Plant Profile: Dichondra Argentea 'Silver Falls'
When it comes to versatile and eye-catching ground covers and trailing plants, Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’ is a top choice for gardeners. Its striking foliage and low-maintenance nature make it a perfect addition to pots and hanging baskets alike.
While there are various species of Dichondra, Dichondra Argentea is the most popular for pots and hanging baskets. So-called 'Silver Falls', it has a striking silvery-gray or silvery-white foliage. When grown in hanging baskets or pots, its trailing stems can reach lengths of up to 3 feet or more, creating a waterfall-like effect as the silvery foliage spills over the sides of the container.
Primarily originating from North and South American regions, Dichondra Silver Falls is a low-growing, trailing plant from the Convolvulaceae family, which includes bindweeds and morning glories. Although native to semi-arid regions with sandy or well-draining soils, Dichondra has been cultivated and adapted over the years to suit various climates and conditions all over the world.
Caring for Dichondra
Dichondra Silver Falls is perfect for beginner and experienced plant growers because it can thrive under general care and maintenance.
- Sunlight: Dichondra thrive in partial to full sun. If grown indoors, ensure your pots or hanging baskets receive several hours of sunlight daily.
- Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water when the top inch of soil feels dry. Hanging baskets may need more frequent watering.
- Drought Tolerant: Dichondra Silver Falls is somewhat drought-tolerant once it has established a robust root system. However, extended periods of drought may lead to stress and a decline in appearance.
- Fertilising: Feed your Dichondra with a balanced, water-soluble fertiliser every 4-6 weeks during the growing season (spring to early autumn).
- Pruning: Trim and pinch back the leaves and stems as needed to maintain a healthy appearance. This also controls its growth and actively encourages bushier, fuller foliage.
- Pest and Disease Control: Look for common pests like aphids or spider mites and treat them promptly if necessary.
Problems and Solutions
- Fungal Issues: As the foliage of a Dichondra lays flat against the topsoil, fungal issues are a significant concern. Fungal disease can form as yellow or brown spots on leaves, powdery mildew, or mould growth. Ensure good air circulation around your Dichondra to assist with drying out the moisture in the soil. Avoid overhead watering directly onto the leaves and prune back foliage in areas that are particularly dense. Fungicides may be necessary in severe cases, but prevention is key.
- Overwintering: In areas with cold winters, Dichondra Silver Falls is often grown as an annual. To maintain the foliage throughout the colder seasons, move the plant indoors or cover it at night to protect it from frost.
- Leggy Growth and Discolouration: This is when the plant produces long, sparse stems with reduced foliage. Trim the Dichondra Silver Falls regularly to encourage branching and denser growth. Also, ensure it receives proper nutrition by increasing the fertilisation schedule.
With its stunning visual appeal and general maintenance requirements, Dichondra Silver Falls is perfect for adding a touch of lush foliage to your plant to your indoor and outdoor spaces.
Keep the momentum going, and click here to read our next blog post: Plant Profile: Fittonia 'Nerve Plant'