Cyperus Alternifolius - the "umbrella Plant"

TaraMaiden

Excellent as a fair-weather pond marginal, or great as a conservatory plant (for the Patio in the summer months) Prolific, fast-growing and quite imposing. Make sure it's always got plenty of water.

I grow mine in large pots without the drainage holes drilled out....


I have cuttings.

Anyone in the UK, want one?

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TaraMaiden

I thought these pictures might help...

First, a plant that was ROOTED - not divided - started from new - in March of THIS YEAR (2016).

As you can see, it also has a lot of new shoots coming up:

Ordinary potting compost with slow-release fertilizer. The water pan is actually an old cooking pot with the handle removed. The plant doesn't mind....

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TaraMaiden

July 4th, here is the same plant, fewer than 2 months later...


Still got some new strong growth coming....

The pot takes 2L of water every other day.... THIS is how thirsty these plants are - they are, after all a relative of the Papyrus....

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TaraMaiden

These are the outdoor ones I have. They're in ordinary potting compost, in 2 large pots, with NO drainage holes. Normally, if we had more sun, they would easily be as tall as the indoor plant. Unfortunately, with the unseasonally-cool weather and lack of good sunshine, they are smaller than they normally would be; but very healthy nonetheless....




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samhain10 - 5a

I just put in a new patio garden this year, which in addition to a perimeter bed, has a number of containers scattered around. Some are earthenware crocks, the largest being 21" high and 17" across the mouth. It has no drainage, having been at one time a functioning crock (butter, maybe?), but I thought I could put material in the bottom and elevate a pot in it so that whatever I planted would have drainage still. Well, this has been a wet summer, and the thing is just about full of water! My poor plants are drowned. I'll have to dump the entire thing, but I haven't been hurrying to do it because it weighs a ton, especially with all the water-soaked dirt in it.

My point is I have been thinking along the lines of papyrus for next year, or possibly horsetail grass - something that can handle the water and stay good looking the entire season. My question to you is - what do you do with your outdoor specimen in the winter? Are you bringing it in with the other, or is there some way to store it dormant? No way I can bring that crock inside - it's a mammoth, and we have cats who would be in it having a grand old time - and mess. Whatever goes in there will have to be removed at end of season and the crock dumped and stored to prevent cracking in the freeze. We're Zone 5 and can get to minus 20*F. Thoughts?

- Alex

P.S. Beautiful plants!


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TaraMaiden

I suggest you invest in a plant trolley - it's a small trolley with wheels that fits under a large pot that would be too heavy to lift or move by muscle-power alone... like this one... or maybe like this...

when the weather gets chilly, I cut the fronds back, and take my plants into my greenhouse. Failing that, wrapping the pot in horticultural fleece then bubble=wrap, keeps the soil from freezing.

That said, the plants are so easy to propagate, it pays to pick a couple of the stalks and root them, and plant them up new each year. Seriously. plant them out when all danger of frost is passed, and just keep them wet.

Can you post a picture of the pot...?

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samhain10 - 5a

P - we have a regular general purpose dolly that I can use, and I even have a greenhouse, but it's not heated and freezes heavily in the deeps of winter. I will probably dolly the crock into it, after dumping the water and soil carefully. But wouldn't want to leave the plant in the greenhouse. However, it's good to hear that they're easily rooted, as that is something I can do. I could find a place to put a small "start" for the winter.

Here's what the crock looks like:

It's the taller crock on the left with the unhappy snaps and nicotiana in it. I started lots of annuals to fill things in for this first year, since many of the perennials won't bloom till next season.

- Alex

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TaraMaiden

Moving that would be a challenge, I agree, particularly across the gravel....you could always actually line it and turn it into a small pond.... My mother had a tall terracotta pitcher she brought back from Italy; it stands 3 feet high and at the widest point is just as broad..... she had my brother paint it with a pond sealant liner paint - it's like pitch, but non-toxic - and then she made a small pond out of it complete with a small pump, plants and a couple of fish! ... in the winter, she protected it by cladding it in polystyrene panels (from old packaging of electronic equipment, ask any such store....) and bubble wrap. It's still going....

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TaraMaiden

BtW, you know a Cyperus roots from the tip leaf-end of the stalk, right? You take a long stalk, and trim the leaf fronds until they're about an inch long, cut the stalk to around 6 inches, and put it in water, HEAD DOWN. Within a week, you'll see root growth. That's how papyrus propagates in the wild; the fronds bend and fold in the wind, the head of the frond hits the water or wet soil - and roots form at the tip of the frond.

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samhain10 - 5a

Ah, that is good to know about the rooting.

I had originally considered the pond idea, but the thing is tall rather than wide - not so attractive for a pond. And when my husband picked it up for me - knowing that it was something I'd want even if I didn't know what to do with it :) - it had the word "leaker" written on the side of it in grease pencil. Well, if it leaks, I sure haven't discovered it! It does have a spot inside where the glaze doesn't quite cover - perhaps it sweats heavily from the bottom as a result, and this is what they meant? Doesn't matter in any case since it's staying outside.

Come spring I'll look around to see what I can find. Thanks for your help!

- Alex

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TaraMaiden

Not a problem; that's what gardeners do. :o)

Are you in the UK? I don't think you are, because the weather doesn't sound British! If you were closer, I'd share a plant with you, willingly....

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samhain10 - 5a

Thank you kindly, but I am in the US - middle of Michigan which is up by the Canadian border. Cold, but not as cold as some parts of the northern US. Just lately it has been HOT and so humid you could cut it with a butter knife. Or as a UK acquaintance once said to me when I served her tea the way I like it: "that's strong enough to trot mice on!" :)


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