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.

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

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


  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.


  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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