How to Grow Horsetail

Overview

The Horsetail plant (Equisetum hyemale) is a type of wetland and aquatic plant commonly found growing alongside streams or moist river banks. It is recognizable by its long, thin reed-like growths. The green-hued plant is sometimes grown in containers for ornamental purposes. It can reach a height of up to 2 feet and does well in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 11.

Step 1

Harvest a wild Horsetail plant's rhizomes, the underground or surface growths from which the reeds sprout. Use a spade to loosen the mud or soil and reveal the rhizomes. Break off a three to four-inch long growth, severing it from the rest of the rhizome with the spade's edge. Cut off any reeds from the top of the rhizome and place the rhizome in a plastic bag to prevent it from drying out.

Step 2

Obtain a plant pot with drainage holes in the bottom. For best results, select a pot that is 6 to 12 inches deep. A standard plastic pot does better than a ceramic pot in terms of conserving soil moisture for the water-loving plant. Place the pot into a tray that has a lip around its edges.

Step 3

Fill the plant pot with equal parts peat moss and perlite or vermiculte. Thoroughly mix the ingredients. Alternatively, you can use a commercially-prepared soilless potting mix from a nursery or garden store.

Step 4

Sink the rhizome into the center of the pot. Bury it half to 1 inch below the surface of the soil.

Step 5

Water the Horsetail. The Horsetail plant requires constant moisture to grow. Fill the tray in which the pot is sitting with water. This helps to keep the substrate moist at all times, as it will wick in water through the pot's bottom drainage holes as the substrate dries.

Step 6

Place the Horsetail plant in full sunlight for optimal growing results.

Step 7

Maintain the Horsetail plant. Once the rhizome sprouts, maintenance is limited to keeping the plant in the sun and filling its tray so that the substrate remains moist. Once a month, fertilize the plant with a micronutrient fertilizer available from a nursery or garden store. Apply the fertilizer according to the manufacturer's directions, as potency varies by product.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic bags
  • Spade
  • Plant pot
  • Tray
  • Peat moss
  • Perlite or vermiculte
  • Micronutrient fertilizer

References

  • Texas A&M: About Horsetail
  • "A Manual of Aquatic Plants;" Norman C. Fassett & Eugene C. Ogden; 2006
  • "American Horticultural Society A to Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants;" Christopher Brickell; 2004
Keywords: grow horsetail, horsetail care, aquatic

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.