Dymondia margaretae [dy-MON-dee-uh, mar-GAR-et-tay] hails from the daisy or aster family, Asteraceae and is a species of a flowering tolerant groundcover.
It is commonly known as Silver Carpet due to its silvery-green leaves.
The species is endemic to South Africa, specifically to the Cape Province region.
It is an evergreen perennial often used across the United States in harsh conditions.
From a South African native, this plant has now become a common plant in the Southern California landscape, where it is known as Mini Gazania.
In addition to its beautifully unique foliage, the plant produces small daisy-like flowers in the summer bloom time.
Did you know this plant is a rare case where the genus and species are both named after the same person?
Dymondia margaretae is named in the honor of Margaret Elizabeth Dryden-Dymond, a noted horticulturist from South Africa.
Dymondia Margaretae Care
Size & Growth
The foliage of silver carpet is the main reason for its popularity.
This is a ground-hugging plant, growing up to 1” to 3” inches tall at most and handles light foot traffic.
It has a slow growth pattern, spreading several feet across the ground.
The grey-green leaves have fuzzy with white undersides.
The white undersides help give the plant its silvery appearance.
The narrow leaves also curl inward, giving a variegated look.
Flowering and Fragrance
Yellow daisy flowers dot the gray-green foliage during the mid-summer bloom time.
Each flower is approximately 1” inch across in diameter and looks similar to Shasta daisies.
These flowers accent the lovely foliage for a good season, making pavers and groundcovers a little more exciting.
Light & Temperature
These plants are hardy to USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11 and thrive under the full sun or in light shade.
Partial shade is recommended for days when the sun is extremely harsh.
Otherwise, these plants are pretty sturdy in tough climates.
Watering and Feeding
the drought tolerant silver carpet Dymondia margaretae has low water needs.
This ground cover can survive extremely dry and warm climates without getting regular irrigation.
Occasional watering during hot and dry weather is appreciated for healthy and vibrant growth.
When the plants are young and freshly planted, they need to be watered regularly for the first six months.
Add a layer of mulch to keep the soil moist to establish roots successfully.
Fertilizers aren’t necessary but can encourage tightly-matted and vigorous growth.
For this, fertilize with an all-purpose, low-potency organic fertilizer.
Feed the plants only once a year in late winter or early spring.
Soil & Transplanting
Sandy, well-drained soils are perfect for silver carpet margaretae.
As for moisture, low to medium moisture will do perfectly as the plants are drought-tolerant.
When you’re transplanting offsets or root divisions, divide the plants into equally small pieces.
Discard ones with dry or fading roots.
Plant the healthy ones in a sunny location, spaced 12” inches apart.
Grooming and Maintenance
Unlike regular garden grass, D. margaretae doesn’t need to be mowed or cut to control its growth.
The only maintenance required is the division of rhizomes to prevent overcrowding.
Overall, the plant is pretty low-maintenance and is fine left to its own devices to thrive.
How to Propagate Silver Carpet
This plant type has deep, succulent roots. These roots or rhizomes, tubers, and corms or bulbs are divided and transplanted to new locations.
After the growing season, offsets and new growth are used to propagate silver carpet.
If you want to, the plant will propagate by seeds.
Before the last frost passes before spring, start the seeds indoors.
Let them germinate at a warm temperature before planting them outdoors in mid to late spring.
If you wait for the last frost to pass, sow the seeds directly in the ground.
Silver Carpet Pest or Disease Problem
These plants are gopher meals.
Don’t plant them in your garden of gophers are a major problem.
There may be some susceptibility to common perennial problems.
Otherwise, it is free from most pest and disease problems.
Suggested Dymondia Margaretae Uses
Since this plant has very low water needs and is drought tolerant, it is often recommended as a lawn alternative for areas with light foot traffic.
However, it is not like the usual garden grass and doesn’t do well in areas with heavy activity.
To find a way around it, make a path with paving stones, or flagstones and plant silver carpet around it as a paver.
Similarly, use it around rock gardens as a ground cover.
It also looks good in containers and on stone walls to create a cascading effect with its small yellow daisy flowers.
You don’t have to worry about using it around garden borders as it is deer-resistant.
However, it is not the right option if your garden has a gopher problem.