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Papyrus Plant Profile

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You want to add some interest and greenery to your garden, but you're not sure what type of plant to get. Most gardens have a few basic types of plants – like grasses, bushes, and flowers. But if you want to add a little bit of interest, you need something different.

Papyrus plants are the perfect addition to any garden. These unique plants from the sedge family can be used as ornamentals or in water gardens. The tropical plants come in many different colors and sizes, so there's sure to be one that's perfect for your space. This article looks at the papyrus plant’s profile to teach you how to grow, care for, and prune this plant. Read on.

What is Papyrus Plant?

The cyperus papyrus is a tall, grass-like plant usually grown for ornamental purposes. These plants have circular stems, which are called “culms,” and grow out of large rhizomes. They can reach heights between six feet three inches to 10 feet. Their native habitat is swampy areas and shallow lakes because they're aquatic plants and are common with the ancient Egyptians.

Papyrus Plant
Image credit: https://www.thespruce.com/

The leaves are long and feathery, with distinctive parallel veins running the length of the leaf. They are flowering plants that grow in a dense cluster. They bloom in beautiful greenish brown flowers. Their greenish brown flower clusters are small and inconspicuous with male and female parts, but they rarely produce seed.

How to Grow Papyrus?

1. Gather Seeds

Cyperus papyrus seeds can be gathered from mature plants in late summer or early fall after the seed heads have dried out. Spread a cloth under the papyrus plant and beat the seed heads with a stick. After most of the seeds have fallen onto the cloth, carefully pour them into a container for storage.

2. Sow Seeds

You should plant seeds in early spring after all danger of frost has passed. Use heavy garden or potting soil mixed with sand and peat moss (3:1:1 ratio).

3. Plant Seeds

Place two seeds in each planting hole at the depth suggested on the seed packet; cover with soil water well, and keep evenly moist until sprouted. Once sprouted, plant your papyrus about 2 feet apart. Papyrus plants like the sun or partial shade (from an eastern exposure); water the plants thoroughly but don’t over-water.

4. Transplant Papyrus Seedlings

Once the seedlings are about 8 inches tall, transplant them to larger pots; provide at least 2 gallons of potting soil for each plant. Carefully cut back the long grassy leaves (do not remove them) and start feeding your papyrus with half-strength liquid fertilizer. Water the pots regularly, but do not over-water.

Transplant Papyrus Seedlings
Image credit: https://www.provenwinners.com/

Caring for Papyrus Plant

Papyrus plant isn't too demanding in terms of care, but you still need to be careful with how you handle it. Here are some caring needs for your plants to grow well.

Soil Type

Make sure your plant gets all the nutrients it needs by using soil rich in nutrients. To achieve a good soil type, you can make organic compost and manure before planting.

Lighting

Papyrus plant prefers a lot of light so try to place the pot near a window with plenty of natural sunlight or artificial lighting. Make sure your plant isn't in a position where it's getting too much sunlight, especially when it's young.

Watering

Your papyrus plant also needs to be watered regularly but make sure you don't over-water it either. You can tell when your plant needs water by feeling the soil on the dry side and then adding water accordingly.

Never let the water sit in the saucer under the pot after you plant, which can cause root rot.

Fertilizing

You can fertilize your papyrus once or twice a month but use it sparingly because too much fertilizer will kill your plant. Make sure to follow the instructions on the label when using any type of fertilizer. Provide a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10.

Pruning and Shaping Pyparus

Papyrus doesn't need to be pruned, but if you want to shape them then use sharp, fresh instruments that won't damage the plant's fleshy stalks. You can also trim dead leaves and spread them on your compost heap for fertilizer.

Pruning and Shaping Pyparus
Image credit: https://i0.wp.com/gardenslover.com

Cleaning

Keep your papyrus away from any location that might be too wet or in a place where it won't get direct sunlight because the leaf tips will wilt and turn brown. Learning how to clean your plant's leaves is an important step to caring for papyrus. Care for your papyrus by wiping off dust with a damp cloth each month, trimming dead leaves every few months, and never letting it sit in water.

Harvesting Seeds

Wait until the plant is almost finished producing flowers, then break off a seed head, gather some soil, and squeeze out any excess water. Place the seeds on top of the damp earth. Keep them warm by covering them with clear plastic wrap for 1 to 2 months or until they germinate.

Common Papyrus Diseases

Like other plants, the cyperus papyrus is not immune to diseases. If the tips of your papyrus plant's leaves turn brown and mushy while the rest of the plant looks fine, this could be a sign of slime flux. The disease is caused by bacteria that get into wounds on the stems. 

It spreads to other parts of the papyrus if you touch an infected leaf and then a healthy one. Remove any infected leaves and keep your papyrus plant's soil moist to encourage new growth. If the disease is really bad, you may need to remove and destroy the entire plant.

Another common problem with papyrus is Fusarium wilt, a fungal infection that kills plants by blocking their xylem tissue. This tissue carries water up from the roots to the rest of the plant. You have to destroy plants with Fusarium wilt because they will never be normal again.

FAQs About Papyrus Plant

Can you plant papyrus plant indoors?

Papyrus plants can be grown indoors in a water garden or other container, but the soil must be kept moist at all times. If you do not have a humid environment, you can grow your plant in water and add fertilizer every two weeks. Papyrus looks best on patios and decks where they get lots of sunlight and fresh air.

Does Papyrus grow in water?

Papyrus plants can grow year-round in water. They are among the houseplants that grow well in water, but they also grow well in sun, partial shade, and even under trees that provide some shade.

How does a papyrus plant reproduce?

Papyrus plants propagate by sending out shoots from their root crown. These can be planted in a separate pot to start a new plant. When you take the shoots, make sure they have three or four leaves and keep them moist until you are ready to replant them.

Final Thoughts About Papyrus Plant

So, are you still looking for the best ornament grass for your garden? You can never go wrong with papyrus. It's one of the easiest plants to plant and care for. This is the perfect plant for your garden. It not only provides beauty, but it also provides a habitat for many types of wildlife and insects. One look at this plant brings back nostalgic memories of ancient Egypt. Perhaps you should give it a try today!

 

Kristina Perrin

Kristina Perrin

Kristina is an expert DIY home remodeler and mom to three. When she's not cooking or experimenting with new recipes, you can find her working on new home improvement projects or writing about her favorite kitchen appliances or DIY projects on Kitchen Infinity blog.

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