Cyperus is the genus name for a large number of aquatic plants, with 600 species found on every continent in the world. The most popular variety is papyrus, with others that grow wild known as flatsedges, nutsedges, and galingales. Papyrus, which grows abundantly wild in Africa, is a staple in water-feature gardening and is easy to grow and maintain in warm climates. Prized for their stately stalks and feather-duster tufts early in the season, and white blooms late, papyrus have been used by humans since the beginning of civilization to create paper and medicine. Below are guidelines for growing papyrus in particular, as it's the most popular variety. Growing other varieties of cyperus may differ from that of papyrus, so check with your grower for instructions for your particular cyperus variety.
Growing Cyperus: Papyrus
Plant papyrus seeds indoors in January. Use a pot with drainage holes and rich, moist soil. Lightly cover the seeds with soil. Do not immerse in water while germinating but keep moist. Papyrus is slow to germinate--seedlings should start to produce in a month.
Transfer seedlings to shallow water in direct sun. Submerge entire pot slowly and at a slight angle to minimize soil loss. If the weather is not past frost season, create an indoor water spot using a plastic tub.
Feed cyperus plants regularly with a fertilizer designed for water plants. Stop fertilizing when moved inside for winter.
Prune spent growth regularly to keep dying plant matter out of your water feature. Decaying matter can cause many problems to your mini-ecosystem.
Move plants indoors for winter months or cold spells. Plants left in water and full sun will continue to grow year-round. Leaving your plant in low light and kept moist will keep it dormant until next growing season.