Far Out Flora

Australian Astroturf: We Love & Kinda Hate You


Happy Scleranthus biflorus

What’s the deal Scleranthus biflorus? We’ve tried to grow this a couple of times & have killed it every single time in a container & in the ground. After murdering so many of these in the past I was hesitant to bring one home again, but we had an opening on the sunny side of the garden. They have seemed to hate part shade & regular water from our previous experiments (I think Matti thought it needed a lot of water & gave it extra). This time around I split it up in to two chunks. This one above is right next to the sidewalk that gets a quick hose down once a week & is doing A-okay with its new Aeonium friends.

Not so happy four feet away

So about four feet away, maybe even three I stuck this unhappy camper in the ground (same as happy camper above). Notice the drip line just sticking out like a sore thumb a couple inches away? That’s the only difference between the two. A little bit of water drips out once a week for about 30-45 minutes.  Seems like it dislikes average to what some would consider in almost pure sand, low water. Anyone else had success with this one on the coast with helpful hints? We really want to make it work.


  1. Sorry to say but I found this comforting. I have this too (in MI) and tried to bring it indoors for obvious reasons (it’s cute) last winter.. It haaaaated being indoors. It does well in my yard in full sun with occasional rain. Good luck with yours!

  2. I don’t have this but I have some other bunching mossy like plants. And from what I have read on the web your plant likes moist soil. So I don’t think #2 got enough. Hey I found out today that I get to go to the Succulent Extravaganza. Yeah! I hope to see you both there. I am going on Saturday. Here is my email if you want to meet up.

  3. No luck with this in Los Angeles either but it is so intriguing I’ll no doubt try it again.

  4. Bummer! I’ll do a post on it for you!

  5. I’m wondering if it’s related to being in so much fog & not very much heat, even in the sunny side of your garden. Did your lovely dog lift his leg over the sad looking clump, perchance?

    • Nope, it’s in a pee-free zone (Crassula lycopodioides has withstood numerous leg liftings in a small container). The other good clump is starting to look a little sad now, too. If it dies I’m blaming it on the rain :)

  6. Having this very same problem in Santa Monica. Have bought two of these plants, and both slowly died off, bit by bit. Cannot figure out why. They looked great at the nursery! I’m thinking it’s not hot enough and too humid here on the coast.

  7. Pingback: TED’s Garden | Far Out Flora

  8. I too have tried the plant in VERY sandy soil in the central valley of California. It just came through a dry, cold December/January and looks really good. I am about to try more. Am using between slate in a “natural” meadow garden.

  9. I planted this between stepping stones two years ago when moss couldn’t handle the heat. It thrived so much it covered the stones. I pulled it out last fall, cut it into small sections, and put it in a shady spot. Over the winter in pretty much filled in the new area. The only place it isn’t doing well is where it crawled under a bench.

    My only problem is that I can’t find a place to buy more. Maybe the problems others have with it is the reason why.

    It gets water but not huge amounts. We are on the central coast of California.

  10. I’ve grown this successfully in clay soil in Emerald, Vic. Try adding some clay and/or compost to the soil where you want it to grow.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.