Frequently asked questions

Got questions about Kurapia? Start here for answers to commonly asked questions.

General questions

Is Kurapia patented?
Yes. Kurapia is patented in the U.S. Propagation and transplanting for resale purposes without written consent from the patent holder is illegal and grounds for prosecution.

What are the differences between Phyla native to California and Kurapia?
Kurapia is sterile cultivar fo Phyla nodiflora, meaning it does not produce viable seed. Kurapia is more cold tolerance and faster growth than native Phyla. Please see comparison page. Native lippia does not have official study result proving drought tolerancy.

Is Kurapia invasive?
Kurapia is a sterile cultivar of Phyla nodiflora. It does not produce viable seed. Its vegetative spread can be controlled with barriers. UC Davis researchers determined Kurapia to be non-invasive using a weed risk assessment tool. Phyla species native to California that have been used as ground cover in the past decades have been found to be invasive because of their reseeding. One tiny Phyla flower can create around 100 seeds. Kurapia was hybridized to be sterile, with no production of viable seed.

Who Distributes Kurapia?
Our main distributers.

How to Buy Kurapia

Where can I buy Kurapia?
Kurapia plugs can be purchased through our official distributors. Please visit Where to Buy Page. Kurapia sod can be purchased through our licensed partners, Delta Bluegrass Company and West Coast Turf.

Do you sell Kurapia in states other than California?
Yes. We sell Kurapia in arid states, including California, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona.

Can I use for golf course?
Yes. Some golf courses are considering Kurapia for its unique benefits.

Is Kurapia available as sod?
Yes, our licensed partner Delta Bluegrass Company and West Coast Turf are happy to provide you with Kurapia sod. Sod provides instant green coverage of an entire area and removes the weeding work required for plug plantings.

Can I use Kurapia as turf alternative?
Yes. You can maintain a very similar aesthetic to turf by mowing Kurapia. Although it is not recommended for athletic use, it will hold up to foot traffic. It has many of the same attractive features as cool and warm season turf grasses. Kurapia can save water up to about 60% – 80% when compared to cool season grasses, depending on soil and irrigation. Kurapia stays evergreen and will not go dormant like Bermuda grass does.

Does Kurapia qualify for turf removal rebate programs?
Yes. Many homeowners and commercial users have successfully applied for SoCal Water$mart rebates for replacing their turf with Kurapia. Each city and agency is different. Please contact your own local water agency to confirm that Kurapia qualifies for their programs before proceeding with a rebate application.

Kurapia traits

What type of soil is best for Kurapia?
Well draining soil is preferred but Kurapia can be planted in any type of soil. For best performance, implement soil preparation procedures used for turf lawns.

Does it suppress weed?
Yes. Once Kurapia is established and fully develops its dense mat structure it will suppress weeds.

Do I need to kill existing weeds before planting Kurapia?
Yes. Killing existing weeds will save you a great deal of work during Kurapia’s establishment time. We recommend using a post emergent herbicide such Round-Up. After an initial application, allow several weeks to go by while still irrigating the area. Spray a second application once existing seeds in the soil have germinated. Post emergent herbicide will not kill seeds. Repeat process until no more weeds germinate and then completely remove the debris and cultivate the soil before planting Kurapia.

Does it go dormant in winter?
Kurapia is evergreen in most areas of the Southwest, including California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico, except at high elevations. Temperatures below 40 F will stop its growth and will gradually cause Kurapia to go dormant if temperatures are continuous. Severe damage may occur if temperatures consistently stay below 10 F.

Is Kurapia drought tolerant?
Yes. A study conducted by UC Riverside in 2012 found that Kurapia maintained a healthy green appearance and outperformed other warm season turf grasses when under deficit irrigation at 40% of ETo. A study conducted by UC Davis in 2014 tested Kurapia under extreme deficit irrigation at 20% of ETo using a drip system and found that the Kurapia could maintain a solid green color for over 50 days without any irrigation in summer in Davis, CA.

When planting plugs and sod it is important to irrigate regularly, such as three times a week, during the first month. During the second month, soak the planting area once or twice a week to help expedite growth. Additional irrigation may be required in sandy soil and for full sun exposure areas during warm, dry and windy conditions. Reducing the irrigation should be done carefully and gradually, only after Kurapia has fully established itself. Some users have reported that their established Kurapia has survived with no irrigation. Details are not known and not guaranteed.

Do I need to kill my existing lawn before transitioning to Kurapia?
Yes. Killing your existing lawn will save you a great deal of work during Kurapia’s establishment time. We recommend using a post emergent herbicide such Round-Up. After an initial application, allow some time for more grass to come up and spray a second application. Some species such as Bermuda and Kikuyu grass that have rhizome structures will easily revive from a single herbicide application. Once you have sprayed two applications we recommend that you completely remove the debris and cultivate the soil before planting Kurapia.

Does it tolerate shade?
Kurapia prefers full sun but can handle partial shade, which will slow its establishment time. Under full shade, plugs will not fill in the spacing area. Shade will also minimize or prevent Kurapia flowers from blooming. If you plan to use Kurapia in partial shade we recommend installing it as sod to achieve instant coverage.

How fast Kurapia grows?
Kurapia grows very quickly during its growing seasons. Plug plantings with 18” spacing should achieve full coverage in about 3 months during warm seasons, depending on type of soil, sun exposure, fertility and irrigation frequency.

Does it tolerate foot traffic?
Kurapia tolerates light to intermediate traffic. It is not recommended for high-use areas such as parks or athletic fields. Cars can drive over Kurapia and not kill it. Kurapia becomes more dense and compact looking in areas with regular traffic.

Does it tolerate recycled water?
Yes. Kurapia has a very high salinity tolerance and will not be stressed by recycled water. Most recycled water has an average salinity level of EC 1-2 ds/m. A study on Kurapia’s salinity tolerance done by UC Riverside in 2014 found that Kurapia will still grow even when irrigated with a salinity of EC 7 ds/m.

Is Kurapia toxic to animals?
We currently have no data about this but Phyla is often considered an herb. We have many customers with dogs who enjoy their Kurapia yard.

Does dog urine kill Kurapia?
No. Kurapia has a very high salinity tolerance. Kurapia may turn slightly yellow from urine but will quickly recover itself. We commend washing out urine if possible to maintain aesthetics.

Is Kurapia deer resistance?
We currently have no data about this but one customer in Malibu who has frequent deer activity reports that leave the Kurapia untouched.

Does rabbit eat Kurapia?
Yes. To avoid rabbit damage during establishment we recommend that you protect your Kurapia with wire fencing. Once the Kurapia is established, rabbits will not be a problem.

How can I control bee activity in Kurapia if I don’t want them?
Mowing your Kurapia once a month with a rotary mower will completely remove the flowers, which will cause bees to have no interest in your yard.

Is Kurapia effective for erosion control?
Yes. Kurapia’s dense mat structure and low canopy foliage at the soil surface are very effective for preventing erosion. Kurapia also develops a deep root system. It has been seen to hold soil well even at a 70 degree slope. Please refer to our erosion tests.

Kurapia maintenance

What kind of maintenance does Kurapia require?
Kurapia is considered low-maintenance. Please refer to our installation and maintenance manual.

What spacing should I use for plug planting?
We normally recommend to plant plugs with 18” spacing, which should achieve full coverage within 3 months during the growing season. Plugs can be planted at a tighter spacing, such as 12”, to accelerate coverage time. We do not recommend spacing plugs any wider than 18” because it creates weed pressure that will be difficult for Kurapia’s establishment.

Can I limit irrigation right after planting ?
No. Kurapia is drought tolerant only after it has fully established roots and full coverage of an area. After planting, it is very important to irrigate regularly, such as three times a week, during the first month. During the second month, soak the planting area once or twice a week to help expedite growth. Additional irrigation may be required in sandy soil and for full sun exposure areas during warm, dry and windy conditions.

What type of irrigation system is best for Kurapia?
Kurapia plugs establish best with overhead sprinklers that is properly installed to provide head-to-head coverage with good distribution uniformity. Plugs that are being irrigated with a drip system need to be carefully installed to ensure drip emitters are located next to each plug. Placing emitters 1 inch from the plug is ideal. Do not place emitters directly on plugs. Generally, drip irrigation saves more water but Kurapia establishment tends to be faster with overhead sprinklers.

Can I use subsurface irrigation?
We recommend using overhead sprinklers or drip during the establishment period. Once the Kurapia has fully established and the roots have extended deep into the soil, subsurface irrigation may work well.

What time of day should I irrigate?
We recommend irrigating Kurapia in the early morning hours. Irrigating in the middle of the day can create conditions that may damage the root system or cause disease.

What will happen if I irrigate too much?
Kurapia prefers lightly moist, well draining soil conditions. If soil is constantly wet after establishment it may accelerate the proliferation of fungus and disease.

Do I need to mow Kurapia?
Mowing is completely optional. Arid conditions will dwarf Kurapia’s growth and limit the need to trim it back. For those who do not want the flowers or presence of bees, we recommend mowing once a month during the blooming season. Mowing once a month or every other month will encourage Kurapia to form a very dense turf-like appearance. Whenever you choose to mow, we recommend using a rotary mower at a high mow height (2-3 inches).

Are there any selective herbicides I can use on Kurapia?
We have tested with UC Riverside, Cal Poly SLO and University of Arizona for selectivity of herbicides. Please seek herbicide recommendations from your landscape contractor. Due to licensing issues, we are not able to make any herbicide recommendations.

Can I use Kurapia for phytoremediation?
Currently there is no data specifically for Kurapia but some studies have shown that Phyla nodiflora, of which Kurapia is a cultivar, is effective for phytoremediation. Phyla mainly accumulates copper and zinc more effectively than other plants. One study showed that Phyla nodiflora accumulates nuclear material more effectively than sun flower.

In a bioswale, how many days can Kurapia survive under water?
Kurapia may be able to survive a week under still water, but it depends on temperature. If still water is too warm, the lack of dissolved oxygen will reduce the chance of survival. Kurapia in moving water may be able to survive longer.

Why has my Kurapia turned ‘woody?’
Woody stems may appear when Kurapia is in severely dry conditions or if there is very little fertility in the soil, especially during the establishment period. Applying proper irrigation and fertilizer will cause the wood stems to soon cover with new leaves.

How can I kill Kurapia if I decide to remove it?
Non-selective herbicides such as Round-Up will kill Kurapia. Apply twice a month during warm seasons.