Magic carpet plant, a nonhardy creeping plant, makes a lovely ground cover for sun or shade. It deserves to be more widely grown for the carpet it creates over rolling terrain. A member of the buckwheat family, it comes from the Himalaya mountains of Asia.
: This charmer creeps across the ground and seldom reaches more than 3 inches in height, but each plant can reach up to 2 feet in diameter from its long trailing stems. Each bright green leaf is marked with a V-shaped purple band. The flowers, lifted above the foliage on short stems, are round, fluffy balls of pink, up to 11/2 inch in diameter.
: In frost-free areas, magic carpet plant can make a permanent ground cover. Elsewhere, it is good for covering large amounts of ground quickly. Grow it in either sun or partial shade in average or richer soil that is well drained. Space plants 8 to 10 inches apart for summer coverage. Plant outdoors as soon as all danger of frost has passed. Pinch the tips of small plants to induce branching.
: For good-sized plants that will grow quickly to cover the ground, start indoors 8 to 10 weeks prior to planting in the garden. Seed germination takes 15 to 25 days at 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
: Plant it in small pockets for its small, cloverlike blossoms. Use it like any ground cover -- underplanted near bushes and shrubs -- for providing a carpet of green. Plant it beside walks and pathways or next to ponds or streams. Its trailing stems are especially attractive creeping over rocks or walls. It's also a good trailing plant to use in flowering containers. Plant near the edges so the small stems will cover the maximum outside surface of the container. It's a charming indoor plant in hanging baskets. Give it medium-to-nigh light and pinch the tips to make it bushy.
Magic carpet plant scientific name: Polygonum capitatum
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