The Q&A Archives: Papyrus Care

Question: How do I look after my Papyrus growing as a pond marginal, through the winter & does it need cutting back? It is now 3feet high.

Answer: Cyperus papyrus is a bog plant in nature and thrives when grown in a shallow pool of water. You can grow the plant in moist soil in a pot, but place the pot in a tray of water to ensure the roots stay moist. Papyrus will quickly become a 6'- 10' tall plant with graceful clusters of green hairs at the tops of stems when given full sun to full shade and lots of moisture. Papyrus is frost tender and the tops will die down after a frost but the roots should remain alive (as long as the pond doesn't freeze). If hard freezes are normal in your garden, lift the rhizomes after the tops have died down and plant them in a pot of moist potting soil. Place the pot in a place that does not freeze (unheated garage or outdoor shed). As long as the rhizomes are protected from freezing, the old weathered culms of the previous summer's growth will be replaced by new ones in spring.

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