Papyrus – Living Conditions

Q: I bought a one gallon pot of papyrus back in the spring. Not knowing any better I simply planted it in the dirt. It’s six feet tall, but everything I read tells me it should be in water.

A: Much depends on what species you have, since papyrus is sensitive to cold weather. I have an umbrella papyrus plant, Cyperus involucratus, at the edge of a water feature and it has been hardy there outdoors for several years. On the other hand, an Egyptian papyrus plant, Cyperus papyrus, has been killed by cold weather twice in a nearby spot. Papyrus grows best where the roots are soggy and the crown is a bit exposed. Since winter is not terrible in your area, and if you have true papyrus, try cutting off all of the stems and covering the crown with a thick layer of pine straw until spring. Let me know what happens!

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