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How to Plant Cattail

By Kathryn Hatter ; Updated September 21, 2017

There is controversy among gardeners concerning the benefits of including cattails in a landscape. Although these sun-loving plants grow easily and are attractive to many gardeners as a filler plant in wet areas, they may grow so easily that they become invasive. Cattails can quickly spread and cover entire planting areas to choke out other plant species you may be growing. Gardeners who wish to grow cattails might include them carefully by containing them in the soil and then removing the seed heads as they appear at the end of the growing season.

Choose a sunny or partially shady location that is moderately moist. Pond edges, marshes and wetlands are ideal growing locations for cattails. They grow easily in standing water as well.

Fill a container approximately half full with potting soil. Place one cattail plant in each container so that it is growing at approximately the same depth as it was in the temporary container. Add more soil to the containers to finish planting the cattails in the containers.

Dig holes for the containers so that the rims of the containers will be approximately ½ inch below the surface of the soil. Space holes for the containers 1 to 2 inches apart.

Plant the cattail plants in the containers in the prepared holes so that the containers are below the soil. The moisture of the growing area makes watering unnecessary.

Perform no other care or maintenance for the cattail plants. They do not require watering or fertilization.

Watch the cattail plants in the last half of the summer and remove the brown cattail heads while they are still brown prior to the heads exploding with seeds. Clip the brown heads off with the pruning shears to minimize the spread of the cattail plants. Some seed spread will be unavoidable, but you can minimize it using this method.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Cattail plants
  • Shovel
  • Containers (one 8-inch container per plant)
  • Potting soil
  • Pruning shears

About the Author

 

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.