Guilty Garden Pleasures: Cyperus

With the limited garden space I have you might think I always make rational choices. But sometimes the glamour of a plant will trump my will power.

cyperus
some kind of cyperus

This was the parent plant for one of my guilty pleasures: cyperus. I don’t know if it has any wildlife value. I am not even certain it is a native plant.

Invasive? Of that I am almost certain.

Why grow it? Because … Ancient Egypt. … Papyrus … Art Deco …

This plant is indestructible. It normally grows along waterways in full sunshine. Where do I have it? Dry heavy hardpan clay. In the spring it gets about an hour of dappled sun each day. Full shade in the summer. No irrigation.

I planted it this spring from a cutting and it is now about 4 feet tall, three feet wide. It is still a little sparse so this year I took another cutting to start a new plant. If you would like to join my madness here’s how …

baby cyperus
baby cyperus

You can use root division or seeds to propagate these plants but I love this little trick.

  • Cut off one of the stems.
  • Turn it upside down.
  • Trim the leaves so they will fit in a pot of soil. Press the leaves into the soil.
  • Use paper clips to anchor the leaves.
  • Keep the soil boggy wet until you get good root development.

The sprout in the photo took about two weeks to emerge. The air temperature was hot: about 90 degrees in the day; 75ish at night.

Frost and freezing temperatures will set it back but the ones I see growing wild and in gardens seem to recover each spring. (zone 8)

Do you have a guilty garden pleasure: a plant that maybe against your better judgement you decided to grow anyway?

one years growth
one year’s growth
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8 thoughts on “Guilty Garden Pleasures: Cyperus

  1. Well … the papyrus motif was frequently used by the art deco peeps; they were mad about Egyptian iconography. (scoff) How could anyone feel guilty about tulips!? That is a perfectly reasonable pleasure =D

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  2. Hey, if Ancient Egypt is your thing, who am I to criticize? Though I admit ti ignorance of the art deco connection. Were there art deco pyramids? My guilty pleasure in the garden? Probably tulips.

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  3. Papyrus! Who wouldn’t want to have some? It is the stuff of childhood dreams of Egypt. Pyramids, queens, scrolls and glyphs. Yes, please!

    I have guilty pleasure all my own…. Jewels of Opar. They are prolific propagators. In fact, I’d like to see anybody try to KEEP Jewels of Opar from multiplying. I haven’t seen them garner a lot of pollinator interest though baby grasshoppers will eat holes in the leaves. The only reason I don’t worry about how they take over is that they are reasonably easy to dig out.

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