Pond Plants 8: Papyrus
by Mandy Anders
Papyrus include several species of the genus Cyperus that make lovely addition to ponds. All of the varieties of papyrus are tropical, and must be brought indoors for the winter. Papyrus normally tolerate between 6-12″ of water depth, but some of the giant varieties will withstand slightly deeper water. All of the papyrus have lovely long green stems with starburst or firework shaped leaf clusters with tiny brown blossoms on the tips. Most varieties have triangular shaped stems, which are filled with a papery-like pith that was traditionally used in making paper.
Papyrus enjoy full sun (four hours or more of direct sunlight) to partial shade. Dwarf varieties are good choices for bog filters. The larger varieties tend to have very thick and invasive rhizomes like common cattails, making them harder to harvest from a filter. All varieties of papyrus are excellent choices for koi and goldfish ponds, especially for placement on pond shelves. Pot the papyrus as you would cattails or iris, using larger, solid bottom pots like Laguna’s Plastic Lily Tubs. Use either Hoffmans Water Garden Soil or Microbelift’s Aquatic Planting Media and fertilize once a month with fertilizer tablets.
Varieties of papyrus available at Aquarium during pond season may include:
- – Dwarf papyrus Cyperus haspan: This smaller plant reaches 18″ in maximum height and is native to North America. It possesses shorter, slender stems and smaller foliage clusters. This is a good choice for smaller ponds and container gardens as well as bog filters.
- – King Tut papyrus Cyperus percamenthus: Also known as the dwarf giant papyrus, this papyrus also grows to 18″ and is native to North America. However, unlike the regular dwarf papyrus, the King Tut has regular sized foliage on short, fat stems. It is appropriate for all sizes of water features.
- – Egyptian or Giant papyrus Cyperus papyrus: Egyptian papyrus was originally used for making paper in ancient Egypt. This North African native plant reaches heights of up to 8 feet and is best suited to large water features.
- – Mexican papyrus Cyperus giganteus: This plant is native to Central and South America. It looks very similar to Egyptian papyrus in appearance, but grows to 6 feet in height.
- – Umbrella Palm Cyperus alternifolius: While technically not a true hardy plant, umbrella palm will survive milder East Tennessee winters. Umbrella palm has rounded stems and will grow to heights of 5 feet.
For more information about pond plants and potting:Aquarium Connection Pond Solution 9
Aquarium Connection Pond Solution 10a
Aquarium Connection Pond Solution 10b
Aquarium Connection Pond Solution 10c