How to Grow Northern Bur-Reed

Northern Bur-reed image by US Forest Service/Wikimedia

Overview

If you have a pond in your landscape and are looking to add plants that will tolerate the wet conditions, try planting northern bur-reed. This sedge grows well around marshes, ponds, streams and areas that are wet. There are nine species of bur-reed that are native to the U.S., with northern bur-reed being one. Bur-reed can obtain a height of 2 feet with small spherical flowers that bloom in summer. Growing bur-reed is not hard as long as you meet the plant's watery requirements.

Planting Large Divisions

Step 1

Divide the northern bur-reed into smaller clumps, if dealing with a large established clump. Established clumps of bur-reed can be planted directly into the planting area once they are broken apart.

Step 2

Plant the northern bur-reed in an area that is constantly wet and receives full sunlight. Bur-reed will not tolerate living in dry or shady conditions.

Step 3

Amend the soil by the pond by adding organic matter such as peat or compost. Work it into the moist soil before planting the bur-reed.

Step 4

Dig a hole big enough to hold the root ball. Pack the dirt around the bur-reed to hold it upright in the planting area.

Step 5

Water the area to keep it moist at all times, if the planting area is prone to dry out. Pruning and fertilizing the bur-reed is not necessary but constant moisture is.

Growing Northern Bur-reed in containers

Step 1

Fill your container with a potting medium that is high in organic matter. Choose a medium that will also hold moisture and will not dry out too quickly.

Step 2

Plant your seedlings into the container deep enough so the plants will remain upright and won't fall over once the soil is wet.

Step 3

Place the containers into another container that will hold water. Fill the second container up with 2 inches of water and place your container holding the northern bur-reed into it.

Step 4

Add more water to the container to make the depth deeper, as the seedlings begin to grow and establish themselves.

Step 5

Plant the northern bur-reed by a pond once they are established. If keeping the plants in a container, make sure they are always held inside of a bottom container that is filled with water.

Growing Northern Bur-reed Seeds

Step 1

Plant the northern bur-reed seeds as soon they are harvested. The seeds will not remain viable for too long, so the sooner they are planted the more chance you have of them sprouting.

Step 2

Place the seeds in a container filled with a rich soil medium, as if you were planting bur-reed seedlings.

Step 3

Place the container holding the seeds into another container filled with two inches of water. Keep the container holding the water filled at all times or the seeds will not sprout.

Step 4

Transplant your northern bur-reed plants into an area by a pond, once they are big enough and have established themselves.

Things You'll Need

  • Organic planting medium
  • Container for planting
  • Container for holding water
  • Water

References

  • University of Florida - Information on Bur-Reed
  • Plant Guide to Northern Bur-Reed
Keywords: growing northern bur-reed, northern bur-reed, northern bur-reed care

About this Author

Joyce Starr is a professional writer from Florida and owns a landscaping company and garden center. She has published articles about camping in Florida, lawn care and gardening and writes for a local gardening newsletter. She shares her love and knowledge of the outdoors and nature through her writing.

Photo by: US Forest Service/Wikimedia