How to grow umbrella grass

Updated November 21, 2016

Unbrella grass is also known as umbrella plant and cyperus. It is closely related to papyrus. Umbrella grass is perfect for water gardens, koi ponds, fish tanks or as houseplants. These easy to grow sedges are attractive and virtually maintenance free.

Plant them in a warm location. These African natives do best in the mildest climates of the United States. In places where winter temperatures dip below -12.2 degrees C, plant indoors or grow as an annual. Some cold hardy varieties may be available. Go to your local garden centre to find a variety best suited to your climate. These plants are usually available as young transplants but can also be started from seed quite easily.

Give umbrella grass plenty of moisture. Most varieties grow well with root systems completely submerged in water. If you choose to plant them in dirt, give them nutrient rich soil amended with plenty of organic matter. Keep the soil moist at all times. They will survive droughts, but will not grow as vigorously or look as healthy.

Leave them alone. The only real mistake that a gardener can make with an umbrella plant is to give them too much care. They can grow in full sun, partial shade or full shade. They do not need fertiliser beyond the amendments in the potting soil. Young transplants may benefit from some phosphorous, but it is not a necessity. Neither insects nor deer bother them and they are mostly disease free.

Keep the plants neat and tidy. Remove dead and damaged stems to keep them looking nice. These plants are self sowing and can quickly take over if left unchecked. Divide clumps when the plants become to large and repot or give away. Keep the smaller pieces towards the outside of the clump and discard the large centres.

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