Paspalum: characteristics and cultivation | Gardening On

Herbs are plants that are usually uprooted as soon as they are seen in a garden, but this is not always a good idea, as there are many that can be useful, either to attract pollinating insects, or to have a beautiful low-maintenance lawn.

In fact, some of those herbs that we can consider as “bad” but that can form very interesting green carpets are those of the genus passal. They are grasses with a very fast growth and that, in addition, live several years.

Origin and characteristics of the Paspalum

Paspalum are perennial and stoloniferous grasses native to much of the world. They are found in warm, tropical and subtropical regionsand the genus is made up of about 40 species. Many of them can be used as grass, such as Paspalum sheathed that it is native to South America and that it is able to resist weak frosts, in addition to waterlogging.

Its height varies depending on the variety, being able to measure between 20 and 90 centimeters high. The leaves are linear and green in color. The flowers are grouped in panicles about 8 centimeters long, and can be pink or whitish.

Main species

The most cultivated species are the following:

paspalum dilated

Dilated paspalum is a perennial herb

The paspalum dilated It is a grass known as woody hay native to South America. Its height is between 6 and 17 centimetersand its flowers are grouped in clusters between 2,8 and 3,5 millimeters long.

Resists drought wellmaking it a highly recommended lawn grass for places where there is little rain. However, it must not be cut below 5 centimeters.

Paspal’s couplet

Paspalum distichum blooms in spring

The Paspal’s couplet It is an herb known as panizo that is found throughout the world, but is believed to be native to tropical America. Reaches a height of 20 to 50 centimetersand its leaves are green, a little rough to the touch. The flowers gather in inflorescences that form a “Y”.

It is not the most suitable species for areas where droughts are a problem, since it would not withstand them. On the contrary, it is for those places where it rains frequently. Resists moderate frosts.


Paspalum notatum is an ideal grass for lawns

The Paspalum It is a tropical herb known as bay grass endemic to America. Measures a height of up to 50 centimeters tall counting the inflorescences. These, like those of the species P. coupletthey form a very characteristic »Y». The leaves are glabrous and somewhat leathery.

It can be used as a lawn, as long as the soil is sandy. Tolerates drought, shade and salinity. Of course, its growth rate is slower than the other Paspalum.

Paspalum sheathed

The sheathed paspalum is a perennial plant

The Paspalum sheathed It is a species native to South America, cespitose, which reaches a height of 30 centimeters. Its leaves are green in color, and highly appreciated to grow in gardens near the sea. In fact, as its natural habitat is the saline areas near the coast, it is well prepared to withstand soils rich in salt, especially the »Sea spray» variety.

In addition, withstands waterlogging, high temperatures, and even shade if it is temporary. Of course, the traffic does not hurt either.

Cultivation of the Paspalum

Would you like to have a lawn or a corner with these herbs? Then take note of what we are going to tell you next:


The most advisable thing is that a sunny area is found for themalthough as we have seen some species tolerate shade a bit, such as the P. sheathed. Its roots are rhizomatous, so to avoid problems with other plants it is preferable not to plant bulbs or other small species near them, since doing so is likely that the Paspalum will not let them grow well.


Usually, grow in many types of soils. Some species have preferences for sandy soils, such as the PaspalumBut if you have a good ability to drain and filter water quickly, there need be no problems.


They will be watered more or less 2 to 4 times during the summer, and between 1 and 2 times a week in winter.. It must be taken into account that some species endure drought, so the frequency of irrigation will depend a lot on both the plant itself and the climate.


Paspalum grass is pretty

Paspalum seeds they have to be sown in spring following this step by step:

  1. The first thing to do is prepare the ground. You have to pass the walking tractor to remove the earth and, incidentally, remove the stones that may be there. These stones must be removed to facilitate their rooting for the herbs.
  2. Afterwards, the land is leveled a little with a rake (for sale here!). It does not have to be perfect, because the next step is to add a layer of mulch or cow manure to fertilize it.
  3. It is extended, again with the rake, and now, the ground is leveled trying to make it more or less well, without lumps.
  4. Then, the irrigation system is installed, which we advise to be drip.
  5. Finally, the seeds are sown broadcast, but trying not to remain heaps, and watered.

They will germinate soon, in a week or so.


If you want to have them as grass, you will have to run the mower once a week in spring, every 10-15 days in summer, once a week in autumn, and once or twice a month in winter. Ideally, it should be kept at a height of between 3 and 6 centimeters, so that a very beautiful green carpet can be seen.


During the first year it will not be necessary to fertilize the Paspalum, as it will already have fertilizer that we add when we sow the seeds. But from the second it is necessary to fertilize it with a specific fertilizer for grass following the directions for use.


It depends on the species, but in principle all resist weak frostsand some moderate ones like Paspal’s couplet.

What did you think of the Paspalum?

Paspalum: characteristics and cultivation | Gardening On

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