Ask a Question forum: Horsetail Reed help!!!

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Elk Grove , CA
Aug 13, 2017 2:22 PM CST
I'm having trouble with my horsetail reed. I have a couple large and narrow planters I'm trying to grow a thick and straight wall of the reed in. The reeds are growing well, but need pruning often as they grow too high and then start growing sideways or falling down. But, when I prune the reeds the particular reed I trim starts a new growth off the side of the tip I trimmed. So now I'm getting a bunch of skinny little reeds growing haphazardly off the shoots, looking anything but straight and uniform. As you can see in the pix, those are both reeds that I pruned. The original stalk stopped growing where I cut it and the skinnier reeds are now growing off of it. Is there a certain way to cut the reeds where they don't start growing tiny offshoots?
Thumb of 2017-08-13/Sherlockshome/65ef8f
Thumb of 2017-08-13/Sherlockshome/6dd471
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Aug 13, 2017 3:20 PM CST

Don't you hate it when your plants do what they think they should do instead of what you think they should do?

Maybe you should have chosen a different plant, like bamboo or cattails - they won't branch when you cut them off.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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Aug 13, 2017 4:21 PM CST
Welcome to NGA.

That's just the way the horsetails (Equisetum) grow, I'm afraid. If you cut them off closer to the base of the plant they probably would send out multiple shoots and be bushier.

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