Egyptian Papyrus - Cyperus Papyrus
Starts at: $5.96
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Also known as Egyptian paper plant. Attractive 10" heads of needle-like foliage sit atop stiff triangular stems which grow up to 12' tall. This eye-catching evergreen grass is extremely fast growing in spring, and quickly reaches an impressive height. It should be considered an annual where temperatures drop below freezing, or a perennial in warmer climates.
Shipping Size: 4" Square Pot - Approximate 2" Plant
- HARDINESS ZONES 8-11
- Full Sun To Partial Shade
- PLANT SIZE Vertical Up To 12'
- PLANT SPREAD Horizontal Up To 5'
How to Grow Papyrus
The plant is called umbrella plant because it has a grass-like habit with sprays of foliage at the top of the stems. These sprays of foliage radiate out like the spokes in an umbrella. Papyrus can grow up to 10 feet tall from rhizomes. The stems are rigid and triangular and have white pith inside. The pith is the source of papyrus paper.
Papyrus has no frost tolerance and should be moved indoors for the winter.
Papyrus grass is easy to grow. It prefers full sun but can also be raised in partial shade.
Papyrus is usually planted by rhizomes in moist, fertile soil in pots and then submerged in an aquatic environment. It can also be planted directly into 3 feet of muddy substrate to hold the heavy stems upright. The plant needs to be kept moist, if not submerged.
Papyrus seeds do not readily germinate and can take a month or more to sprout. Even in their native conditions, the plant does not easily spread by seed.
Papyrus need little extra care to thrive provided it is kept moist.
Mulching in zone 8 can help protect the tender roots but the foliage will likely die back in winter.
How to care for Papyrus in winter:
Cyperus Papyrus, with fluffy, feathery heads that grow on stalks reaching 8 feet tall, has a visually striking effect when planted in ponds or water-filled containers. The plant belongs to the sedge family and also goes by the name of bullrush. This moisture-loving plant grows along the banks of the Nile in Egypt; in U.S Department of Agriculture Hardiness Zones 9 through 11, it can thrive in your water garden during the winter months.
Ground-grown papyrus dies back in colder areas when frosty weather arrives, but if your papyrus grows in a container, you can take it indoors to protect it until spring.
- Bring your container-grown papyrus plant indoors for the winter if temperatures dip below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If the papyrus gets full sun, it continues to grow through winter. The ideal indoor temperature ranges between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. A garage, shed or unheated room may provide the necessary temperature.
- Supply artificial light if you can't give an indoor papyrus plant enough sun during the winter. Without enough light, papyrus stalks flop over.
- Collect seeds from the tufts that grow at the end of papyrus heads before winter arrives. Plant the seeds after your area's last frost date passes. This ensures new growth every year even if plants die in the winter.
- Cut off papyrus stems that die because of the cold. If your area is chilly, but does not receive freezing temperatures, the papyrus will grow back in the spring. If your area does get an occasional freeze, the papyrus will not return next season.
- Prune some of the papyrus stems if clumps form too thickly for your preferences. Papyrus multiplies via underground rhizomes, and if left alone, it will form a thick colony.
- Divide the root ball of container-grown papyrus plants. Re-pot or dispose of the divisions. Dividing the root ball makes the plant more vigorous.
- Provide water for the papyrus plant as normal. Papyrus can grow in standing water or moist potting soil.
- Fertilize actively growing papyrus plants once per week. Use 1/2 teaspoon of balanced fertilizer combined with 1 gallon of water.