How to Care for an Equisetum Hyemale

Written by bridget kelly
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How to Care for an Equisetum Hyemale
To keep it in check, grow Equisetum hyemale in containers sunk in the ground. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Also known as horsetail and scouring rush, Equisetum hyemale is a plant that was dominant on earth 350 million years ago, according to the Missouri Botanical Garden. It grows to 3 feet tall with hollow, jointed stems. Although the plant appears leafless, the brown rings around each joint on the stalk are considered its leaves. Equisetum hyemale is a water lover and does best when grown near ponds and other water features. It is hardy to zones 3 through 11 on the U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zone Map.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pruning shears
  • Shovel or sharp spade

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  1. 1

    Grow Equisetum hyemale in full sun or partial shade.

  2. 2

    Provide enough water to keep the soil consistently moist. Do not allow the soil to dry out or the plant will die.

  3. 3

    Trim off brown and dead portions of the stems with sharp pruning shears.

  4. 4

    Divide Equisetum hyemale in the spring. Drive a shovel or sharp spade into the middle of the plant and into the rootball to divide it in half. Dig up one half and plant it elsewhere.

Tips and warnings

  • All parts of Equisetum hyemale are toxic if ingested by humans or animals.
  • Equisetum hyemale spreads aggresively via underground rhizomes and may become invasive. Ensure you have adequately contained the rhizomes to prevent their spread.

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