Dwarf Carpet of Stars (Ruschia nana): Care and Propagation

Do you know you can have a lawn of succulents?? Strange huh?? Yeah. Ruschia nana aka Dwarf Carpet of Stars is a very soothing, low-maintenance plant that works great as a ground cover. The astonishing fact about making the lawns of Ruschia is that we don’t have to mow them. We do have time boundaries due to our busy schedules and this succulent really saves our time as it requires comparatively less effort to maintain.


Ruschia lineolata ‘nana’ is a perennial and most importantly evergreen Succulent, which works as a pretty decent alternative to the Conventional grasses used as ground covers. Commonly, it is called Dwarf Carpet of Stars which prefers to grow without much care and interference from humans. Indigenous to the dryer parts of southern Africa, this succulent is happiest in the heat but can withstand cooler temperatures too. Ruschia has evolved in versatile ways to survive hostile environments; one of them being low moisture survival mechanisms.

Roots and Leaves 

Ruschia nana, categorized as a dwarf succulent, is a plant belonging to the family Aizoaceae which consists of a Woody root section capable of spreading to several feet from where it is planted. So with time, it covers all the ground giving it a stunning look.

The rubbery texture of Dwarf Carpet of Stars is due to its fleshy leaves with tough exterior surfaces. Its leaves are only ½ inch long and as they remain of that height, it is not necessary to mow. This is one of the reasons why we should plant it in our garden.


One of the major plus points of growing Ruschia as ground cover is that unlike other grasses it produces really attractive flowers, which are of pink or purple color. To be more precise, flowers are attractively candy-striped (one type being pink & white; another purple & white). It blooms in various seasons. The main flowering season is Spring/Summer, and fewer of them bloom in fall as well. However, flowering is greatly affected by sunlight. Areas with brighter sunlight have numerous flowers in comparison to shady areas. Thus, planting it outdoors is appropriate. In most places, they are grown for making lawns but they also provide additional benefits because they produce such cool flowers giving us an amazing vibe during the flowering period. Regarding seeds, when the plant gets mature we can collect them from the pod. The Seeds are not that big and we can use them for propagation.

A quick overview of this plant is tabulated below:-

Plant NameRuschia lineolata ‘Nana’
Other NameDwarf Carpet of Stars
Grown for Making lawns
Plant typeSucculent 
Family Aizoaceae
OriginSouth Africa 
Nature of plantEvergreen 
Life span3 to 5 years
USDA growing zoneUSDA 9 to 11
Flower color Pink or purple 
Blooming timePrimary -spring/summerSecond -Fall
Height 2 to 3 inch
Width3 inch
Exposure Best full bright sunlightShady area also
Cold tolerance 25 to 30°F, -1.1 to -3.9°C
Irrigation Drought resistant 

Botanical Classification

Kingdom Plantae
Family Aizoaceae 
Species Lineolata 
Botanical nameRuschia lineolata 

USDA Growing Zone 

Like Agave, Dwarf carpet of stars can be grown in the USDA hardiness Zone 9 -11 . These areas include the most tropical climate in the US like Florida, Southern Louisiana, Texas, and California which are warm in summer and mild in the winter. Ruschia is not recommended in the USDA zones below 9B.

Read More: Agave Geminiflora: Easy Guide For Caring and Propagation

 Special Features

1. Evergreen succulent plant.

2. It’s a low-maintenance plant as mowing isn’t required. 

3. Unlike other ground covers, it produces attractive flowers.

4. Disease and pest resistance.

5. It is not prickly.

6. Blooms in several seasons and quickly compared to other succulents like Haworthia.

7. Non-toxic to humans and pets.

8. Take foot traffic well because of its hard and rubbery leaves.

9. When you step in, it will not have a crushing effect like an ice plant.

10. Drought tolerant.


Dwarf carpet of stars is considered a non-toxic plant. However, it cannot be used as animal feed. Pets find it really relaxing to play on it. We can even let our children run and walk on it because it’s safe. The rubbery texture makes us feel relaxed when stepping on it.

Ruschia nana Care 

Ruschia nana being a succulent plant doesn’t require much attention from humans for its growth. Water during its establishment period is crucial otherwise it can survive even in drought conditions. Overwatering leads to the yellowing of leaves. And if somehow, the soil gets dry and there is a scarcity of water, then the tip of the leaf changes to brown. But this kind of condition rarely occurs. A quick overview of caring for a Dwarf carpet of stars is tabulated below:-

LightBright, direct sunlight with high intensity 
Temperature 20 degrees F to 120 degrees F
SoilSandy mixed with organic matter 
WaterDrought resistant 
Humidity 30 to 60 percent 
Fertiliser NPK,1 month after planting 
Mowing Not necessary 

The detailed overview is given below:-


Considering the growth habit, this Ruschia requires direct sunlight with high light intensity. It can grow in shady places as well. But in such areas, flowering is delayed with tiny flowers. Thus to fasten its blooming period, direct sunlight is mandatory. Early morning sunshine for 6 hours is ideal for flower production during the summer season.


It can survive in a wide range of temperatures, the lowest being 20 degrees F to the highest being 120 degrees F. Further, The plant doesn’t do well in cool and wet conditions.


Regarding planting media, well-drained, light, and fertile Soil with a pH range of 6.5- 7 is good for Ruschia. Sandy soil is ideal for it. However, to fulfill the nutritional requirement of the plant, additional organic matter should be mixed in the ground.

If your garden contains Clay soil, then you cannot plant a Dwarf Carpet of Stars. Talking about Clay soil, they have a large water-holding capacity and even clogs the soil making it Compact. In such soil, The roots of Ruschia cannot spread because it becomes difficult to penetrate its hard layer.


We should water this lawn succulent every 7 to 10 days in the early phase. Otherwise, we can irrigate, by observing the changes in the  plants. If the plant gets excess water, leaves start turning yellow. On the other hand, due to water deficiency, leaves turn light green or develop greyish shades.There are various methods to water Ruschia which include:-

1. Drip irrigation

2. Misting


Though a Dwarf carpet of stars can survive in a wide range of humidity, it doesn’t love high humidity. The tolerance to humidity enables it to survive various seasons in the year. Too much humidity increases the chances of fungal disease making it less appealing.


In the presence of organic manure, it develops pretty fast and thrives well. Thus, the soil should be rich in organic matter. To enhance root and leaf formation in Ruschia nana the recommended dose is NPK @ 15:15:15 at a rate of ½ lb. of N per 1,000 sf.

Potting and Repotting

Generally, potting is not necessary in Ruschia because we use it as ground cover. But it can also be grown in small or large containers. When we grow it in a container we must do repotting once every year.

Mowing and Trimming

Mowing is unnecessary because it is a short-height plant that grows only up to 2 inches. So just edged it or trimmed it every once in a while to keep it contained in whatever area we have planted in.

Dwarf Carpet of Stars Propagation 

For propagation, land should be prepared by digging, leveling, and enriching the soil with organic matter. If soil is acidic or basic, manipulation of soil is important to make it neutral. Before planting, make sure that there is a drainage facility to avoid water logging conditions. For best results, we should place healthy cuttings in sand or cactus mix and water them daily.

Steps Of Propagation

1. First of all, select the appropriate place for making a lawn that fulfills the abovementioned criteria.

2. If you used to plant any other type of ground cover like Bermuda you must remove them completely. Because if not removed, later they interfere in the growth of Ruschia. 

3. Till the soil, label it then make it well pulverized. Make sure it will be easy for the roots of Ruschia to penetrate.

4. The soil must contain sand. Add organic matter to make it more porous.

5. Once the field is ready, plant the Ruschia six inches apart, creating 8 to 10 cm depth and it will grow together to create the lush succulent Carpet.

6. Until its establishment we have to water it daily. Then within six months it will grow and spread.

Methods of Propagation 

1. Propagation by cuttings

Cuttings are taken from a healthy, matured plant with clean and sterilized equipment to avoid viruses and damage in the plant. Part of the plant is cut, treated with the growth hormones like Auxin to initiate root growth, and planted. We can buy those cuttings from the local nursery. To plant it in other areas of our garden, we can separate the established plant from our lawn and use them as cutting. It is pretty simple and easy to grow Ruschia from the cuttings. We should water them daily until they spread. 

2. Propagation by using seeds

Seeds are not widely used to grow Dwarf Carpet of Stars because using seed causes delay in the growth of plants. We can buy the seed from certain agro vets and plant it. We can grow them in any season if we have sufficient water facilities. But the best time can be in the spring /summer season. In order to produce our own seeds we should gather the pods, dry them and collect the seeds. Since seeds are small we can grow them in less space indoors, outdoors, or in any place during the summer or spring season.

Here is the video of Ruschia nana that explains things in simple way. This will surely help you to clear your thoughts even more:-


The price can range from $60 to $ 75 per 100 cuttings depending upon the distance, seller, and time.

You can buy it from local nurseries and even online. But make sure that you are buying healthy plants. You cannot plant in areas with cold climates as this plant prefers warm and arid climates.

Pests and Diseases 

There are no known pests or diseases that affect the Dwarf Carpet of stars.

By nature, succulents have developed the capacity to thrive well under any kind of harsh situation and they have a rigid structure as a result they are less damaged by insects and pests. Additionally, native varieties are used which are pest and disease resistant. However,

1. overwatering leads to the yellowing of leaves.

2. Lack of drainage facility causes root rot.

3. Due to insufficient water, the leaves become light green in color and the tip of a leaf turns to a bronze color.

Weeds of Dwarf Carpet of Stars

While Dwarf Carpet of Stars (Ruschia nana) is a resilient ground cover, it can face challenges from various weeds that may compete for nutrients, water, and space. Here’s a list of common weeds that might affect Dwarf Carpet of Stazrs, along with explanations and remedies:

1. Annual Bluegrass (Poa annua)

Description: Annual grass with fine blades, tends to form dense patches.

Remedy: Hand-pulling and maintaining proper lawn care practices. Spot treat with a selective herbicide if necessary.

2. Common Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)

Description: Low-growing succulent with smooth, fleshy leaves.

Remedy: Hand-weeding, especially when young. Mulching can help suppress purslane growth.

3. Bermuda Grass (Cynodon dactylon)

Description: Aggressive warm-season grass with creeping rhizomes.

Remedy: Hand-pulling, carefully removing rhizomes, or using a selective grass herbicide.

4. Clover (Trifolium spp.)

Description: Broadleaf weed with trifoliate leaves.

Remedy: Hand removal, overseeding with grass to outcompete, or using broadleaf weed herbicides.

5. Chickweed (Stellaria media)

Description: Low-growing with small, star-like white flowers.

Remedy: Hand weeding, maintaining proper watering to reduce moisture, or using broadleaf herbicides.

6. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale):

Description: Tap-rooted weed with distinctive yellow flowers.

Remedy: Hand-pulling, digging out the taproot, or using broadleaf weed herbicides.

7. Prostrate Knotweed (Polygonum aviculare):

Description: Low, spreading weed with small green leaves.

Remedy: Hand-pulling, maintaining a dense ground cover, or using broadleaf herbicides.

8. Creeping Woodsorrel (Oxalis corniculata):

Description: Trifoliate leaves and small yellow flowers; spreads through runners.

Remedy: Manual removal, cutting runners, or using broadleaf herbicides.

Pros and Cons

1. Not a prickly plant.1. Snakes, insects, and various reptiles may hide in the lawn which may attack us.
2. Has to be trimmed but not mowed.2. Until establishment, sufficient and timely irrigation is necessary.
3. Can thrive well in harsh climatic conditions. 3. Require direct sunlight for early bloom.
4. Rubbery texture of the leaves makes it more appealing.4. Cannot grow well in water logging conditions.
5. Non-toxic to pets.5. Planting media must contain sand and organic matter.
6. Takes foot traffic well.6. Has to be trimmed timely.
7. Once established,  it spreads on its own and less chance of weeds.8 . Excessive irrigation leads to yellowing of leaves.
8. Grows well in bright  sunlight and drought resistant 
9. Perennial, evergreen succulent ground cover.

Final Words 

Since a lot of people are interested in ground cover lately. The Dwarf Carpet of Stars can be the best choice. If you are looking for a low-maintenance ground cover, that’s also tough and can withstand foot traffic, Ruschia can be the one!!!. But you must know it cannot be grown in cold climates. So, yeah if you reside in tropical or subtropical regions Ruschia can make your lawn way more beautiful and super comfortable.


1. How Durable is the Dwarf Carpet of Stars?

It is a perennial succulent plant. It survives for 3 to 5 years with full rigid succulent leaves giving you a wonderful lawn. But after 5 years of plantation, the rubbery and rigid nature of the leaf is lost. So it will be better to plant new cuttings after 3 to 5 year.

2. Which is The Best Soil For Ruschia nana?

The best soil for Ruschia nana is sandy soil. Sandy soil alone cannot meet the nutritional requirements of Ruschia as a result sufficient organic matter should be added in certain intervals.

3. What is The Best Fertilizer For Dwarf Carpets of Stars?

For natural growth sandy soil mixed with organic matter works. But for best growth along with FYM, apply a complete N-P-K fertilizer (15-15-15) at a rate of ½ lb. of N per 1,000 sf. after one month of the plantation. You can repeat the dose once every year during the flowering season to enhance flowering. 

4. When to Mow Dwarf Carpets of Stars?

We are not supposed to mow a Dwarf Carpet of Stars cause its height is only up to 2 to 3 inches. But we must consider trimming it in order to keep it contained where we want.

5. Why is My Ruschia nana Yellowing?

The reason behind the yellowing of Ruschia nana is over-watering. When your Ruschia turns yellow, you should completely stop watering until the soil gets dry again.


  • Puja Subedi

    My name is Puja Subedi and I am currently pursuing my bachelor's degree at the Agriculture and Forestry University, Rampur, Chitwan. As a passionate learner, I strive to understand the beauty and secrets of nature and botanical life.

4 thoughts on “Dwarf Carpet of Stars (Ruschia nana): Care and Propagation”

  1. I planted Carpet Star ground cover last year. I am experiencing areas of yellow and dying under the plant. There looks to be a grayish material under the affected area and what looks to be cobwebs. Is there a spider mite that can kill the plant?? I’ve taken out some of the dying plant, which feels very dry. Ground is damp but not soaked from watering. I water twice a week when temps go about 90 degrees. If I add some soil amendments to soil where I’ve removed the plants, will the carpet star regenerate and cover the bear spots?? Also, I have carpet in the back yard that is looking woody in some areas because Oak leaves have covered it for a time. Any remedy there?? Please respond before I buy replacement Carpet Star. Thank you Gary G. Hainline

    • Hey Gary, Here are the few solutions for your problems regarding Dwarf Carpet of Stars:-

      1. Yellowing and Dying Carpet Star Ground Cover with Grayish Material and Cobwebs:
      It’s possible that your Carpet Star ground cover is indeed being affected by spider mites or other pests. Spider mites are tiny pests that can suck the sap from plant leaves, causing yellowing, browning, and ultimately death of the affected areas. The cobwebs you mentioned are a common sign of spider mite infestations.

      To address this issue:

      First, inspect the plants closely to confirm the presence of spider mites. Look for tiny, speck-like pests and their fine webs.

      If you confirm a spider mite infestation, you can try using insecticidal soap or neem oil as organic controls. Follow the product instructions carefully.

      Prune and remove the affected parts of the Carpet Star ground cover to prevent the infestation from spreading further.

      Ensure proper watering practices, as stressed plants are more susceptible to pests. Water consistently but avoid overwatering.

      2. Regenerating Bare Spots in the Carpet Star Ground Cover:

      If you’ve removed the affected plants, you can improve the chances of regrowth by amending the soil and providing favorable conditions:

      Add compost or organic matter to the soil in the bare spots to improve its fertility and water-holding capacity.

      Ensure the soil is well-draining as Carpet Star ground cover prefers such conditions.
      Consider dividing healthy portions of the Carpet Star and replanting them in the bare areas to speed up the regrowth process.

      Continue to monitor and maintain consistent watering and care to support the recovery of your ground cover.

      3. Woody Areas in the Carpet Under Oak Leaves:
      If your Carpet Star ground cover has become woody in some areas due to oak leaves covering it, you can take the following steps:

      Rake and remove the oak leaves to allow sunlight and air circulation to reach the ground cover.

      Trim or prune the woody or overgrown parts of the ground cover to encourage new growth.

      Mulch the area with a thin layer of organic mulch (e.g., compost, leaf mold) to help retain moisture and suppress weeds.

      Continue to provide regular care and maintenance, including appropriate watering and feeding, to help the ground cover recover.

      Remember that it may take some time for your Carpet Star ground cover to fully recover and spread to cover bare spots.

      Regular monitoring and care will be essential in ensuring its health and vitality.

  2. I really enjoyed the article and it has plenty of information related to the carpet of the starts ground covering but there is no mention on how to deal with weeds, I would appreciate any info you could share on future posts. Thank you


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