Installation & Care
When to Install Kurapia
Kurapia can be installed from March to September, depending on location and weather patterns in a given year. Excessively cool temperatures in spring or warm temperatures in summer can hinder establishment. Therefore, best results are usually achieved with plantings in April to June when temperatures are usually more moderate. Complete establishment of Kurapia usually occurs in 2 to 4 months, depending upon spacing of plugs and ideal growing conditions.
Handling Kurapia Before Installation
Plugs: When you receive your Kurapia, open the box and unpack the trays as soon as possible. Place the trays unstacked in an area protected from the wind and direct sun. Keep the plugs moistened until ready to install. Avoid delays in installation longer than one week.
Sod: Ideally, sod should be installed within 24 hours of being delivered. Place the rolls in an area protected from the wind and direct sun. Keep the rolls moist until ready to install. View our Sod Installation Gallery.
Kurapia prefers sandy or sandy loam soils. Heavier clay or subsurface soils should be properly amended or capped with sand or suitable soil to ensure adequate aeration and drainage. Prior to planting, weeds and other undesirable vegetation should be controlled with repeat applications of a non-selective herbicide such as glyphosate (RoundUp®, others).
Landscape/weed fabric is a recommended option for weed control when planting plugs but should not be used when planting sod. If you do choose to use landscape fabric it is very important that you select fabric that is permeable and unwoven in order to allow new Kurapia roots to penetrate down to the soil. Do not use woven fabrics.
Keep Kurapia moist and away from direct sunlight until it is installed. Using the spacing desired, dig a hole that is twice the diameter and depth of the Kurapia plug. This is very important as the chance of survival will be reduced if the hole is not large enough to cover the whole plug. Place the plug into the hole and pack the loosened soil around the plug, covering only a small portion (apprx. 25%) of leaves and stems. This will help protect the small plug from direct sunlight and desiccation during establishment. Kurapia stems will creep out from soil. Step over the newly planted plug to ensure good contact with soil. Repeat for all plugs.
Irrigate Kurapia plugs lightly and frequently beginning immediately after installation and until active shoot growth is evident (apprx. 2 to 3 weeks). Avoid washing away the soil packed around each plug. Although Kurapia is tolerant of drought, the establishment period is not the time to withhold water. After about one month, soak the area once or twice per week to help expedite complete Kurapia coverage. Additional irrigation may be required on sandy soil and in full sunlight during warm, dry and windy conditions. Once fully established, Kurapia has a very deep root system that can reach down 5 to 10 feet below the soil surface. Irrigation should be scheduled 1 to 3 times per week to wet all or most of the root zone while minimizing runoff. Irrigation usually is not necessary during winter dormancy, which is typically accompanied by rainfall in California. However, weekly or bi-weekly irrigation during extended drought or dry periods may help Kurapia retain color during winter.
Kurapia will look only as good (or bad) as the irrigation system used to distribute water to it. Avoid over-irrigation to compensate for dry areas caused by poor sprinkler distribution, clogged nozzles, or leaks in the irrigation system.
Fertilization of Kurapia is most important during establishment to expedite coverage. Once active shoot growth of the newly planted plugs is evident, apply a complete (N-P2O5-K2O) granular fertilizer at a rate of ½ lb N per 1,000 sq.ft. every two weeks until full coverage is achieved. If practical, spot sprinkling the appropriate dosage of fertilizer granules on or around Kurapia plugs will save fertilizer and minimize potential for nutrient runoff and weed invasion from granules that contact bare soil in between plugs. Alternatively, fertilizer can be applied in a liquid form during irrigation using Miracle-Gro®, LiquaFeed® or similar product every 7 to 14 days as directed on the label. Once Kurapia is fully established, subsequent fertilization is only optional once annually in spring (for growth and flowering) or fall (for color retention) at ½ to 1 lb N per 1,000 sq.ft. Application of fertilizer containing phosphorus may enhance flowering if desired.
Kurapia is a sterile cultivar of Phyla (Lippia) nodiflora, which is native to California. However, because it is considered a minor plant, this species is not likely to be found on herbicide labels. The following herbicides are known to work safely on Kurapia. The user should assume all risks and liability associated with herbicide and other pesticide usage on Kurapia. Always read and follow directions on the pesticide label and treat a small area of Kurapia first at rates suggested for other groundcovers or similar broadleaf species to prevent extensive damage or loss.
- Select grass and broadleaf weeds
- Apply on fully established Kurapia only
- Benefin, trifluralin, pendimethalin, prodiamine, dithiopyr, oxadiazon, others
Post-Emergence Grass Herbicides
- Sethoxydim (Vantage®, others)
- Fluazifop (Fusilade®, others)
- Fenoxaprop (Acclaim Extra®, others)
Post-Emergence Broadleaf Weeds
- Mecoprop (Mecomec®, others)
- Carfentrazone (Quicksilver®, others)
- Asulam (Asulox®, others)
Diseases, insects, or other pests are not known to affect Kurapia, especially in a dry climate like California.
Mowing & Pruning
Kurapia is low growing and no mowing is necessary if a natural looking groundcover is desired. However, mowing 1 to 2 times per month at a 2 to 3 inch height during the growing season can produce a turf-like appearance and minimize flower production and associated bee activity. Mowing will also encourage Kurapia to spread by putting out more runners during establishment. Mowing during winter or early spring can remove dormant leaves and stems and expose underlying green tissue. Nonetheless, without mowing a new green appearance will resume in spring when temperatures are suitable for active shoot growth. Disposal of clippings is only necessary when excessive debris remains after mowing.
Aside from mowing, lateral spread of Kurapia may need to be controlled with mechanical or chemical (non-selective herbicide) trimming.