One of the most important parts of a garden every garden owner, professional, or hobbyist focuses on after all the trees, shrubs, and flowers have all been added is the grass carpet. It is the one thing a garden needs to be complete.
While that is true, grass requires constant maintenance and is a little boring. This has led to people seeking an alternative to the lawn grass with one that can cover the entire allotted area without patches of soil appearing.
The alternative was founded in Ruschia Lineolata or Ruschia Nana Dwarf Carpet of Stars. Here we take a closer look at this interesting plant.
Origin and Classification
Ruschia Nana Dwarf Carpet of Stars is a succulent xerophyte that is a dwarf variety of the Ruschia Lineolata, known as Ruschia Nana. Dwarf Carpet of Stars and the other varieties of Carpet of Stars all belong to the Aizoaceae and are native to the Republic of South Africa in southern Africa.
Carpet of Stars is succulent xerophytes. They have water-storing leaves that have a thick and fleshy outward appearance.
Ruschia Nana Dwarf Carpet of Stars is an evergreen plant as it maintains its fine lush green look all seasons long. This reason is why the Dwarf Carpet of Stars is a good alternative to natural grass that goes yellow during the autumn.
It means through the hot summer and cold winters, the draught-resistant, Ruschia Nana plant mains its lush ever-green colour.
Ruschia Nana Dwarf Carpet of Stars has white and magenta-pink candy-striped flowers that look like pink when viewed from a distance. These flowers bloom twice a year, once in early spring and a second bloom in fall. The second bloom’s colour is lighter than that of early spring’s bloom.
In Ruschia Lineolata Nana’s three to four year lifecycle, it never grows beyond two inches. It may grow up to one inch in some cases. It is resistant to drought can tolerate summers as hot as an inland desert, and can also tolerate low winter temperatures of 25 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ruschia Nana Dwarf Carpet of Stars is also a dense plant with thick and crowded growth patterns that resist erosions and also resists pressures from foot traffic and walking stone paths for gardens.
The lawn grass alternative grows faster than all other varieties with a full carpet coverage in 3-5 months on a plot with 6 inches on its centre.
Matured Dwarf Carpet of Stars is soft and harmless to the barefoot. The crisscross growth of the networks of succulent leaves, flowers and thin red stems is not thick enough to pierce or prick the human skin and is also harmless and not toxic when swallowed by kids and pets.
Ruschia Nana is a low maintenance house plant that requires little to no attention throughout its growth cycle. Its 2 inches growth height means it doesn’t require frequent mowing like other lawn varieties.
Flowers and Leaves
Flower of Ruschia Nana is 1-inch wide and candy-striped, white and mid-stripes of a unique magenta-pink colour. This gives the flower a pink look when observed from a distance, and a very enticing candy-striped look when up close and personal.
The leaves of Ruschia Nana Dwarf Carpet of Stars are 3/8 inch long, green, succulent, narrow, and 3-angled placed on a red thin stem. Ruschia Nana leaves are arranged in opposite perpendicular pairs that neatly crisscross’ with a former pair of leaves, and with small pursed lips that currently houses the next emerging pair of leaves at the end of each stem.
Height and Growth
In height, the succulent steam and leaves of Ruschia Nana Dwarf Carpet of Stars do not ever grow over 2 inches tall throughout its entire lifecycle. Ruschia lineolata Nana is a fast-growing plant when compared with the other various types of plants with lawn grass properties. It grows and spreads rather quickly. It will take 6 inches on the centre planted patch 3-5 months to cover the entire plot in carpet grass.
Maintenance and Durability
Ruschia Nana Dwarf Carpet of Stars is on the low end of maintenance requirements for house plants. It does not grow beyond 2 inches, thus, it never needs to be mowed or weeded. Ruschia lineolata Nana is drought-resistant, weed-resistant, and can survive the low winter temperatures of 25 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ruschia Nana Dwarf Carpet of Stars have high water retention, hence its water-resistance Nature. It is non-toxic if swallowed by humans or pets, and it is soft and mild to touch, foot-friendly can resist pressure. The entire lifecycle is for 3-4 years, thus, seeds are to be replanted every 3 years.
Basic Care of the Ruschia Nana Dwarf Carpet Of Stars
Ruschia Nana Dwarf Carpet Of Stars is a low maintenance plant that requires very little to no attention if the region’s temperature is moderate. Its watering requirements depends on the plant’s age, the weather of the area, and the soil in which it is planted.
Ruschia lineolata Nana grows best in nutrient-rich clean well-drained soil. Dwarf Carpet of Stars can pack loose soils and attract wildlife by attracting insects and other lifeforms that keep the soil nutritious and organic matter rich. This quality makes it erosion resistance and weed resistance.
pH Level and Soil
The preferred pH level of the soil the Ruschia Nana finds suitable is pH 7, neutral. If the site’s soil is sandy, the addition of fertilizer and organic matter will be used in the planting and growing phase of the Dwarf Carpet of Stars.
Soil with some clay content will have to be loosened about 3 to 4 inches from the top layer so that the roots can form properly into the soil, with the addition of some organic matter.
The succulent and brittle nature of the Dwarf Carpet of Stars’ leaves and stems makes it friendly to the skin of humans. It is also non-toxic when swallowed by human beings and household pets, it is mostly used as domestic lawns and public parks.
Light and Watering
Ruschia lineolata Nana requires a minimum of 5 to 6 hours of full sunlight daily while growing. Dwarf Carpet of Stars will grow in shaded areas as it would under bright light. This makes the plant suitable for indoors as well as outdoors.
Watering the Ruschia Nana depends on some factors that range from age of the plant to the weather conditions. The plant plug is watered in lower quantities daily until the plant reaches week 8 or 9.
After the roots and foliage have firmly taken their place, the watering requirement of Ruschia Nana is now 3 times a week on alternate days.
Deep watering can be done 2 times a week, depending on the soil moisture level but be careful not to over irrigate your soil. Hot temperature areas may require more quantity of water at a higher frequency.
Soil and Repotting
Dwarf Carpet of Stars also has a soil that they prefer, despite having the ability to grow on any soil. A clean, well-drained, nutrient and organic matter rich soil in moderate temperature is the best soil for plugs of Ruschia Nana.
If the planting area contains other grass varieties such as Kikuyu or Bermuda, they need to be removed properly (underground growth included) because they can kill the seeds and early root formation of Dwarf Carpet of Stars.
Loose sandy soil will require fertilizer to help the plant grow, while soil with additional clay content will require the upper 3 to 4 inches to help root formation of plugs and their growth speed. No repotting is required for this plant.
Fertilizing, Pruning, and Propagation
During the preparation of the planting stages, fertilizer is used on the soil. After planting, the next time the fertilizer will be used is when the leaves of Dwarf Carpet of Stars start to grow at about 3 weeks old to 1 month.
A fertilizer with a good ratio mixture of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium (NPK) is good for this phase. See experts or gardeners for fertilizer types to select for use.
Pruning of Ruschia Nana has to be when the growth of leaves and stem is spreading out of the expected spread area. Pruning of the excess stem and leaves growth can be done with pruning shears or knives. Propagation of Dwarf Carpet of Stars is as simple as placing healthy cuttings of the plant into a healthy soil mix.
Common Problems of the Ruschia Nana Dwarf Carpet Of Stars
The common problems faced by Dwarf Carpet of Stars is usually overwatering and under watering. Here we take a closer look at these problems and what you should do about them.
For overwatering issues, the leaves and foliage of Ruschia Nana Dwarf Carpet of Starsarpet of Stars get yellow. Once these colors are noticed, you should reduce watering quantity. This is rarely an issue and if you follow the watering schedule as mentioned above then you’ll soon have a healthy looking plant once again.
While overwatering is a common issue for plants, you also want to be careful to not under water either. Doing this will also change the color of the leaves. With under watering, they go light green or greyish. As above, as long as you follow the correct watering schedule then you’re not going to have a problem.
Ruschia Nana Dwarf Carpet of Stars planted during the cooler seasons is likely to have their forming foliages damaged by rodents. It is better to plant Ruschia Nana in warmer seasons for rapid growth and prevent rodent attacks
If the weeds on the ground and soil are not properly removed or killed before planting Dwarf Carpet of Stars may prevent its growth by disrupting root formation or killing the seed. Before you plant, you want to ensure that the soil has been properly prepared and will be weed free.
See a related post: Peperomia Owl Eye
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the dwarf carpet of stars grow in shade?
Yes, the Dwarf Carpet of Stars can grow in the shade as much as it grows under bright light. It’s a highly resistant plant that will not only survive in the shade but look as good as it does in sunnier areas. You won’t need to worry too much about it being in shade.
Is Ruschia Nana invasive?
No, Ruschia Nana is not an invasive variety of grass. It’s one of the features that makes it a perfect replacement for a regular lawn. It lives for three to four years before it turns all woody. In that time you’ll have a perfect lush green covering which won’t be invasive.
Is Dwarf Carpet of Stars a succulent?
Yes, Dwarf Carpet of Stars is a succulent xerophyte that stores water in its leaves and is highly drought resistant. As with the features we’ve mentioned above, this also makes it a great replacement for traditional grass which isn’t as resistant.
Do I need to Fertilize Ruschia Nana Dwarf Carpet Of Stars?
A desirable feature of the Ruschia Nana Dwarf Carpet Of Stars is its low fertilizer requirements. Still, to get the best out of this plant, feed it when planting and occasionally during its growth season ( early spring )
Hey, I’m Lisa and I’ve been an avid gardener for over 30 years. I love writing, talking and living in the garden! Feel free to connect with me on my socials below