Thursday, November 15, 2012

That “long drippy plant”

Commenting on yesterday’s post, fellow blogger Loree of Danger Garden wanted to know what that “long drippy plant” in my arrangement was. Her choice of words made me laugh, but it is a perfect description of the plant.

But before I tell you what it is, let me show you some photos of another specimen I have growing in a pot on top of the short section of fence next to the entrance to our front yard.

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I love how it drapes down in a cascade of silver, softening what would otherwise be a pretty boring sight.

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Of course the string of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus) and the burro’s tail sedum (Sedum morganianum) are pretty nice, too.

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The mystery plant is called Dichondra argentea ‘Silver Falls’. It has several common names, including silver ponysfoot, silver nickel vine, and kidneyweed. It is native to western Texas, New Mexico, southeastern Arizona and northern Mexico. It can be grown as a vine, like I’m doing, or as a groundcover which spreads fast because the stems root readily at the nodes.

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It’s a zone 9-10 plant, supposedly hardy to the mid-20s. On cold nights, I plant to move my plants to the front porch where they will be more protected. This is the first year I’ve grown Dichondra argentea and I’m not quite sure how hardy it really is.

I’m seeing Dichondra argentea in more and more nurseries, but for some reason it doesn’t seem to have caught on with the gardening public yet. I don’t know why, its gray-green foliage is absolutely beautiful.

6 comments:

  1. I have seen a million pictures of this as a ground cover in Austin...but never as you're growing it. Alas since it's zone 9-10 I doubt I'll be seeing it up my way unless it's as an annual "pot stuffer"...glad I could make you laugh!

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  2. I grew 'Silver Falls' from seed 4 or 5 years ago. It's a great hanging basket plant -- seems like it would be less impressive as a groundcover. Like english ivy. Looks really nice against that fence!

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  3. That 'long and drippy plant' would look great cascading down a hanging basket as well. I saw some for sale earlier this year but only as small plants, didn't realise it would look like that later on, lovely,

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  4. I love it and you have somehow found another plant I don't have! Or should I say must have! Great post my friend!

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  5. We grow this at the nursery I work for as a 2" spring basket stuffer. Both Dichondra argentea and the green version D. repens 'Emerald falls' are awesome plants. Last winter I was able to overwinter a patch of the D. repens outside and it really thrived on it's second year. Hard to say how truly hardy it is as I cheated a bit by putting a pillow case over it on the frostiest nights. With a little protection I think northern gardeners should still give it a try.

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