The Q&A Archives: carex albula

Question: Is Carex abula difficult to grow? Any additional knowledge?
We have planted carex albula at three different sites. It has turned to straw at all of them.
In Torrance it was in full sun with low-regular water. We think it may be poor drainage.
In Santa Monica, it was in full sun with excellent(sandy soil) drainage. Low water. There has been a Marine layer most days.

Answer: I'm not sure why your plants failed to thrive in the conditions you describe. Carex abula, or Curly Sedge, is an attractive sedge native to the stream banks of New Zealand. It's a moderate grower with an ultimate height of less than 1 foot tall. To highlight this sedge place in a spot to show off its pendulous quality, perhaps on a bank above a pond, in an elevated pot, or spilling over a wall. Situate in full sun to light shade along the coast but provide some shade further inland. Plant where it will receive frequent irrigation, and expect it to reseed. If planted in an aquatic situation make sure the crown is above the water level as it tolerates wet soil but not prolonged submersion. Once established this plant can also tolerate considerable dryness. Groom plantings annually by raking through the clump to remove old leaves and inflorescences. It's such an attractive plant, I'd try again. This time give it ample water its first growing season so the roots can establish themselves. Once it's been in place for a year it should be drought tolerant. Best wishes with your garden.

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