Cyprus grass: care and varieties

Cyprus grass: care and varieties


The plant genus of the Zypergräser, botanically Cyperus, is one of the sour grass family and has a very wide range. They are native to temperate to subtropical and tropical areas of virtually all continents. This variety of climatic habitats can of course also be ascribed to the relatively high species spectrum of around 600 variants. Most species come from North America, followed by Far and Middle Eastern, African and Central American species. Some of them are also at home in Europe. In gardening, syphoid grasses are preferably kept in buckets.

also read

  • Cyprus grass species - origin, height and characteristics
  • Cyprus grass: how does the culture in the aquarium work?
  • Cyprus grass - not hardy, but in need of protection


Sedge grass usually grows as perennials from rhizome or tuber roots, which usually form quite intensive clumps. Some species are only one to two years old. Sedge grasses form long leaf umbrellas on fine, coagulated stalks, which have given the plant the nickname water palm. The different species reach heights between about 30 and 100 cm.


The grass-like, long single leaves of the leaf umbrellas are very narrow and lanceolate with a pointed end in the Zypergras. They are entire and green.


From a horticultural point of view, sedge grass is definitely a decorative leaf plant. The flowers are rather inconspicuous. They appear all year round as small, yellow, tufted ears of deciduous bracts.

Which location is suitable?

Sedge grasses prefer a sunny, light location. The ambient temperature should be rather warm - you feel very comfortable at room temperature. In summer, you can also put your syphoid grass out and create an exotic flair on the terrace. In winter, sedge grass likes it a little cooler.

Site requirements at a glance:

  • bright and sunny
  • Temperature rather warm - room temperature ideal, a little cooler in winter
  • put out in summer

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Sycamore grasses adapt to the seasons with their vegetation behavior and need a bit cooler during the winter break with little light - but they are not frost-hardy. Wintering them outside is therefore by no means possible. Sedge grasses are not particularly fond of temperatures below 10 ° C. Towards freezing point, it becomes critical at the latest.

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You can easily keep a sedge in the room all year round. A period of fresh air over the summer is always good for him, but if you don't have a balcony, terrace or garden, you can also get a healthy, happy syphoid inside. However, you should be a little more meticulous in the house to ensure sufficient pouring practice and good humidity. Regular spraying with the water disperser is essential, especially during the heating season.

Watering Cyprus grass

Sedge grasses are swamp plants. This almost eliminates the need for casting. A sedge should ideally always stand in water, but at least have an always moist root ball. You do not need to worry about waterlogging and the threat of root rot here - watering over the sedge is not possible. Drought is the only risk here, which is quickly noticeable through brown leaf tips. In winter you don't have to water as intensely.

You should preferably use water with little lime, preferably from the rain barrel.

In addition to watering, you should always give the syphilis a lot of moisture in the upper part of the plant - in the form of refreshing spray showers.

Overview of pouring rules:

  • Sedge very thirsty plant
  • never let it dry out, it is best to leave it to stand permanently in the water
  • water a little less in winter
  • Use lime-poor rainwater
  • in addition to watering spray showers

Brown tips

Brown leaf tips are a very common phenomenon in the Zypergrass, due to its enormous water requirement. As a rule, dryness is to blame for brown leaf tips - but this signal is not a cause for concern for the time being. Just pour more and regularly again and spray the syphoid with the water disperser. Only when entire stalks turn brown is the degree of desiccation critical and in the worst case scenario can lead to the death of the plant.

If necessary, irrigation water that is too calcareous can also be the cause of brown leaf tips. Use soft water, preferably rainwater.

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Since sedge grasses grow very quickly and tend to form relatively strong clumps, repotting is necessary quite often. A new pot may well be necessary every year. It is best to repot in spring. The Zypergras is quite insensitive and usually survives changing the bucket without complaint. When repotting, you can also remove old, brown stems and give the plant an all-round freshness and rejuvenation cure. So you can count on vital growth over the summer. The best way to put the sedge into the new pot is humus-rich soil, mixed with some loam and sand.

The repotting rules at a glance:

  • Annual repotting necessary because of vigorous growth and expansion
  • Soil for new pot: rich in humus, with loam and sand
  • Pick out old stems when repotting

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Fertilize Cyprus grass properly

You can fertilize your syphilis moderately throughout the vegetation phase, i.e. from early spring to September. To do this, add some liquid fertilizer to the irrigation water every two weeks. You should not fertilize more, however, otherwise unnatural growth spurts will occur, which can lead to unstable, kinking stems.


Nicknamed the water palm - it is hardly possible to pour over it - the tips of the leaves quickly turn brown with minimal drought: all these indicators suggest hydroponics for the sedge. This means that the marsh grass is well taken care of and the cultivator has a little more peace of mind when caring for it. You can keep a syphilis in classic hydroponics with a substrate made of expanded clay (€ 17.50 at Amazon *) in a water bath with a little nutrient solution. A float provides information about the water level and provides orientation when it is necessary to top up.

You can also put the sedge in any other form of hydroponics and get very creative in the process. One possibility is, for example, a jug made of clay or glass filled with water, some liquid fertilizer and pebbles - the latter variant can have a particularly decorative effect, but is more suitable only for young, not so large offshoots.

In the garden pond, a sedge is not only visually very attractive, it is also optimally supplied with water and nutrients - you practically do not have to worry about it here. The downside - it won't survive winter here. So you either have to laboriously dig it up in autumn and potted it for the winter and bring it into the house or accept the loss of the plant.

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Another possibility of hydroponics is integration into an aquarium. Here, too, as with the garden pond, you have the positive side effect, in addition to the lower maintenance effort, that the Zypergrass enriches the water world in a very decorative way. The advantage over planting in the garden pond is that the syphoid grass remains permanently in the warm room and you don't have to worry about wintering.

Submerse culture

However, only certain species of sedge are suitable for submerged, i.e. completely underwater, cultivation. The Cyperus helferi should preferably be mentioned here. It is an Asian species with soft, pliable, slender, light green stems and leaves that move gently with the current of water. This syphilis thrives best at water temperatures between 22 and 30 ° C, good lighting and a pH value of 5 to 7.5. The substrate should be rich in nutrients and fine-grained.

For open aquariums

Cyperus alternifolius is a species that is suitable for open aquariums in which stems and leaves can grow above the water surface. It shows quite large, medium green leaf umbrellas and thrives best at a water temperature between 17 and 28 ° C with a pH value of 5 to 9.

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Cutting cyprus grass properly

Sedge grass basically only needs to be cut back if it has become too big for the wintering place over the vegetation phase. If the space in the winter quarters is limited, you can cut the grass by about half. In spring it will sprout again easily.

Otherwise only brown, dried up stalks should be cut away.

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Propagate cyprus grass


Sedge grass is best propagated by dividing the root ball. This method is particularly useful because the plant has to be constantly repotted anyway due to its tendency to form clumps - instead of always putting it in a larger pot, you can simply divide the sedge during the annual spring cure. Put one lot back in the original pot, the other can either be added to your own plant collection or given away to interested gardening friends.

The division method is not only simple, but also promises a high rate of success due to the insensitivity of the Zypergras root ball.


You can also use seeds to propagate your sedge. You get a constant supply of seeds from the flowers and fruits that appear again and again throughout the year, but there are also offers that can be purchased in specialist shops. Sedge grasses germinate light - so the seeds may only be placed on the ground and not covered with it. Keep the seed trays evenly and well moist and ensure a warm ambient climate of around 20 to 25 ° C. The seeds should germinate after about 2 to 3 weeks.


A third variant of the propagation of the Zypergras is the offshoot method. To do this, cut off some stalks and shorten the leaves by about half their length. Then put them upside down in water or a container of wet sand. After about 4 weeks, the offshoots should have developed roots. Then you can plant them in a planter with potting soil.

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Is Cyprus Grass Poisonous?

Zypergrass is generally not poisonous - so pet owners and parents of small children can buy a Zypergrass without hesitation.

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Some syphilis varieties still have astonishing possible uses beyond the mere indoor plant ornament. The tuber root of the earth's mantle, for example, is edible and, with its nutty taste and richness, is even considered a delicacy in southern Europe. The tuberous Zypergrass can also be used to make home remedies for stomach ailments. Those who like creative handicrafts can also make wickerwork such as baskets etc. out of the sedge blades, as is common practice in African countries in particular.


Cyperus alternifolius

This variety, which was already presented in the section on aquarium culture, is generally the best-known among the indoor squid. The Cyperus alternifolius originally comes from Madagascar and can be cultivated very well in our rooms - and not just in the aquarium. It also thrives very well in a soil substrate at relatively warm temperatures and, of course, thorough watering. Its shapely palm fronds are very vigorous and can reach a height of about one meter. The year-round appearing spikes are brown and inconspicuous.

Like most sedge, the variety is not hardy and should not be exposed to temperatures below 10 ° C. In summer, however, it can be put outside.

Cyperus eragrostis

In German, this variety has the beautiful name “Frischgrünes Zypergras”. It originally comes from South America and is also quite undemanding except for its large water requirement. However, it is only about half the size of Cyperus alternifolius. When it does bloom, it can be quite abundant. The Cyperus eragrostis does not form runners and therefore does not have to be restricted so much.

Cyperus longus

The high sedge is - not surprisingly - one of the largest varieties among the sedge and comes from the Mediterranean area. This means that it is partially hardy and suitable for garden pond planting. The high Zypergras reaches impressive heights of up to two meters in good conditions - but in the local room culture it usually ends at 1.20 m. The Cyperus longus forms strong runners, so it must be repotted regularly when kept in the bucket.

Cyperus papyrus

With a height of up to 3 meters, the real papyrus is even larger than the Cyperus longus and also looks much more imposing due to its thick, triangular stems. With these dimensions, the real papyrus is of course not an option for every hobby gardener in indoor culture. The Cyperus papyrus originally comes from Africa, Southwest Asia and South Europe and was already used in ancient times for papyrus production, which gives it its name, and as a building material.

Cyperus fuscus

This variety is called Brown Zypergras in German and occurs naturally even in Germany. Their distribution area also extends south to the Mediterranean and east to China. The Cyperus fuscus is an annual variety, but its seeds survive the winter. It does not form clumps. With a height of only 30 to 40 centimeters, it is one of the smallest Zypergras.

Its stems are particularly sharply furrowed, the leaf umbrellas sitting on them have few, narrow leaves and thus appear much less palm-like than, for example, the Cyperus alternifolius.

The brown sedge gets its name from the comparatively conspicuous, spiked and lush inflorescences in dark, purple-tinged brown with green edges.

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