Care Of A Papyrus Plant – A Guide To Growing Beautiful Tropical Plants

Taking proper Care of a Papyrus Plant is essential if you want it to grow its best. To begin with, you would need to get to know your plant’s demands, likes, and dislikes to ensure that it is provided with the best growing environment. These perennials are a species of aquatic flowering plants in the sedge family.

It is a water plant that is native to parts of Africa and is quite easy to grow and maintain if you have the right knowledge to do so. You would be surprised to know that these plants were initially used as a writing paper in ancient times. Today, papyrus is a sought-after garden plant that is widely grown.

It is an eye-catching plant that produces grassy leaf sprays that protrude from the stems, and is a great enhancement to any landscape. The leafy clusters also develop into individual plantlets that you can easily separate and replant. The information below will enlighten you on how papyrus can be grown in damp soil or weighted containers and the best strategies to keep them thriving.

Where Does Papyrus Grow?

Sedge known as papyrus grows naturally in moist soils and shallow water. In the most humid regions of Africa, it grows in large stands in swamps, shallow lakes, and along stream banks. This plant has an attractive tier impression with upright stems topped with airy leaves. With the proper care and maintenance, papyrus will afford you a lush tropical landscape.

Although these plants grow quickly and can reach heights of up to 16 feet in its natural environment, ornamental varieties grow much smaller. The plant’s edible parts and stems can both be used for several other purposes, including boat making. However, nowadays, it is frequently grown for decorative purposes.

 care of a papyrus plant

It naturally grows throughout the Mediterranean in full sun, flooded marshes, and on the edges of lakes. Papyrus has also spread to tropical locations all over the world outside of its native range. These include areas like the Indian subcontinent, South America, and the Caribbean to name a few. Here’s a link with more information about these beneficial landscaping plants. 

How To Grow Papyrus

Although splitting the rootstock is the more commonly used way, papyrus is reasonably simple to grow from seed and expands quickly once it is established. The plant can bloom throughout the year and prefers extremely wet soil to thrive. Also, if you opt to bury its roots in water, these plants will grow well as it will mimic their natural habitat.

USDA hardiness zones 9 and 10, is amongst the best for these tropical plants. A dwarf variety of the species is often grown as an ornamental plant. It is more tolerant of shade and grows rapidly in or out of water. In the ground, in sizable pots, or in shallow water, papyrus can be grown as an annual foliage plant. It is also beneficial because it brings an exotic, tropical feel to any garden and is suitable for outdoor water features.

It can be used as a specimen or an accent in larger landscaping beds, or it can be underplanted with annuals like petunias. But, keep in mind that although this plant is simple to grow, it requires warm conditions to flourish. Therefore, implementing the best strategies to take care of a papyrus plant is a must.

For the best results, ensure that you plant it in moist to wet soil or grow your papyrus in a container with or without drainage holes. It can easily become potbound because of its fast growth.

 how to grow papyrus

How To Propagate Papyrus

Papyrus belongs to the family of sedges, which is typically related to grass. Although they are not real grasses, they are occasionally regarded as ornamental ones. This is because sedges are similar looking plants with triangular stems and blooms that thrive in moist regions. However, knowing how to propagate papyrus is vital if you are looking forward to a lush garden.

These towering plants have an imposing nature, making them stand out. The clump from which the triangular stem emerges is surrounded by a dense mass of rhizomes, which is how the plant spreads. The spectacular umbel at the top of the stem is this sedge’s true highlight. The greenish-brown blooms emerge in the summer, followed by fruits that resemble nuts.

Listed Below Are A Few Papyrus Propagation Tips That Would Be Useful:

  • Papyrus plants are incredibly adaptable. You can plant it in still water and watch it beautifully emerge from ponds and pools.
  • You can also plant it in moist soil at the border of a water garden or around a waterlogged area.
  • Although papyrus tolerates full sun as long as it is never let to dry out, it does best with afternoon shade and morning sun.
  • To keep them healthy, divide this plant in the early spring. Trim some of the older, less robust rhizomes as part of the division process.
  • The root clumps can be easily divided for replanting when propagating.
  • Use a shovel to remove a mature plant while being mindful not to harm any roots.
  • To make separate plants, carefully pry apart the roots using your hands.
  • Place them where you think they’ll grow best and provide water.
  • Thereafter, it is essential to take care of a papyrus plant to keep it thriving.

 how to propagate papyrus

Papyrus Plant Care

Knowing how to take care of a papyrus plant is the most important part of growing them. This is because you will have a better understanding when it coes to providing for their needs and demands. Although they are quite hardy, they do have specific demands to reach their full potential and thrive. We have listed a few important points below that you should take heed of so that your tropical plant will stay healthy and happy.

Plant Care Tips:

1. Propogation

Rhizomes should be divided and propagated in the spring. Papyrus is sensitive to frost and should be brought indoors or sheltered when the temperature drops below 40 °F. As long as the rhizomes are safeguarded against freezing, plants can be retained over the winter. If kept very wet, ideally in standing water, it will survive over the winter in a bright area indoors.

2. Environment

Even though papyrus is a perennial plant, it can be handled like an annual because it requires minimal upkeep. This plant is indigenous to the marshy margins of the Nile River in Egypt, thus it will thrive in environments that are perpetually moist and sunny. Keep in mind that it might become dormant during the winter period. However, once the weather warms up, it will start growing again, with new culms quickly replacing the worn-out ones.

 papyrus plant care

3. Light

Despite preferring the sun, some plants can withstand some shade, particularly in the hottest climes. When it comes to these plants, wet, mucky soil found in swampy places or around ponds in the landscape allows soil grown papyrus to flourish. Also, fertile soil would be the best option as barren soils will require amendment before planting.

4. Fertilizer

It is best to apply a balanced fertilizer at planting time then thoroughly water it in. Papyrus plants don’t need to be fed if they are grown in adequately fertile soil. Before planting, enrich the soil with organic material especially if you find that it is poor or lacking.

5. Water

This plant requires a lot of moisture, therefore, it is best to ensure that the soil is constantly damp. In drier climates, papyrus needs watering at least twice a day.

6. Thermodynamics and Humidity

USDA zones 8 and warmer will support these plants as hardy perennials. However, they may still require winter mulching to safeguard them. Papyrus is occasionally grown as a potted plant in colder climates. For them to thrive in this instance, they are usually kept indoors in a sunroom or greenhouse throughout the winter.

 where does papyrus grow

7. Papyrus pruning

It is best to cut down papyrus foliage in the late fall or early spring. Use a sharp knife or pruning shears to trim old culms with browned heads close to the rhizome. Trim the stems to a few inches above the ground if the foliage starts to turn brown, and water the plant. You can thereafter look forward to fresh, green sprouts in a few weeks.


The care of a papyrus plant is quite simple as you can see from the information above. These plants can be grown in soil-filled containers without drainage holes, in the ground, or on the edges of water features in your yard. No matter which way you choose to propagate them, they are a great addition to any indoor or outdoor setting.

Keep in mind that when growing them, it is ideal to maintain a consistent water source because these plants need frequent moisture. Also, the only significant common pests and diseases that papyrus plants encounter are rust fungi. On the plant’s leaves and stems, this kind of fungus causes patches and discoloration. Neem oil, a homemade baking soda spray, or commercial insecticides can all be used to cure rust fungus.

If you live in a very cold region, protecting your plant indoors would be a good option for you. The plant should continue to flourish and grow well if the pot is placed in full sun and the soil is kept moist. Remember to wait till the spring when you reposition the papyrus outside before fertilizing it. Here’s a video that shows you how to grow papyrus.