Kurapia Ground Cover: What Is It And Does It Work?

Kurapia floor cowl is an fascinating plant. Referred to as both Lippia nodiflora L. ‘Kurapia’ or Phyla nodiflora, its origins are in Japan the place it’s a standard evergreen floor cowl. Nevertheless, kurapia floor cowl performs extraordinarily properly in drought-stricken areas of america in addition to in areas the place it will get ample quantities of water and doesn’t undergo from over-irrigation, making it a surprisingly good selection for a garden different. The most important downside of kurapia is that it’s not frost-hardy and can die again throughout frosts and freezes, but it surely’ll come again within the spring if it was properly established.

The principle number of Kurapia getting used for floor covers is patented, so its availability is presently considerably restricted. Nevertheless, it’s rapidly gaining reputation as it’s fairly low upkeep and wishes much less water than cool and warm-season turfgrasses. Kurapia is widespread in California and is beginning to make inroads into Arizona and Texas as a drought-tolerant floor cowl that may tolerate mild foot visitors, too. Kurapia is usually bought as both a complete plug that will be planted each 18 inches or as Kurapia sod. 

Kurapia sod or Kurapia plugs will develop rapidly and make brief work of filling in any gaps inside just a few months. Maintain the newly planted plug properly watered with sufficient aeration till it’s established and energetic shoot development is current. It can reward you with the advantages of abrasion management, water conservation, and weed suppression. Kurapia floor cowl makes a superb garden substitute that has a excessive degree of illness resistance and tolerates many soil sorts and rising circumstances. 

Fast Care Information

Kurapia produces white or pinkish flowers that pop up over its creeping runners. Supply: eyeweed
Widespread Title Kurapia
Scientific Title Lippia nodiflora L. Kurapia or Phyla nodiflora
Household Verbenaceae
Top & Unfold 3” top and as much as 6’ unfold
Mild Full daylight, can tolerate half shade
Soil Sandy soil, sandy loam
Water Common, deep, weekly watering
Pests & Ailments Fungal ailments, leaf chewing bugs

All About Kurapia

Phyla nodiflora
With minimal water, kurapia floor covers will keep lushly inexperienced and flowering. Supply: lluisanunez

Kurapia, Phyla nodiflora or Lippia nodiflora L. “Kurapia” is also referred to as frog fruit, noticed tooth fog fruit, or turkey tangle. This floor cowl plant is a perennial in most locations, though it isn’t frost-hardy and can die again in zones the place the temperatures drop beneath 38 levels within the winter. If Kurapia is properly established then it could get well within the spring after dying again within the winter. It’s an evergreen in zones with out a laborious frost. It resembles clover and has the same development behavior together with small white flowers. Kurapia was developed in Japan and has since gained traction in america as a pretty possibility for garden substitute that may additionally help in weed management. Lately it was endorsed by New Leaf Panorama in California. 

Kurapia has a really deep root system that may attain down 5-10 toes beneath the soil floor. The sturdy construction of the basis system is what makes Kurapia notably adept at offering soil erosion management. It will probably additionally simply be grown on slopes and tolerate windy circumstances. Since this selection is sterile which means that it doesn’t produce seed and subsequently these vegetation are generally bought at nurseries – like Kurapia Inc – which give kurapia plugs. Intensive analysis is being performed at UC Davis by way of irrigation trials relating to its drought tolerance. 


Kurapia in flower
As a floor cowl, kurapia will be very efficient. Supply: Doug Beckers

Kurapia is rapidly turning into the main turf and groundcover different with minimal upkeep required. Learn on to find out about its wants to incorporate it in future initiatives for floor cowl and weed management.

Solar and Temperature

Kurapia sod prefers full solar though it could tolerate half shade. Partly shade, it might not develop as densely and will not produce flowers. 6-8 hours of direct daylight per day is required for optimum development. Kurapia is taken into account one of many cool-season turfgrasses that’s cold-hardy as a result of it could tolerate temperatures all the way down to 45 levels. It can keep evergreen in areas the place temperatures keep above 38 levels like in zones 7b and better. As with most evergreens, it is going to stay inexperienced at 45 levels however will enter dormancy. It’s not frost-hardy and can die again as soon as temperatures attain beneath 38 levels, however whether it is properly established it is going to return within the spring. 

Water and Humidity

Kurapia sod is gaining reputation in dry areas like California, Arizona, and Texas due to its means to make use of much less water than comparable floor covers. Irrigation system trials have been performed to check the drought tolerance of kurapia sod. In these trials, throughout dry durations, the examiner will withhold water for weeks at a time in an effort to check how lengthy this plant can go with out water and nonetheless get well to its full well being. In these checks, it is going to die again and switch brown, showing virtually fully dried out and useless. As soon as irrigation is reintroduced on a daily schedule, then it is going to spring again to life! Kurapia leaves retailer water of their vascular tissue which permits them to carry onto water reserves longer than grass. Due to this, additionally it is a sensible choice for areas the place water conservation efforts place limits on every day water. 

Chances are you’ll not wish to purposely stress your vegetation on this method, but it surely’s good to know that should you overlook to water them each every so often that they received’t die on you. It’s greatest to distribute water evenly over your Kurapia by way of a sprinkler system. Poor sprinkler distribution may end up in uneven development so be sure that your sprinklers are reaching the entire kurapia sod space evenly or use hand watering to sooner fill in gaps between plugs. Kurapia does greatest when watered within the morning and though it could survive an prolonged drought, it is going to seem the lushest and greenest when it’s watered on a bi-weekly irrigation schedule through the rising season. Through the institution interval, you should definitely water your Kurapia sod plugs as soon as per week to encourage fast new development. Through the winter, as soon as temperatures are constantly beneath 45 levels your kurapia sod will enter a interval of dormancy and extra irrigation is not obligatory. 


Kurapia sod thrives in sandy loam soils wealthy with natural matter that are additionally typically current in dry spots. It has been proven to outlive quite a lot of circumstances together with high and low pH soils and even soils containing excessive salt concentrations. The foundation system has been proven to offer erosion management which makes it an ideal possibility for planting on slopes and different uneven planting surfaces. Along with the soil erosion properties, its thick, dense development aids in weed suppression and as soon as established prevents weed seeds from germinating by limiting their entry to the soil floor. Since it could tolerate quite a lot of soil circumstances this makes it an ideal alternative for planting in public utility areas. 


Whereas it’s not completely essential to fertilize your Kurapia sod it is going to carry out even higher and retain its vibrant inexperienced shade properly into winter with a lightweight fertilizer utilized twice a yr, as soon as in spring and once more within the fall. A slow-release balanced natural fertilizer will work greatest. Fertilizing within the spring will encourage flowers if offering meals for pollinators is part of your aim with this groundcover. 

Mowing and Upkeep

Identical to with a garden, Kurapia does require mowing. Common steering is to mow Kurapia sod a minimum of as soon as a month to maintain it at a manageable lawn-like top. You may let your Kurapia plugs develop to be just a few inches taller should you’d like them to flower and produce forage for pollinators. Through the winter months, the expansion will decelerate significantly as will your must mow it. 


The commercially-available kurapia is sterile and subsequently doesn’t produce viable seed, but it surely does unfold regularly over time with out seed viability. There’s little data accessible as as to if or not kurapia sod will be propagated by way of cuttings, nevertheless, it may be dug up and divided as soon as established and replanted elsewhere. Keep in mind to clear the realm of weeds both with a tarp or non-selective herbicide earlier than planting kurapia sod.  


Frog fruit flower
The frog fruit, Phyla nodiflora, is what kurapia was developed from. Supply: holdit

Kurapia sod is a low upkeep floor cowl which makes it good for an space that you simply want to cowl rapidly and completely – particularly relating to weed suppression. This floor cowl sod has minimal rising issues, pests, and ailments. 

Rising Issues

Most frequently rising issues with Kurapia sod come up from dry areas attributable to poor sprinkler distribution, clogged nozzles, or leaks within the irrigation methods. Verify your sprinkler distribution to verify your Kurapia is being watered evenly. If sure areas are rising sooner, thicker, or seem lusher than others with extra runners, then this can be an indicator of irrigation points.


In southern California, kurapia has no recognized pests! In different areas, there have been experiences of harm attributable to leaf chewing bugs, however this injury has been minor and doesn’t trigger any long-term points for Kurapia floor cowl. Because of this, there aren’t any pest management strategies that have to be applied or pest prevention strategies to think about when buying plugs of Kurapia. 


Identical to a scarcity of pests, in southern California, kurapia additionally has no recognized ailments! It might be vulnerable to illness in additional humid environments. Keep away from over-irrigation in humid climates as this may occasionally result in fungal ailments. Since Kurapia is low-growing, densely packed, and has little airflow between runners, it makes the right atmosphere for fungal points when excessive humidity circumstances are current. Kurapia can have a tough time recovering from fungal infections, so preventative measures are greatest. You should definitely water within the morning to keep away from moist foliage when humidity tends to be at its highest. If a fungal an infection is already current, then apply an natural fungicide per the directions on the bottle. 

Ceaselessly Requested Questions

Phyla nodiflora flowers
Phyla nodiflora generally is a pollinator draw with its tiny flowers. Supply: Wildlife Journey

Q: Is kurapia a great floor cowl?

A: Kurapia makes a superb floor cowl! It grows horizontally by rooting alongside the stem, Preserving the stems low to the bottom by way of mowing will encourage this horizontal development. 

Q: Is kurapia invasive?

A: No, it’s a sterile/non-invasive and cold-hardy cultivar. There are, nevertheless, Phyla nodiflora varieties which have been naturalized and develop like weeds in California and are thought of invasive. 

Q: Will kurapia choke out grass?

A: Kurapia can and can choke out weeds and grass as soon as it’s absolutely established. 

Q: Can youngsters play on kurapia?

A: Kurapia can maintain mild foot visitors, but it surely ought to be absolutely established first. 

Q: Is kurapia deer-resistant?

A: Sure, it’s deer resistant. 

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