One of the most challenging things about gardening is that there are some plants that can have two faces – a good and a bad side. A good example of the latter is dichondra. It can be a good ground-cover, which makes it an attractive addition to a landscape. The bad side, however, is the fact that it is also considered as an invasive weed, and hence, there is no wonder why many are wondering how to get rid of dichondra.
What is Dichondra
Dichondra is a low-growing plant that belongs to the family of morning glory. It is a broad-leaf perennial. It has kidney-shaped leaves, which is its distinguishing characteristic. The plant creeps on the ground and can reach a height of only up to three inches. It grows small flowers, which are white to green.
In most places, dichondra is popularly cultivated because it makes a good ground-cover. The unique shape of the leaves and the bright color of its foliage allows it to add life to a boring landscape. It is like a dense carpet that covers the soil.
However, dichondra can also be considered as a weed – invasive and aggressive. Because of its cascading habit, it can easily grow on areas that it should not reach. It can also smother other plants, especially the ones that are shorter and smaller.
How to Get Rid of Dichondra
If dichondra is being a problem on the lawn, this section will discuss some of the best things that can be done to get rid of it.
Similar to the case of other weeds, the preferred method for getting rid of dichondra is to take it out by hand. For some people, they would complain that it takes quite an effort. For this reason, this method may work best only if you have a small garden or if you are patient.
Even if the leaves may not be as sharp as other weeds, it will still be good to wear gloves before you pull the dichondra. If the soil is compact and dry, you will find the job difficult to complete. With this, water it first so that the soil will become looser.
Hold the dichondra firm enough from the base and not from the leaf. Once you have a strong grip on the plant, shake it vigorously. You might also want to dig the ground to reach the roots. Pull the weeds. See to it that there are no remnants of the root that will be retained on the surface. Throw the plant away from the garden bed.
Use an Herbicide
For larger gardens and for those who do not have the energy and patience to do things manually, this can prove to be a better choice. Among others, one of the most effective products is Roundup. Its active ingredient is glyphosate. It exists in many forms and they can kill dichondra within four to 48 hours.
It is important to note that this is a non-selective herbicide. This means that it will kill any plant where it gets in contact with, not just dichondra. With this, it is important to be careful in its application. Focus only on the dichondra so that you won’t end up eliminating beneficial plants in the garden.
When using Roundup or any other herbicide that contains glyphosate, you must also be dressed properly. Wear gloves and cover your hands and legs. When it gets in contact with the skin, it can lead to irritation. Inhaling the herbicide can also pose health risks.
Prevention is Better than Cure
The best way to get rid of dichondra is to make sure that it does not grow in the garden in the first place. Preventive measures must be undertaken, which helps not only to prevent dichondra, but also other types of weeds that can grow in the garden.
When the lawn is healthy and well-managed, it will be less attractive for the germination of dichondra seeds. If the soil is moist, it can be more susceptible to the growth of weeds. With this, be sure that your soil is well-draining and that it gets enough heat from the sun. Regular mowing and cleaning are also necessary.
When it comes to how to get rid of dichondra, your best weapon is prevention, making the ground less susceptible to germination. If the weed is already present, however, you can remove it manually by hand or use herbicides like Roundup, which contains glyphosate.