Everything You Need to Know About Kurapia Sod

Posted by George Bravos on

Everything You Need to Know About Kurapia Sod

For a more audio and visual friendly introduction to Kurapia, check out our Kurapia Stress Testing Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64MAGNz-Y_c&t=6s

Let's dive into everything you need to know about Kurapia Sod!

We are in the age of aesthetics, seeking what’s beautiful at every turn - whether it's taking the perfect picture that captures the beauty and comfort in our lives or finding the best-looking ground cover for our lawns. When it comes to lawn and aesthetics, they provide a pop of color that adds vibrancy and life to an otherwise monochromatic setting when decorating a home or any property. However, the perfect yard will provide aesthetics and a safe area to interact with, adding a touch of sweet fragrance in the air and making everything just a bit more pleasant. We are also in a time when we should pay close attention to environmental sustainability and our impact on global health. Thankfully, Kurapia sod provides the opportunity to engage in both what is beautiful and sustainable for our environment.

What Is Kurapia Sod?

Kurapia sod is a newly developed, highly versatile premium groundcover with added benefits such as seasonal flowering for improved aesthetics and biodiversification, low-maintenance perks such as never needing to be mowed (yes, we said never), and environmental benefits such as requiring significantly less watering than traditional grass. Kurapia, from the native Lippia nodiflora species (syn. Phyla nodiflora), belongs to the Verbena family and is a patented perennial plant (stays green year-round) developed in Japan by Dr. H. Kuramochi. Kurapia sod is sterile (unable to produce seed), and unlike the species, it is non-invasive. Kurapia sod is a live flowering plant with dense growth low to the ground, giving it an uncanny resemblance to grass. Kurapia sod can guarantee you less work, less watering, and less stress while providing many benefits to the environment. Kurapia sod is equally suited for both residential and commercial applications and is a popular groundcover in California, Nevada, and Arizona. 

Kurapia sod is drought tolerant and can tolerate some shade and foot traffic. Its average height is between 1” - 3” depending on the conditions it is exposed to. Kurapia sod needs up to 60% less water than cool-season turfgrasses and requires little maintenance, such as never needing to be mowed, though it can be trimmed or cut based on personal preferences. Kurapia grass blooms small white flowers between October and May. Watering will be higher during its establishment period, but once it has rooted, it can be watered as little as 1-2 times per week based on its conditions. It is best installed from March to September, depending on location and weather patterns in any given year. Excessively cool temperatures in winter and spring or warm temperatures in summer can affect establishment if not closely monitored. Therefore, the best results are usually achieved with plantings in April to June, when temperatures are generally more moderate and easier to maintain. Complete establishment of Kurapia sod usually occurs within 2 - 4 months, depending on growing conditions. 

Kurapia sod grass
Environmental Benefits and Sustainability of Kurapia Sod

In considering environmental sustainability, Kurapia sod offers many benefits such as increased water conservation, lower maintenance, and prevention of soil erosion. In California, the climate is historically prone to droughts, and as of July 2021, 85% of California is in extreme drought. So, this is why it is significant and relevant that Kurapia sod is highly drought tolerant and requires 60% less watering than traditional grass. Kurapia sod also never has to be mowed. Yes, we mean it. Kurapia sod never needs to be mowed. It grows laterally, keeping upward growth at a minimum. Kurapia’s low maintenance matters because gas-powered lawn mowers produce a significant amount of toxic air pollutants similar to cars. Therefore, eliminating lawn mowing will substantially benefit the environment and reduce air pollutants. Kurapia sod also blooms small, beautiful, white flowers twice a year, providing biodiversity to any area and opportunities for a healthy biome. 

Kurapia’s dense and sturdy structure gives it excellent soil stabilization, aiding soil erosion, providing strong weed suppression, excellent tolerance of a wide range of soil types, pH levels, and salinity. In addition, its deep rooting system gives it improved drought tolerance and, in turn, provides water-saving. These benefits make Kurapia sod ideal for many uses that support our environment and offer sustainable practices. For example, Kurapia sod is a popular ground cover in highway and freeway shoulders, rooftops, public utility areas, commercial properties, landscape areas, large city properties, and lawn-type areas. Because of its drought tolerance, soil stabilization, weed suppression, and adaptability, Kurapia sod is an ideal ground cover that provides both environmental benefits and overall sustainability.  



Prepping and Installing Kurapia

Preparing the area for Kurapia Sod

Firstly, installers should clear the lawn of any current coverings. Kurapia sod prefers sandy or sandy loam soils, so installers should appropriately amend subsurface soils heavier in clay with sand and organic matter (peat moss, compost, yard clippings, worm castings, etc.) to ensure adequate aeration and drainage. Before planting, all weeds should be removed by hand or killed with a non-selective herbicide such as RoundUp (glyphosate). For planting sites that have been neglected and may also have a large population of weed seeds in the soil, the use of a pre-emergent herbicide can help reduce weed seedlings that will come naturally when such areas receive irrigation. If no weeds are currently present, it is recommended to irrigate the installation area for a week or two to germinate any weed seeds present in the soil and then eradicate the weeds that come up. You should repeat this process at least three times to increase the success rate of weed control.

Installing Kurapia Sod

When installing Kurapia sod, keep it moist and away from direct sunlight until it’s installed. Because our Kurapia is in sod roll form, it is very similar to installing transitional sod. Be sure to have rototilled the area, applied fresh topsoil, and rolled the soil. After installing the Kurapia, roll the Kurapia sod. Ensure there are not any spaces in between rolls and that they are laid down closely knit together. 

Maintenance and Care for Kurapia Sod
Watering Kurapia Sod 

Kurapia, like other forms of flora, needs to be maintained to ensure proper health and maximize its lushness. However, it will require much less maintenance and care than traditional lawns. Once installed, Kurapia sod will need to remain moist for the first three weeks during its establishment and rooting period, so initial irrigation will be more frequent (establishment periods are longer in the winter). Once installed, we generally recommend watering three times daily (5 am, 11 am, and 2 pm) during the first three weeks. Certain conditions may require additional care, such as scorching hot temperatures during which you may need to irrigate it more frequently. Other factors impact watering recommendations, such as the watering system (sprinkler system vs. hand watering) along with water pressure at each site. 

Once fully established, Kurapia sod roots grow deep below the soil surface when adequately irrigated. Deep irrigation will encourage deep rooting and, in turn decrease watering sessions. There is no one irrigation recommended for Kurapia; water needs will vary by seasonal and local climate, soil type, time of year, conditions it is exposed to, and both the type of irrigation system and the irrigation method. However, once established, Kurapia sod will generally require a minimum of one irrigation per week to hold green col. Two irrigations a week may be necessary to maintain the same green color in more extreme weather.

Kurapia grass

Kurapia Sod Fertilization

You may apply nitrogen fertilizer to promote its flowering and growth. However, in the fall, it’s recommended to use higher levels of phosphate-based fertilizer. In general, apply a balanced fertilizer once a year at ½ lb to 1 lb per 1,000 sq. ft. You can shop our Lawn Food under the SEED section from our Home Page.

Kurapia Sod Mowing

It’s true; Kurapia never has to be mowed! Some folks choose to use a lawnmower based on personal preferences for appearance, but it is unnecessary like traditional grass. Others decide to mow Kurapia sod to avoid the seasonal flowering twice a year. On average, Kurapia sod grows 1” - 3” depending on climate, conditions it is exposed to, and the care it receives. Kurapia sod is naturally low-growing and does not require mowing if you desire a natural groundcover look. 

One special note is that an early mowing during the establishment period will encourage more runners for faster fill-in; set the mower to remove no more than ⅓ of total top growth. Mowing one to two times a month to a height of 2-3 inches during the growing season will result in a turf-like appearance and minimize flower production if desired. Please note that Kurapia sod should be mowed ⅓ of total top growth and not more.

Kurapia Sod Pest and Weed Control

Pest and weed control is one more thing you don’t have to worry about with Kurapia. Diseases rarely plague Kurapia as it is sterile, and its strong rooting system supports its ability to fight off weeds and pests. Its dense growth also supports its ability to resist weeds and pests. You may do weed control by hand removal or with a hoe or cultivator for well-managed planting areas. You should examine the planting area once a week during the Kurapia establishment period. This way, you can ensure the removal of weeds when they are small to avoid them from fully flowering (once weeds flower fully, they are quickly followed by seed pollination, which creates more weeds). 

Chemical control is another option for pest and weed concerns. However, because Kurapia is still considered a minor plant, it is not likely found on herbicide labels. In addition, diseases, insects, or other pests are unknown to affect Kurapia, especially in a dry climate like California.

It is also noted that Kurapia in sod form and installed in grass roll form is less susceptible to the installation of Kurapia plugs. For obvious reasons, during its establishment period and rooting, Kurapia in sod form is open to weeds invading it while it is still establishing. When plugs are used, there is ample space for weeds to grow amidst the Kurapia before it has had a chance to spread itself evenly and use its density to fight off weeds. 

In Conclusion…

Kurapia is an alternative ground cover used for residential and commercial purposes. Kurapia offers a plethora of benefits, especially when compared to traditional grass lawns, which have made it increasingly popular. Kurapia has a deep rooting system that allows it to be more drought tolerant than traditional sod, requiring significantly less watering and supporting water conservation. Also, it never has to be mowed, cutting the use of gas-powered lawnmowers, which emit fumes and pollutants into the air. Furthermore, Kurapia is sterile, stabilizes soil (supporting soil erosion), suppresses weeds, and is significantly less prone to pests. (If you’re on the hunt for something deer won’t eat, this is it!)

With Kurapia, you get the best of both worlds. Kurapia will be an aesthetic and beautiful ground cover without compromising environmental benefits and sustainable practices. Simply make sure that you give it the kind of attention it needs in the first few weeks to get to the desired state ideal for your area. Then, once that phase is over, you can sit back, relax, kick up your feet (maybe on a nice lawn chair under a sun umbrella), kiss the lawnmower goodbye, and let this innovative plant do the rest.

Kurapia Sod Video

We have a Kurapia ground cover youtube video! Check out Sod and Seed, Inc.'s Kurapia ground cover Stress Testing Video! Click the link below:

Sod and Seed Inc. tested kurapia ground cover for over three years. Kurapia ground cover was tested in-house with constant stress-testing the kurapia sod and installing the kurapia in very hard-to-grow conditions. The Proper fertilizing and watering of kurapia sod that was tested resulted in complete repair with proper lighting. For a full description of Kurapia sod, please refer to our blog, "Everything You Need to Know About Kurapia!" at the link below: https://www.lawndelivery.com/blogs/news/everything-you-need-to-know-about-kurapia-sod

Kurapia sod fertilizing

When installing Kurapia sod or even kurapia plugs we always recommend using a sod and seed starter fertilizer to speed up rooting and reduce the amount of water to establish the area. Our start fertilizer has been tested on kurapia sod in house and is approved on all kurapia plants. 

Kurapia Ground Cover Seeds

Kurapia ground cover does not have active seeds. I know it's a strange concept, that kurapia seeds do not produce kurapia plants, so we can explain it in comparison. kurapia ground cover is like a mule in the sense the mixture of plants used to create the plant does not produce viable seed, so the kurapia ground cover does flower. While Kurapia is a great pollinator kurapia ground cover flowers can not reproduce with seed. Kurapia sod is created through clones or plugs saving you time and watering and weeding, while kurapia sod may produce kurapia seed pods again the kurapia seeds will not germinate. Sterilizing kurapia seeds make the plant much less invasive and easier to maintain as a lawn.

Alternative to Kurapia Seeds

A great alternative to kurapia seeds is another lippia called Phyla Nodiflora, this ground cover unlike kurapia can be started in seed form. We are currently testing different Phyla seeds and should have our seed varieties available by spring. When sourcing Lippia seed always look at the full name if it says kurapia seeds you know that it is not in fact kurapia seeds but rather a native version instead.

Lawn Fertilizer

**Our Sod and Seed Starter Fertilizer is always recommended when sodding/seeding a lawn. You can shop our Starter Fertilizer at the link below or add it to your cart at check out.


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  • I have a hillside planted with Phyla Nodiflora. Weeds have developed, even thought the ground cover is relatively healthy.
    I cannot find information about what herbicides do the least damage to Phyla Nodiflora. Any advice?

    Linda Benner on
  • Dear lawndelivery.com admin, Your posts are always well-written and easy to understand.

    Rodrick Canchola on
  • Hi lawndelivery.com webmaster, Thanks for the in-depth post!

    Shelby Dowling on
  • Hi Debra! Kurapia is a trademarked plant and is not the same as the Lippia we offer. However, the Lippia was used to develop the hybrid Kurapia plant.

    Razy GS on
  • Is Kurapia the same as Lippia?

    Debra Desjardins on

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