Cyperus alternifolius [sy-PEER-us, al-tern-ee-FOH-lee-us] is without doubt one of the hottest houseplants from the sedge household Cyperaceae.
The plant is native to Madagascar, the Arabian Peninsula, and lots of East African states (Ethiopia, Eritrea, Malawi, Mozambique, Sudan, Somalia, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe).
However, it has additionally been naturalized in lots of tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world, such because the southern USA, New Zealand, many Pacific Islands, and lots of components of Australia.
You might hear it referred to as by its widespread names together with:
Cyperus Alternifolius Care
Dimension & Development
C. alternifolius is a semi-aquatic (like variegated Acorus gramineus), perennial, grass-like plant hardy to USDA zones 9-12.
It usually grows to 18” – 48” inches in top; nevertheless, often, it might develop as much as 5’ toes.
The plant options a number of upright stems lengthy, inflexible, and slender and topped with giant leafy bracts.
The green-colored leafy bracts develop right into a circle wanting like an umbrella.
That is why the plant is usually known as an umbrella papyrus plant.
The leafy bracts are sometimes confused for leaves, however the true leaves of the plant are situated on the decrease facet and canopy the bases of the stems.
The leaves of the umbrella papyrus plant are additionally decreased to lengthy sheaths.
Flowering and Perfume
Cyperus crops produce unattractive, flattened and elongated flower spikelets in summers.
Bloom Time: July to August.
The flowers develop in dense clusters on the tip of the stems, between the leafy bracts.
They’re initially inexperienced however flip brown once they get mature.
Mild & Temperature
The umbrella plant prefers a heat, humid atmosphere and grows finest partially shade.
Whereas it might develop in full solar, the cruel solar rays could cause scorching of the leaves.
The plant can’t survive chilly climate; the roots can’t tolerate temperatures decrease than 15° levels Fahrenheit (-9° C), and leafy bracts will flip brown if uncovered to frost.
United States hardiness zone eight – 11 (USDA Zone).
Watering and Feeding
Since cyperus papyrus is a semi-aquatic plant, it requires an enough quantity of water for correct development.
That is why it’s typically grown as a pond plant.
Even in its pure habitat, the plant is often seen rising at damp websites, close to waterways.
When grown as a houseplant, one of the simplest ways to make sure the crops’ water necessities is to position the pot in a plate or bowl crammed with water.
The plant doesn’t thoughts getting a bit submerged in water.
Fertilize the plant as soon as a month, throughout energetic development.
Soil & Transplanting
Whereas Cyperus involucratus is well grown within the common potting soil, it thrives in wealthy peaty soil containing 2 components moss to 1 half sand to 1 half loam and is moist and boggy.
5.5 to six.5 is the popular soil pH vary of the umbrella plant.
Since this cyperus plant can’t tolerate chilly climate, it ought to be transferred to pot earlier than the primary frost in fall and stored indoors in the course of the winters.
When grown in pots, the plant could have to be repotted to bigger pots annually.
Grows effectively in each standing water (as much as four” inches) and in bathroom plant soils.
Grooming and Upkeep
Cyperus alternifolius is an easy-to-grow and low upkeep plant.
The plant grows lengthy roots, and when it’s planted in pots, the roots typically develop out of them and invade the bowl or the plate under it.
Many gardeners select to chop the roots to restrict them to a specific space.
One factor to notice right here is the umbrella plant may even tolerate extreme chopping of roots, and it’ll not trigger any hurt to the plant.
It additionally wants some pruning to take away the dying leaves and stems as they give the impression of being unattractive.
How one can Propagate Umbrella Plant
Propagation of an umbrella plant is completed in quite a lot of methods – via seeds, division, and cuttings.
If propagating via seeds, merely sow them in moist soil.
Be sure that to water recurrently, and the seedlings will begin to seem inside a number of weeks.
One other technique to propagate the cyperus alternifolius plant is to chop the clumps into sections utilizing a pointy knife and plant them individually.
Propagation via cuttings is taken into account probably the most environment friendly and dependable technique, and there are a number of strategies of doing it.
The best means is to take away a complete stem of the plant and reduce it, utilizing a pair of sharp scissors, to round four” inches in size.
Now, reduce the leaflets to about half and place the chopping, the wrong way up, in small jars crammed with water.
The submerged leaflets will kind a brand new stem inside a number of weeks.
As the brand new plant stem grows out of the water floor, it is going to develop roots in addition to new leaflets.
When the brand new development stem has developed an affordable set of roots, take the chopping out of the water and take away the newly shaped stem from the outdated one and plant it right into a pot crammed with potting compost.
Be sure that to water the newly potted plant recurrently, and it’ll develop to a considerable measurement inside a number of months.
The plant additionally spreads via self-seeding below optimum rising circumstances.
If issues are too darkish it is going to inform you by producing only a few new shoots.
Cyperus Umbrella Pest or Ailments
The best concern for the umbrella papyrus is spider mite.
Nonetheless, they’re simply managed by spraying the plant with neem oil insecticide.
Umbrella Sedge Makes use of
Cyperus alternifolius is without doubt one of the most generally cultivated panorama crops grown as a background plant, accent plant, or included right into a water function.
This backyard plant loves moist soil works nice in water gardens with partial shade.
It’s steered to make use of it as a water plant.