Dwarf Carpet of Stars can be a great alternative to regular grass as it needs 75% less water but is free of problems.
Before deciding to grow this grass, discover the Dwarf Carpet of Stars and the pros and cons of choosing better.
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Dwarf Carpet of Stars: Pros
Growing a Dwarf Carpet of Stars (Ruschia lineolata ‘Nana’) is an excellent alternative to growing regular grass.
Did you know the Dwarf Carpet of Stars is easy to maintain, requires no mowing, very little water, and is pet friendly?
The beautiful lawn grass native to South Africa has been primarily adopted in the US as the popular turf grass because of its many advantages.
Here are some proven advantages of growing Dwarf Carpet of Stars
1. Low Maintenance
Once established, Dwarf Carpet of Stars require minimal maintenance, no mowing, and little watering.
With a typically slow Dwarf Carpet of Stars growth rate, it reduces the need for frequent mowing or trimming. It would reach about 1.5″ where foot traffic is and does not get over 2-3″.
Moreover, it retains much water as a succulent variety, making it more drought-tolerant.
They are usually tolerant of different soil conditions and can withstand periods of drought once established.
However, some species may require regular light, moderate temperature (20°F to 120°F), and periodic fertilization to stay healthy and green.
Did you know the Dwarf Carpet of Stars consumes about 75% less water than many turfs, including Kikuyu and Bermuda grass?
As succulent species (xerophytes), they would retain and preserve water for the long term; hence, you need not water them frequently.
Those living in water-sparse areas like California will benefit from growing these in their front or backyard.
Average Californians use roughly 40,000 to 70,000 gallons of water per year, and 70% of residential water is used for landscaping maintenance, including irrigating natural grass lawns.
Therefore, switching to drought-tolerant turf means saving a lot of water and bills yearly.
3. Withstands Light Foot Traffic
In fact, it is resilient enough to recover from occasional stepping or light use, making it suitable for areas with moderate foot traffic.
You should use them as residential lawns, permeable paving, around paver or stepping stones, and commercial utility spaces where traffic is not so heavy or frequent.
4. Evergreen Succulent
The Dwarf Carpet of Stars is not grass but a succulent plant resembling soft turf grass.
They are the dwarf variety of the Ruschia Lineolata; therefore, they do not grow tall, making them ideal grass replacements.
5. Attracts Pollinators
They are flowering succulents that bear small, inconspicuous flowers every spring (July) or autumn (Sep-Oct).
However, the best thing about Ruschia nana inflorescence is that the flowers attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
Although not grown for flowers, these turf grasses can be a great addition to your miniature garden to attract common flower pollinators.
These daisy-looking flowers range from white to pinkish in the shade.
6. Erosion Control
Dwarf Carpet of Stars grass is known for soil control and management because of dense growth habits and moisture conservation, which helps retain soil quality.
It forms a dense mat-like growth pattern with intertwining roots, covering the soil surface effectively.
Moreover, it helps stabilize the soil by preventing rainwater from directly hitting it, minimizing runoff and soil displacement.
As the Dwarf Grass of the Carpet decomposes, it will contribute to the soil’s organic matter and help regulate soil temperature by providing insulation.
7. Weed Suppression
Quality turf grasses are known for suppressing native weed growth, which helps remove nasty weeds that would usurp essential soil nutrients.
The dense growth of the Dwarf Carpet of Stars helps suppress weeds’ growth by shading the soil surface.
With no space for weed seeds to germinate, it naturally reduces competition for nutrients, light, and water, ensuring your turf grass remains healthy and flourishing.
Additionally, reducing weed growth will reduce the growth of harmful pests and pathogens in your garden.
8. Visual Appeal and Versatility
An empty-looking front lawn, backyard, or garden never makes an everlasting appeal; hence, turf grass is the best option.
Dwarf Carpet of Stars mainly offers attractive foliage, colorful flowers, or sometimes both, which adds a unique appeal.
Moreover, you can use them in various locations and grow in differing patterns to create a unique outlook.
Therefore, they are versatile in that you can use them as the visual interest to your landscape, garden, pathways, borders, or even terrace.
Dwarf Carpet of Stars: Cons
Does a Dwarf Carpet of Stars sound too good to be true?
They are exemplary for durable, non-toxic (safe for pets and humans), and environment-friendly turf grass.
However, like any other carpet plant, Dwarf Carpet of Stars plants have cons along with pros. Here are a few to consider.
1. Soil and Watering Requirements
Growing Dwarf Carpets of Stars would not be easy as they require fertile, well-draining soil.
In fact, they will take up a lot of water initially or until establishment and a high dose of fertilizer to enhance root and leaf formation.
Use soil with some clay content loosened about 3 to 4 inches from the top layer to allow the roots to form appropriately into the ground.
Once established, they do well without much watering or fertilization, but selecting a species well-suited to your local climate, soil type, and light condition is essential.
2. Does Not Tolerate Shade Well
Remember, Dwarf Carpet of Stars requires at least 5-6 hours of full sun daily. Hence, they are not ideal for shaded locations.
In fact, you would need to choose well-lit outdoor and moderately humid locations to plant this turf grass.
Although rare, planting this grass during the cooler season is likely to be damaged by rodents.
Therefore, you should aim to grow them within spring and summer.
3. Limited Foot Traffic Tolerance
While ground-cover grasses can handle light foot traffic, they may not withstand heavy use or constant trampling.
Remember, the foliage of Dwarf Carpet is delicate compared to other grass types; hence, enough trampling will damage the leaves.
In areas with high foot traffic, they may thin out or become damaged, requiring frequent replacement or damage control.
4. Lasts A Few Years
It lives up to three to four years before turning woody; hence, they would require replacing after a few years.
Dwarf carpet of stars costs slightly higher than other grass types. With the price of a single patch of Dwarf Carpet of Star starting at $29.99, it can be a costly affair to replace a significant garden space.
Kikuyu, Zoysia, bluegrass, and ryegrass would be the cheapest alternatives, costing as low as $0.28-$0.80 per square foot.
However, despite many flaws, the Dwarf Carpet of Stars still makes a perfect turf grass alternative.
From Editorial Team
Although claimed to be an invasive species, a Dwarf Carpet of Stars does not spread or compete with other plants unless grown separately.
Always use a sprinkler or drip system with a water timer to control how much water your turf grass gets.
Too much or too less watering will inhibit grass growth and even cause root rot or decay.