How to Grow Common Rush


Common rush or Juncus effusus is a grass-like perennial that grows most actively in the spring. It has dark green foliage, yellow seeds and brown colors, and grows to be about 6 feet tall. The flowers are one to four inches long and even through they bloom from March to September, they peak in July. Not only does it do well in soil, common rush thrives in moist environments such as water gardens.

Step 1

Choose a planting site with fine, medium or course soils. Or, choose a water bog garden as a location. It will do well in all these areas, as long as the climate has a minimum of 120 frost-free days annually.

Step 2

Check the pH levels of the soil with a testing kit purchased from a nursery or hardware store. The plant requires a pH of between 6.1 (acidic) and 7.5 (neutral).

Step 3

Increase or decrease acidity in your garden if needed. Increase the pH by 1.0 point to make the soil more alkaline by adding hydrated lime. Lower the pH to make it more acidic by adding ground rock sulfur, wood chips, sawdust or composted leaves (see Resources for exact amounts).

Step 4

Make sure that it is in the sun. Common rush is intolerant to shade and needs the sunlight to prosper.

Step 5

Dig a hole that is at least 24 inches deep. That is the minimum needed for the root growth. Place the root ball in the ground and cover with soil. Pack it down.

Step 6

Consider keeping the plant in a pot and placing it in your water garden. This will keep it contained and it will not invade other areas.

Step 7

Water the common rush right after planting. The plant requires consistently moist soil and does the best with 18 to 60 inches of water annually. Touch the soil with your finger and if it's getting dry, water it. Don't let it dry out between watering.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't consume any part of this plant. It is toxic to humans and animals. Common Rush is invasive and will spread to other parts of your garden.

Things You'll Need

  • Plant
  • pH test kit
  • Hydrated lime
  • Ground rock sulfur
  • Wood chips
  • Sawdust
  • Composted leaves
  • Soil
  • Container
  • Water


  • USDA
  • Dave's Garden

Who Can Help

  • Soil pH Tips
Keywords: Common Rush, Juncus effusus, perennial

About this Author

Based in New York State, Kelly Shetsky started writing in 1999. She is a broadcast journalist-turned Director of Marketing and Public Relations and has experience researching, writing, producing and reporting. She writes for several websites, specializing in gardening, medical, health and fitness, entertainment and travel. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.