How to Grow Fox Sedge

Sedge on the edge of a lake image by Photo by Nature Snooper/ Flickr.com

Overview

Fox sedge is an ornamental grass suited to wet, poorly drained locations near streams, ponds and wetlands. It is an attractive perennial, growing in clumps up to several feet tall. It is easy to establish and spreads rapidly. This is an asset in establishing a garden or wetlands site, but fox sedge can take over a site and crowd out other desirable vegetation. Fox sedge is hardy in zones three through seven.

Step 1

Choose a location for your fox sedge. A moist location with plenty of sun is ideal. Fox sedge enjoys wet ditches, ravines, swamps and the edges of ponds, lakes and marshes, but it will grow in sites with normal moisture conditions. It prefers clay soil but grows in sand and loam also.

Step 2

Remove existing vegetation from the area. Turn the soil and rake the area smooth.

Step 3

Add compost to poor soil. Fertilizer is not usually required.

Step 4

Purchase stratified fox sedge seeds or plugs from a commercial nursery. Seeds can be collected from existing plants when the flowers turn brown and the fruit easily releases.

Step 5

Plant freshly collected seeds in the fall. Plant stratified seeds in the spring. Place fox sedge seeds in pots and cover them lightly with soil. Keep the soil wet. Cover the soil with straw mulch to conserve moisture until the seeds sprout. Stratified seeds will sprout in one to two weeks. Fresh seeds will sprout in the spring.

Step 6

Transplant the seedlings or plant fox sedge plugs approximately one to two feet apart in the early summer.

Step 7

Water the area thoroughly and keep the soil moist until the plants are established. Fox sedge prefers lots of water but does well in normal moisture conditions also. They can withstand periods of drought and will come back quickly when moisture returns.

Step 8

Weed the area daily. Pull weeds when they first appear to avoid disturbing the roots of newly planted fox sedge. Once the plants are established, the roots will be deep, and the plants will crowd out weeds.

Step 9

Use a string trimmer to trim fox sedge to about one foot during the first year. Trimming encourages the plants to spread and fill in bare areas. Discontinue trimming at the end of the growing season. Trimming is not needed once the plants are established.

Step 10

Control fox sedge to keep it from taking over the home landscape. Dig a trench around the bed, approximately one foot from the roots. Place a plastic root barrier into the trench, fill it in and tamp the soil to firm it. The root barrier will keep the roots from spreading beyond the desired bed.

Things You'll Need

  • Fox sedge seeds or plugs
  • Pots for starting seeds
  • Compost, optional
  • String trimmer
  • Plastic root barrier, optional

References

  • The Encyclopedia of Grasses for Livable Landscapes, Rick Darke, 2007
  • USDA Plant Guide: Fox Sedge
Keywords: fox sedge, plant fox sedge, control fox sedge

About this Author

Diane Watkins has been writing since 1984, with experience in newspaper, newsletter and Web content. She writes two electronic newsletters and has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Clemson University. She has taken graduate courses in biochemistry and education.

Photo by: Photo by Nature Snooper/ Flickr.com