture in the soil can be detrimental, as well as the drying of the substrate. With the stagnation of the liquid surface roots rot. Water often and gradually, avoiding stagnant water.
Once every two weeks you can feed the plant with a solution of liquid fertilizer, it stimulates the formation of new shoots and leaves.
All operations associated with watering and feeding, it is better to carry out in the evening or in cloudy weather, because it is impossible to avoid moisture on the leaves. This should be avoided so as not to cause burns.
Dichondra creeping like a ground cover photo
If you plant a plant as a ground cover, do not forget to sprinkle it with earth in several places as the lashes grow. Such care allows rooting long processes: the plant grows stronger, giving additional offspring, the leaves become larger, evenly filling the allotted area.
Dichondra as a houseplant. Care and transplantation of dichondra in the apartment.
Dikhondra silver waterfall growing home photo
Often the flower is grown as a houseplant. Beauty care is simple: timely regular watering (without excess) and sufficient lighting. The air temperature in the room is quite comfortable for the plant; it should not be allowed to fall below 10 ° C. There are no special requirements for air humidity. The plant responds well to top dressing in spring and summer with a frequency of 1-2 times per month. Use complex fertilizers for decorative leafy plants according to the manufacturer's instructions. Soil for landing get nutritious, with a slightly acid reaction.
Perfectly transfers the neighborhood with other colors that is used for drawing up effective compositions. Dichondra is usually planted on the edge of a large pot, creating a falling waterfall of leaves that sets off decorative flowering plants.
Over time, the place of dichondra becomes small, it becomes necessary to transfer to a more spacious container. A flower is transplanted if necessary by the method of transshipment - when the roots are tightly woven over an earthen ball in a pot. The signal for this operation is the appearance of the roots of the drainage holes of the pot. To do this, pick up a larger dish, at the bottom of which lay expanded clay, sprinkling it on top of a small layer of soil.
Roots that protrude from drainage holes are pruned. With one hand, take the top of the pot, turn it over so that the container is at the top. With the other hand, the pot is removed from the plant as a hat from the head. Then gently turn the roots into a new dish, pouring fresh soil into the space between the walls of the pot and the roots.
If it is not possible to contain adult plants in an apartment, then many growers grow dichondra as an annual, therefore, in the fall they are grafted, rooting the lash, thereby rejuvenating the flower. Such landings take up very little space, and it is much easier to care for them.
Dichondra bushes do not lose their attractiveness for 6 years or more with proper, timely care.
In Australia and New Zealand, the plant is considered a malicious weed, ruthlessly exterminated by farmers and gardeners, but the Europeans have recognized Dichondra as one of the best plants for decorating vertical compositions.
Growing dichondra from seed to seedlings at home
Dichondra cultivation from seeds at home photo
The most affordable method when it is impossible to acquire a ready-made plant is to grow a flower from seeds. Sowing on seedlings produced from late January - mid February. The sooner you do this, the faster dichondra will gain vegetative mass in the first season.
For guaranteed germination, you can pre-process the seeds with a growth stimulator, for example, with epin. Agave juice is suitable for soaking (squeeze out a few drops from a leaf and add water) or hydrogen peroxide solution (1 tbsp. Spoon for 200 ml of liquid). It is enough to hold the seeds for about an hour in any of the solutions.
If you purchased granulated seeds, they are sown dry. For sowing suitable loose substrate. It is better to put the pips at once in 2-3 pots to a depth of no more than a centimeter. Crops are covered with glass, film or placed in a plastic bag. They begin to germinate in a week. The first time grow very slowly. To keep the sprouts from stretching, keep them closer to the light - you can arrange additional lighting with fluorescent lamps or special fitolamps.
If the seedlings are stretched, it can be saved by gently adding loose soil between the plants, sprinkling out of a spoon with a toothpick. So thin legs will not break and seedlings will not fall down, and over time the stems will become more powerful.
When 2-3 true leaves are formed, dichondra seedlings can be transplanted in one plant separately into cups, or immediately, several in hanging pots. Before you plant seedlings in open ground or take out the flowerpots on the balcony, be sure to temper the dichondra. In the first season, the seedlings do not develop actively enough, and they do not have time to increase the luxuriant vegetative mass.
Dichondra reproduction by cuttings
Cuttings perfectly survive in a wet, loose substrate - sand in half with peat. The best time for grafting is the end of February. It is better to immediately place them two or three in pots, and cover with a glass jar, which is removed after the appearance of new buds. Thus, you will already have a finished pot, you just have to care for it as an adult plant. You can plant the cuttings one by one in the pots for rooting or several pieces in a container, so that later, with the arrival of warm days, you can plant them on flower beds.
When growing dichondra as a ground cover plant, some of the cut branches can be sprinkled with earth - in a few days the rudiments of roots will appear in this place. Soon, you will receive copies ready for independent living.
How to keep dichondra silver in winter
Where the winters are cold, dichondra is grown as an annual plant, but it may well winter in a cool room. Too long shoots are pruned before wintering. All care is reduced to periodic watering and rare feeding. If there is an opportunity, it is better to place a pot with a flower on the porch window or on a heated loggia - it is light enough and the temperature is optimal. If the dichondra has to be kept in the room, then after turning on the central heating, the leaves should be sprayed with water several times a day. But most of all she suffers from a lack of lighting - take care of the organization of the backlight with special lamps.
You can try to keep dichondra in the basement. To do this, all the shoots are cut, the rhizome is carefully dug out, with a lump of earth transferred to the basement, covered with moist peat. In the spring on such a plant new stems with sprouts are formed. They can be used for grafting, and the bush is again planted in a flower bed.
Dichondra in landscape design and as an ampelous plant for the decoration of facades
Dichondra in ampeloid composition with other colors photo
Growing dichondra in landscape design and indoor floriculture is mainly used for vertical decoration of exteriors and interiors. She landed in hanging baskets and flowerpots with the ability to grow and fall down the picturesque shoots of waterfalls. Often used for background gardening, superbly shading colorful foliage with its foliage. From it even create original sculptures. A wire frame is made of wire, and dichondra braids it, as a result of which an incomparable creation is obtained.
Types and varieties
Ampel Dichondra (creeping) - one of the best decorative and deciduous crops, which is able to decorate even the most inconspicuous landscapes. It has a rich appearance, and this captivates many landscape designers and gardeners.
The special value of this vine is long falling shoots, giving the impression of a flowing waterfall. From what came the name of the two most popular varieties of amidel dichondra.
Dikhondra Emerald Falls - An evergreen creeping plant, has round green leaves located on short branches. It is worth noting that the foliage that gets more sunlight is smaller than the one in the shade. Blooms with inconspicuous small yellow-green flowers.
Dichondra Silver Falls - differs from the previous species in the color of the leaves, which has a silvery-ash tint, slightly pubescent surface and silky in appearance. The leaves are located on longer stems.
A characteristic feature is the fact that the leaves can lose their decorative effect, if you choose a place for location (or planting) in the shade. Lack of sunlight will lead to the loss of such a charming silvery shade of leaves.
Dichondra ampelous planting and care
For Dykhodra, which has green foliage, it is suitable for both a sunny place and a shade, while for silver species it is better to choose a well-lit place for location.
The optimum temperature can be considered in the range of 20-25 ° C, a drop below 15 ° C is undesirable, therefore, in winter, dichondra requires shelter. This is due to the fact that this delicate flower is quite thermophilic and in natural conditions it prefers to grow in moist soils and with high air temperature.
Therefore, those specimens that were planted directly in open ground, you must carefully dig, plant in a pot and bring into a room with a temperature of 18-20 ° C and store until spring. Shelters require and those copies that were on the street in pots or hanging pots. Otherwise, dichondra freezes and disappears, and in this case it can be considered an annual plant.
The plant is not particularly demanding to high humidity, but on particularly dry and sultry summer days it will be the right decision to spray dichondra from a sprayer (several times a day), for which it will thank you for its lush, active growth, flowering and rich color of foliage.
Abundant watering is preferable, but stagnation of water is not allowed, therefore, good drainage is necessary, and if water still remains after irrigation (not absorbed) in the pan, it must be drained. Water should be warm and settled. If possible, use settled rainwater.
Soil for dichondra
The soil is not demanding plant, so it is quite suitable universal substrate, which can be purchased at any specialty store. If, however, be planted in open ground, it is necessary to make a complex mineral fertilizer and disinfect each well with special means, from parasites.
Pruning is one of the important components of proper care. Thanks to this procedure, the growth of the plant is ensured not only in length, but also in breadth, thereby creating a density, so necessary, in the creation of compositions. In addition, pruning contributes to a variety of forms.
Dichondra ampelous cultivation from seeds
Seeds are sown in boxes with a pre-moistened substrate and pressed down slightly, but not covered with earth on top. After that, the box is covered with glass.
Within a week and a half, shoots begin to spit; during all this time, a temperature of 20-23 ° C should be maintained around the box; if there is no such possibility, then set the box closer to the window sill on sunny days.
After the emergence of seedlings for another two to three months, the growth of dichondra is insignificant (slowed down), only after at least 5-7 fully opened leaves appear, it means rooting is successful and you can replant young plants for permanent residence.
Dichondra reproduction cuttings
Reproduction by cuttings is quite simple. Chopped (cut off) cuttings 5-7 cm long and rooted in moist soil under a can or cut plastic bottle. After 1-2 weeks rooting will occur and they can be transplanted into pots.
Dichondra reproduction by layering
During reproduction by layering, a long stem is selected (without cutting off from the mother plant) laid out along the ground and pressed down in several places (at a distance of 7-8 cm).
After rooting, this stem is cut, and in the places of rooting, they dig and carefully dig up each separate process with the root and plant it in separate pots.
Diseases and pests
It is noticed that dichondra is very resistant to an ampelous plant, resistant to damage by various pests, and practically does not get sick. Even if trouble happens to this beautiful plant, everything can be easily fixed.
Choose healthy areas of the plant and transplant (root). The breeding process is so simple that some people prefer to use dichondra as an annual plant and plant new ones every year. Who like?
Description of "waterfall plants"
Ampelnaya dichondra refers to the genus of flowering plants that have creeping stems. Her homeland - subtropical and tropical swamps, as well as wet areas near water bodies.
Long dianthrae creepers are covered with kidney-shaped leaves with slight pubescence. In diameter, they reach 2.5 cm, and the petioles extend up to 3 cm. The dichondra grows no more than 20 cm in height, but the stems reach 1.5 m. At the end nodes they are able to release roots, therefore, the vine is used not only as hanging, but and groundcover.
In the shade it grows much thicker than in the sun. Leaf color depends on the type of plant. So, silver has light, almost gray leaves, while emerald is of deep green color. In the summer of Dichondra produces nondescript flowers up to 3 mm in diameter. Depending on the variety, they may be yellow, purple, white, light green.
How to grow dichondra
To grow a vine in your garden, you can use one of three ways to grow it: layering, cuttings or seeds.
Amateur gardeners who do not have much experience in growing flowers are recommended to use dichondra cuttings. Caring for it involves periodic pruning to form a bush, and this can be used to collect cuttings. In this case, it is enough to choose a strong stalk and place it in a container with water. The roots should appear in about a week. Now the cuttings can be planted in a container with a special substrate and covered with non-woven material. Температура в горшке должна держаться примерно на уровне комнатной, а сам он должен располагаться на светлой солнечной стороне. Через месяц дихондру можно высаживать на постоянное место.
Еще один несложный способ размножения дихондры — использование отводков. Для этого выбирают крепкий стебель и часть его прикапывают в грунт, прижав с двух сторон специальными зажимами. At the same time, it is recommended to water the growth site with the stimuli.
Over time, sprouts will appear in its place, which completely repeat the characteristics of the mother plant. In this case, it is also important to maintain the desired temperature in the place of rooting, so it should also be covered with garden cloth.
Dichondra breeds and seeds, but growing from seed is carried out in advance, not later than mid-February. Only in this case, by summer the seedlings will be ready for planting, since the plant is characterized by a long period of seedling formation.
To do this, prepare containers with a special primer, watered with a stimulator "Zircon" or sodium humate. Seeds are buried to a depth of no more than 5 mm, and then covered with polyethylene or glass. Containers should be stored in a lit place at room temperature.
Approximately in a week the first sprouts should be seen. They will get the expected decorative effect in about 100 days. Planting seedlings in open ground should be at a distance of 35 cm, and when planted in a tank, it can be slightly reduced.
To form a lawn, the soil is loosened, leveled, moistened, then sown uniformly at the rate of about 10 g per square meter. After this, the primer needs to be rolled a little. Then water until the first sprouts appear. The soil should not dry out. It is possible to sow a plant on a lawn from spring to autumn, periodically watering with nitrogen fertilizer.
How to care for ampel dichondra
As already mentioned, the question of how to grow dichondra is completely simple. It is important to remember that this is a moisture-loving plant that prefers acidic soil. When grown in tanks, he needs to ensure good drainage.
An important point in the care of dichondra is watering. Water should be served at the root, regularly and in a timely manner, but not overflowing - when the water stagnates, the plant may die. The earth should not dry up or be overwetted. Dichondra should be watered every day, preferably in the evening, in order to avoid leaf burns when water gets on them. At this time, watering is well done with irrigation, which will help maintain the required level of moisture for the plant.
Once a week dichondra requires feeding. It is recommended to alternate mineral, nitrogen fertilizers with organic. If the plant is planted in pots or a container and when planting a long-acting fertilizer is not made, it should be fertilized twice a month with a soluble combination preparation.
In order for the plant to form a dense crown, it must be constantly cut by about 7-8 cm. If you do it regularly and correctly, it will retain its decorative effect for about 5-7 years.
Dichondra is resistant to parasites and diseases. The only thing that sometimes is affected by a nematode, which can be fought in traditional ways.
Application in landscape design
The plant looks great in a variety of planting options: individual, group, as home carpet, decoration of garden structures, buildings. Also it is used to decorate the balcony flower beds. Dichondra looks great in combination with fuchsia, pelargonium, lobelia, petunias, begonias. When planting in pots as neighboring plants should choose bindweed, petunia, dahlia. You can also combine several varieties of Dichondra, which will also look impressive.
The vegetation of the plant is characterized by high rates, especially when it comes to open areas. The fact is that the root system of dichondra is superficial, it forms quickly.
Also, during container cultivation, dichondria are placed on unshadowed areas, otherwise the leaves may lose their bright color without light entering. However, as for the emerald variety, it is permissible to plant it near trees, extensions, to be placed under the eaves - it does not fear shade. The remaining varieties are recommended to be planted along fences or garden paths.
The silver variety is recommended to be planted in an alpine slide, where it will create the illusion of a flowing waterfall. This effect is especially pronounced when sunlight strikes the leaves and gives amazing glare. Against this background, flowers of bright color look good: petunia, garden chamomile, Chinese rose and others. Also, the plant looks good in the house.
Dichondra is a subtropical plant, so the question of how to preserve it in winter is acute. If the plant was planted in the southern regions, then it can be cut off and covered for the winter with covering materials.
But still, especially in the middle lane, it will be safer to dig up a bush and place it in a cool room for the winter. To do this, dichondrias dig up, leaving an earthen ball on the rhizome, and transferred to a winter garden or basement. At the same time watering is gradually reduced to allow the plant to fall into anabiosis. It is important to ensure that the room was light enough and warm, the ground should not be allowed to dry out, once a month to conduct dressing. In spring, young shoots are separated from the plant and planted as independent plants along with the mother plant.
Dichondra is a beautiful ground cover plant that can be planted in alpine gardens and flower beds, and also used as a decoration for home interiors. The plant is unpretentious in care, requires only sufficient lighting and watering. Little prone to diseases and pests. That is why even beginning flower growers like to breed it.