Mazus Reptans: A Lawn Replacement For Beginners

Ed Wike
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Mazus Reptans Overview

Is This Invasive Plant Right For My Landscape?

Mazus reptans is a creeping vine that can replace your lawn, adding texture and detail as well as some color. Two cultivars of Mazus reptans are “Pink Grapefruit” and “Scarlet O’Hara.” Either variety may be used in a landscape, but be advised that both varieties are quite invasive.

Mazus reptans is a clumping perennial that reproduces by seed. It will creep along the ground and bloom in spring with clusters of pink or red grapefruit-sized blossoms. As it ages and grows through the summer, it will grow to be about five feet in height and produce small green and white flowers.

This creeping vine, originally from Asia, is not cold tolerant, so it is suitable only for areas with a climate that stays mild. It looks best in a garden setting surrounded by other plants.

This variety of grass will grow in partial shade with good drainage, but it grows best in a sunny location. If your soil is poor, you may want to test your soil ph first before seeing how well the mazus reptans grass grows in it.

All About Creeping Mazus

The name says it. In fact, most creeping mazus are not even grasses. They are closely related to the common flowering plant pothos.

A creeping mazus is an easy-to-grow groundcover with a genuine grass look and feel and grass-like grass. Several varieties are available. Each matures at a different height, forming a mat about 7–12 inches high. Some inter-planting with taller plants might be necessary to keep a consistent height. Broader leaves and flower spikes add interest until late in the fall, when their color is also some of the best you can get.

Some varieties grow all season; others bloom in spring or fall. These plants look smoother up close, with a fine texture, than grass, which is a texture of short and long willowy strands. They work well in rock gardens, highway plantings, rock walls, and even as ground covers under trees.

Most mazus varieties are hardy in zones 5-8, though some will do well in zones 4-10. However, for the best control, start in the spring. A bit later than grass, the mazus is usually in full bloom six weeks to three months after you plant it. They can take some shade but grow best in full sun.

Mazus Care

Now that you’ve taken the plunge and decided to replace that boring green lawn with an interesting groundcover of mazus reptans, it’s time to think about keeping it looking nice. Contrary to popular opinion, mazus reptans, which is a perennial herb, needs some attention beyond just removing weeds. A little bit of maintenance up front will pay off in the long run with a groundcover that’s healthy and vibrant.

The number one thing to remember about mazus reptans is that it’s a ground cover, not a fire hazard. If you’re the type of person that thinks about weeds, you’ll probably want to think about downsizing the size of row you plant. Mature mazus is fine, on the front edge, but once it spreads to the middle of your lawn it will need to be weeded out and not transplanted. Weeds are fine near your garden because you weed often and they are pulled up when they have produced seeds. If you let mazus take over, you’ll spend hours and back aches pulling the grassy stuff out instead of enjoying the beautiful mazus colors that will brighten your garden.

Light & Temperature

Whether you live in a warm climate or a cold winter area, your plant babies require light to thrive. Place them near a south-facing window in a bright room, or in front of a grow light. Direct sunlight is great for growing Mazus.

Below 60°F (16°C) is too cold for the Mazus. They thrive best at around 70°F (21°C). Remember that they are happy in their natural habitat, which is humid, so you will want some humidity for your Mazus babies.

Water & Humidity

Mazus require wet feet but are tolerant of dry conditions once established and can easily be over watered. The best thing to do is have their soil moisture contents monitored regularly and be ready to adjust their moisture as needed. Aside from their large root system, another reason for doing so is because Mazus are susceptible to their roots rotting if they are allowed to dry out for too long. This root rot susceptibility is something to keep in mind when planting them as well.

Their water and soil moisture requirements also mean they are vulnerable to being overwatered or overwatered. Too much water will lead to root rot, and too little moisture will stunt their growth. Watering them once a week, usually enough for the conditions they are in.

When exposed to conditions susceptible to root rot, they are also vulnerable to pests. Weather conditions that result in fungi and other invasive organisms settling on their roots and directing their growth will result in stress and poor health, thus putting your plant at risk for pest infestation.

Soil

Mazus reptans is an attractive, vigorous flowering ground cover that will grow in a variety of soils. However, well-drained soil is best, as this particular plant does not like standing water. It is recommended that you give the plant a winter mulch to protect it from the cold temperatures. It doesn’t root in the mulch, so it will just be a protective blanket over the winter, rather than a soil preservative.

Mazus reptans likes full sun or partial sun, with a little more shade towards the end of the day.

This plant will grow in any planting area, either borders, paths, or garden beds. In fact, it makes a great substitute for a lawn.

It has a beautiful purple flower that will really delight you. It appears late spring and it lasts through to early summer, if you live in a warmer climate, the timing will vary. Fortunately, it is very hardy and most effective, so you can enjoy this colorful flower over and over.

Fertilizing

Your lawn will look beautiful for the first few weeks after having the dead grass removed, but soon it will start to look pretty scraggly again. The grass seed your hired professionals sprinkled so carefully a short while ago will need some special attention to help it grow. When the sod is removed from your yard, soil is exposed and enough of it is removed to make a difference in the appearance of your yard.

The sod is a food source for the roots of the grass, so without it the grass will look scraggly. Before you even begin the actual planting of the grass seed, your lawn will need to be treated to give it the nutrition it needs to grow.

There are many different lawn fertilizers on the market. The best grass seeds in Houston will not provide nutrients throughout the growing season, so you will need to provide some other way to get nutrients into the soil. After you have prepared your soil with the best lawn starter mix, it will need to be fertilized.

Propagation

Mazus reptans is classified as a perennial grass, but the plants are actually more like a succulent. Best of all, mazus reptans is a tough, low-maintenance plant. Even if you're not fancy with plants, chances are good that you'll enjoy mazus reptans. As long as you can keep it warm and watered, your new mazus reptans will thrive.

Mazus reptans is native to Central and Eastern regions of Asia. It is a sterile hybrid. When you buy your mazus reptans, you'll notice that they are individually wrapped in small pots. Keep your mazus reptans in a warm, sunny windowsill until new growth appears. This generally takes about 2 weeks. Once your mazus reptans shows new growth, move it to a sunnier location.

Mazus reptans are slow growing plants, but they are tough. To keep it healthy, be careful not to overwater. Be careful not to overfertilize, as this may denature the hues in the leaves.

After a month or two, your mazus reptans should be about 8 to 10 inches high. At this stage, it's small enough to transplant into the bed outside. You can keep your mazus reptans in pots and transplant it regularly, removing it once it reaches the desired size.

Pruning

Most people who set out to replace their lawn with some kind of substitute plant material consider ground cover or traditional ground-hugging vines.

But we're going to tell you about Mazus Reptans, a low-growing vine that can grow without any specialized maintenance to save you time and to help you start greening your yard right away.

If you're interested in more practical landscaping tips, keep reading.

Mazus Reptans is a type of perennial ground vine that comes in a variety of colors, from a deep green to purple. It's variety of colors makes it appealing to homeowners.

What makes Mazus Reptans so attractive to people is the fact that it can successfully "take over" your yard without human intervention. But you don't need to focus on that or any type of maintenance.

Mazus Reptans roots grow close to the surface of the ground, which makes it incredibly helpful as a barrier plant between you and the dirt around your yard. So you won't have to worry about soil or mulch because it will save you that hassle.

Mazus Reptans Problems

Mazus reptans (sometimes called creeping keylay, creeping Jenny, or ground ivy) is a ground cover plant that can be either an annual or perennial. Depending on the variety and the growing conditions, plants typically reach a height of 12″ to 2 feet. This plant has a creeping habit, and will spread outward, though it does not have the ability to climb up trees or other structures. Before we go any further, it’s good to understand, generally plants are perennials and hardy in the climate zone where they will prosper without extra help. They will form an evergreen mound of foliage usually 2-3 feet high.

It is important to understand that this prolific plant is known commonly as creeping Jenny. This plant is often confused with other types of Jenny. Another variety of creeping Jenny is Lysimachia nummularia, which is different from M. reptans and is invasive in some areas. Please take the time to learn about the common names of your plants before deciding you want to grow it. It may be unwanted and it can be a big problem.

Growing Problems & Diseases

Most people who decide to grow Mazus reptans as a backyard plant in United States are not planting it for the first time. They have had previous experience growing the plant. They do so because they like the result they got with the first planting. They are obviously aware of potential problems that the plant might be facing.

The most common problems are those of transplanting. You have to make sure that the plant does not suffer from transplanting shock. To do that, plant your Mazus reptans (or any plant for that matter) in the location where you plan to have it grow before transplanting it into the final location. Gently dig a hole with the diameter of the pot you planted your plant in. Carefully remove your plant from the pot. Make sure that you do not disturb the root ball. Gently place the plant in the hole. Fill the hole with the dirt that was removed from the hole and mix it with the dirt around the hole. Once this is done, water your plant.

Another indication of transplanting shock is wilting of the leaves. Wilting of the leaves due to short of water is natural and normal for some plants. If your plant is healthy, it should get back on track within a few days, if not weeks.

Pests

If you own a home, you know the importance of a good lawn. It’s not just for lawn bowling … it’s also an attractive addition to the exterior of your home, and it’s a great way to add dollars to your home’s value. Homeowners can go a long way toward improving the health of their lawns, by paying attention to the exterior of their home … but that doesn’t mean that they should ignore the backyard … because even the back yard is a great candidate for an up-grade.

A homeowner can install a lawn that’s much more attractive and durable than the norm. This attractive and durable replacement turf is known as Mazus reptans, or creeping Jenny, and it’s a great tool for homeowners that have shady yards.

Frequently Asked Questions

The best way to encourage mazus reptans growth is to be patient. The stems probably won’t look like much at first, but will develop into a lush green understory as the plant matures.

It’s helpful to remember mazus reptans growth is not instantaneous. Although this plant is adaptable and can tolerate a variety of growing conditions indoors, there is still a great deal of natural growth and development that takes place in the first months.

It’s not unusual for mazus reptans to suffer some stress during this stage. (A mazus reptans plant bought at a nursery would most likely be in this stage already and coping well with it.) A little sunburning or drought will not necessarily kill mazus reptans. Give your plant a chance to establish itself by not over watering.

Over watering your plant can cause the roots to form and grow up into the leaves. This can be a serious problem.

Most of the time, the leaves will eventually dry up and fall off.

You may see the leaves curl and twist but the plant will bounce back beautifully if you take care of it.

Mazus reptans plants love organic soil and mulch. This stimulates the growth of the forest cover characteristic of this plant.