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How to Care for an Equisetum Hyemale

Updated March 23, 2017

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.

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  1. Grow Equisetum hyemale in full sun or partial shade.

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

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

  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.

  5. Warning

    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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Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Shovel or sharp spade

About the Author

Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at,,, RE/,,, and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.

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