How to Care for the Horsetail Plant


The horsetail plant, also known as Equisetum hyemele and the scouring rush, is an easy-to-grow water plant that can reach 4 feet in height. Its tall green stems are hollow and have black rings around them, similar to the appearance of bamboo. It requires an aquatic environment near a stream or pond where it stays wet at all times. You can also grow it in a pot. The horsetail plant has been used medicinally for centuries for stopping bleeding, healing ulcers and treating kidney problems and tuberculosis. It is also used for strengthening bones.

Step 1

Plant a young horsetail plant in a 2-gallon container with a drainage hole using standard potting soil. Water the soil before planting and then make a hole 2 inches deep and insert your horsetail plant into it. Fill the hole with moist potting soil and firm gently around the base of the plant.

Step 2

Keep your horsetail plant in an area with natural, filtered light. It will tolerate part shade to mostly sunny conditions.

Step 3

Water your horsetail plant at least once each week to keep the soil from becoming dry. If you keep a plant saucer under your horsetail and keep water in it, the plant will respond well.

Step 4

Prune dry, dead stems to keep your plant looking good and help it to produce more fresh stems.

Tips and Warnings

  • Because this plant is considered invasive in certain areas, do not plant it in the wild.

Things You'll Need

  • 2-gallon pot
  • Plant saucer
  • Potting soil


  • University of Maryland Medical Center: Horsetail
  • Liveaquaria: Horsetail rush
  • Backyard Gardener: Equisetum
Keywords: horsetail plant, equisetum growing, aquatic medicinal

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, GardenGuides and eHow. She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.