Dichondra micrantha is a low-growing, groundcover plant that was once touted for use as a lawn in the mild west, but flea beetles quickly drove it out of favor as a grass substitute. Now a related species, D. argentea, is taking center stage nationwide as a unique, trailing accent plant for containers and hanging baskets. Dichondra has small, rounded leaves that resemble miniature water lily pads and spreads by rooting surface runners. Native to Texas and Mexico, D. argentea is a perennial hardy in zones 8 to 10 but is being used as an annual foliage plant in the horticultural trade.
‘Silver Falls’ dichondra is a vigorous plant that forms a mass of soft pewter leaves on silver stems in full sun to part shade. The fan-shaped, shimmering silvery leaves are held on plants just 2 inches tall. The trailing stems branch well without pinching. It is heat and drought-tolerant and will recover if watered after wilting. In the Midwest, dichondra has no serious insect or disease problems.
‘Silver Falls’ dichondra is great alone or in mixed containers, providing a cool contrast to green foliage and brightly colored flowers. Try it in hanging baskets, tall containers, or window boxes as an alternative to licorice plants (Helichrysum petiolare minus ‘Silver Mist). Planted near the edge of a raised bed or rock wall, it will cascade over the edge, growing 2 to 4 feet long. It can also be used as a ground cover on well-drained soils, where it will form dense mats that choke out weeds. Try pairing it with colorful foliage plants, such as ‘Purple Knight’ alternanthera or sun-tolerant coleus. ‘Silver Falls’ can even be used as a trailing filler for cut-flower arrangements.
Light: Full Sun, Part Shade
Zone: 9, 10, 11