The Q&A Archives: Propagating Umbrella Grass

Question: My Cyperus(umbrella grass) are doing exceptionally well in the yard, growing up to about 7 feet tall, and spreading rapidly. Surviving in very hard clay soil.

Tried to transplant a "clump" from the yard to a pot for inside. Seemed to dig up very easily and the clump stayed very much intact (would guess I got 6-8 full stalks along with several new sprouts) Got the roots to a depth of about 8 inches. Transplanted into a pot, filled up around the edges with potting soil, and completely soaked them.
In 2 days the plants, including the new sprouts had turned dry, brittle and now 4 days later are quite dead. Have never seen anything die so fast. Any advice?

Answer: Ornamental grasses are generally divided as a means of propagation. Your method was correct, but perhaps the timing was poor. Cyperus is a bog sedge, but will grow out of water as well, in rich, moist soil. Division can be made in spring or autumn, replanting the smaller, outside divisions and discarding the old centers. You can also save seeds to sow in the spring. Try again, saving only the newest, smallest stems for replanting, and making sure each division has lots of healthy roots.

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