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Papyrus sedge
Papyrus sedge
Papyrus sedge
Papyrus sedge
Papyrus sedge
Papyrus sedge
Add to My Garden
Papyrus sedge
Cyperus papyrus
Also known as: Indian matting plant, Egyptian papyrus
Papyrus sedge (Cyperus papyrus) is an aquatic flowering plant that’s originally from Africa. It was used by the ancient Egyptians to make papyrus, one of the earliest kinds of paper. For thousands of years, people have tied the stems together to build boats. Nowadays, it’s often used ornamentally. It’s close to extinction in the Nile Delta region—one of the places it calls home.
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Twice per week
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care guide

Care Guide for Papyrus sedge

Papyrus sedge is a water-loving plant that thrives in wet soil. It will even thrive in aquatic soils. When outdoors, plant in wet, muddy ground where it鈥檒l be surrounded by plenty of water. Papyrus sedge requires less water in the winter months, but avoid allowing the soil to completely dry out. If brown spots develop, your plant is indicating it needs more water.
Fertilization
Fertilization
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Papyrus sedge plants do not require fertilizer if planted in fertile soil. In poorer soils, rake compost or organically rich fertilizer into the soil before planting. If your plant is indoors in a pot, it will need an application of balanced, liquid fertilizer once every ten days during the spring growing season.
Trim the diseased, withered leaves once a month.
Loam, Sand, Clay, Chalky, Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
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Questions About Papyrus sedge

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Temperature Temperature Temperature
Seasonal Care Seasonal Care Seasonal Care
How Often to Water Your Papyrus sedge?
The watering needs of Papyrus sedge will vary depending on where it is planted. Generally, you should water this grass every week. In hot climates, once or twice a week watering in the summer may be necessary. In moderate climates, watering once every seven days or more may be enough. Grass in containers almost always need more frequent watering than grasses in the ground. But with a species such as this that can thrive in full sun or part shade, the location also matters. Shaded grasses need to be watered less frequently than in-ground grasses.

Papyrus sedge should only be watered when the soil is dry. If you’re unsure when to water, there are a few key signs you can use as your cue. Pressing your finger a couple of inches into the soil will tell you if the soil is dry. For a potted grass, you can weigh the grass with a portable scale to see how light it is, but you can also quickly feel when the pot is light from lack of water. Like many types of grass, the blades may appear folded along their centers and thinner than usual when the roots lack sufficient water. Despite its drought tolerance, regular, deep waterings will reward you with a beautiful color.

In the wild, Papyrus sedge grows in open scrubland, where it would be subject to extreme heat, loads of bright sun, and intermittent rain. Because this grass is drought resistant, you might expect never to need to water it. But don’t let its hardiness fool you, Papyrus sedge still needs care and attention. Even though this hardy grass can handle harsh, dry conditions, gardeners agree that it thrives best with consistent water.

When first planted, Papyrus sedge will need more frequent water until it has established deep roots. For Papyrus sedge in pots, the soil will dry out quickly, especially if the pot is in hot, direct sun for a large part of the day. Test the soil every 3 to 4 days and water only when it feels dry. Papyrus sedgeed in the ground generally needs less watering, but that depends on the soil it is grown in. Heavy clay soil holds water for a long time and may feel dry at the surface while still retaining plenty of moisture below the ground. Sandy soils that drain quickly will need to be watered more often.
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What Should I Be Careful with When I Water My Papyrus sedge in Different Seasons, Climate or During Different Growing Periods of My Plants?
You can often tell if you are watering enough by the rate of growth of your grasses. Papyrus sedge during the hottest months of the year and has been known to double in size in a year’s time. If the weather is hot and the grass is not growing vigorously, you may need to adjust your watering schedule. In winter, you might be able to get away with watering only once a month, but you will still want to touch the soil to test for moisture.

During a growth cycle (in the warmest months), the grass will need more water than usual. But during winter and cooler months, the need for water will be dramatically reduced. The most important thing to remember about Papyrus sedge is that the soil it is planted in should always be allowed to dry out completely before adding water.
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What to Do If Your Water Papyrus sedge Too Much or Too Little?
Without proper watering, this beautiful ornamental grass will underperform. In the ground, watering issues can be solved, but In a container, too much or too little water will kill Papyrus sedge in short order. When Papyrus sedge isn't receiving the right amount of water, it may stop growing. In the case of overwatering, it will begin to display yellow leaves with brown tips. Underwatering can produce drooping leaves, weak seed head production, and browned leaves. If you suspect your Papyrus sedge has been improperly watered, the first thing to do is figure out if the problem is too much or too little. If your Papyrus sedge is getting too much water, stop watering it immediately. Sometimes it can take weeks for heavy soils to dry out, so be patient. At the first sign of new growth, test the soil for moisture and decide whether it needs more water or not. The solution for Papyrus sedge receiving too little water is even simpler: give the grasses a nice, deep drink and see if it perks up.

Bearing all of this in mind, remember that a long, deep watering is always better than a lot of shallow, frequent waterings. The reason for this is that deep watering encourages grasses to grow deep roots, which makes them more drought resistant and less prone to problems from watering.
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pests

Common Pests & Diseases

Common issues for Papyrus sedge based on 10 million real cases
Aged yellow and dry
Aged yellow and dry Aged yellow and dry
Aged yellow and dry
Natural aging can cause leaves to turn yellow and dry out.
Solutions: If the yellowing and drying of leaves and flowers is a natural progression due to age, nothing can be done to slow or stop the process. Once hormones within the plant begin the process of senescence, it’s irreversible.
Leaf scorch
Leaf scorch Leaf scorch
Leaf scorch
Leaf blight causes leaves to dry out and turn brown starting at their tips.
Solutions: The solution to leaf scorch will depend on the cause, however, in general all cultural care methods that improve plant health and root functionality will reduce symptoms. Mulching the root zone (preferably with wood chip mulch) helps retain moisture, reduce evaporation, and promotes a healthy, functional root environment that is critical for water movement to the leaves. Check the root collar for girdling or circling roots that strangle the trunk and limit water and nutrient movement. Protect trees from severe root damage of nearby construction and excavation. If fertilizer burn is to blame, irrigate the soil deeply to flush out excess fertilizer salts. However, keep in mind that fertilizer runoff is an environmental pollutant. Avoiding excess fertilization in the first place is the best approach. If soil testing has revealed a potassium deficiency, apply a potassium fertilizer and water well. Even if you have enough potassium in the soil, plants will not be able to take it up if the soil is consistently too dry. Severely affected twigs may be removed using a pair of sharp and sanitized pruning shears, as weakened branches are susceptible to secondary infections. If your plant has bacterial leaf scorch, there is no cure. Antibiotic injections applied by a professional can reduce symptoms for a season, however, the above cultural management methods are the best options to reduce symptoms and prolong life. An infected plant will likely die within ten years.
Fire ants
Fire ants Fire ants
Fire ants
Fire ants gnaw on the roots of plants and are aggressive toward people.
Solutions: Caution: fire ants are venomous and cause painful bites which can be fatal in the case of a rare but significant allergy. Fire ants can be a painful pest to have around for you and your plants. Keeping them under control will ensure comfortable gardening for all. For less severe cases: Physically remove mounds. Dig out and remove entire mounds (remember, they go deeper than they seem). Use citrus oil. Pour citrus oil, which is toxic to fire ants, down their holes. For severe cases: Use ant bait. For a chemical solution, broadcast insecticide bait formulated for fire ants in the area around a mound. Apply the bait during a dry evening so the ants can forage for it at night. Look for products that contain Indoxacarb. Release phorid flies. Introduce or promote beneficial phorid flies to gardens. These parasitic flies attack invasive fire ants. Hire a professional. Some ant baits are only available to professional exterminators. For serious cases of fire ants, consider hiring a professional.
Brown spot
Brown spot Brown spot
Brown spot
This infection can cause brown spots or patches to appear on the plant.
Solutions: In minor cases of brown spot, there isn’t any need to treat the disease. However, if much of the foliage is affected and defoliation occurs, the plant will benefit from getting rid of the infection. It is recommended to start by applying organic treatment options, working up to the more potent synthetic, chemical fungicides if necessary. Organic options won’t kill the fungus, but will prevent it from spreading. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water. Using a spray bottle, spray on tops and bottoms of leaves until the mixture drips off. Repeat every two weeks until existing spots stop enlarging and new spots no longer appear. Spray a copper-based fungicidal soap on the leaves, coating the top and bottom leaf surfaces. Reapply as directed on the product label. Copper penetrates the leaf surface and prevents germination of spores so the fungus cannot spread. Apply an all-purpose fungicide to the entire plant, following the label instructions carefully.
Underwatering
Underwatering Underwatering
Underwatering
Leaves may wilt for a variety of reasons.
Solutions: The easiest (and most obvious) way to address underwatering is to fully hydrate the plant. However, this must be done carefully. A common mistake that many gardeners make is to douse their underwatered plants with water. This can overwhelm the roots of the plant and shock its system, something that can be even more damaging than the lack of water to begin with. Instead, water thoroughly and slowly, taking breaks to let the water slowly saturate through the soil to get to the roots. Use room temperature water, as cold water might be too much of a shock. In the future, shorten the time between waterings. A good rule of thumb is to check the soil around each plant daily. If it’s dry to at least two inches down, it’s time to water. If a container plant is repeatedly drying out very quickly, repotting into a slower-draining container might be a good idea, too.
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Aged yellow and dry
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Aged yellow and dry
Natural aging can cause leaves to turn yellow and dry out.
Overview
Overview
Regardless of the type of plant or where it is grown, at some point, it will begin to aged yellow and dry. This is a natural, unavoidable process that happens when the plant has completed all of the steps in its life.
Annual plants go through this process at the end of a single growing season. Perennial plants live for multiple years, if not tens or hundreds of years, but will still ultimately exhibit these symptoms.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
When plants have progressed through their natural developmental stages and are nearing the end of their lifecycle, they begin showing signs of decline. Leaves will start to yellow and droop, and over time they turn papery brown and dry.
Once completely dry, the leaves begin to fall from the plant until the entire plant has dried out.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
At the end of its life, genetic coding within the plant increases the production of ethylene, a phytohormone that controls senescence or natural aging and death. Cell division stops, and the plant begins catabolizing resources to use in other parts of the plant.
As this happens, the tissues begin yellow and drying until the entire plant is desiccated and perishes.
Solutions
Solutions
If the yellowing and drying of leaves and flowers is a natural progression due to age, nothing can be done to slow or stop the process. Once hormones within the plant begin the process of senescence, it’s irreversible.
Prevention
Prevention
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent plants from dying of “old age.” To help prolong their life, and put off symptoms of aged yellow and dry for as long as possible, take care of them by giving them enough water, fertilizing them appropriately, and making sure they get enough sunlight.
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Leaf scorch
plant poor
Leaf scorch
Leaf blight causes leaves to dry out and turn brown starting at their tips.
Overview
Overview
Leaf scorch refers to two general conditions: physiological leaf scorch and bacterial leaf scorch. It causes leaves to discolor starting along the margins, and eventually die.
Leaf scorch development is most common in the hot, dry season, becoming most noticeable in late summer. However, it can occur at other times of the year. It most often affects young trees and shrubs, but it can also affect flowers, vegetables, and other plants.
Leaf scorch can get progressively worse over multiple seasons. If the root causes are not addressed, leaf scorch can lead to plant death.
While you cannot reverse the damage caused by physiological leaf scorch, you can prevent further damage. With proper management, plants will fully recover. However, there is no cure for bacterial leaf scorch, which is a systemic infection.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
  • Yellow, brown, or blackened leaves starting with the leaf margins
  • Dying twig tips on trees and shrubs as leaves die and fall
  • Often there is a bright yellow border line between the dead and living leaf tissue
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
There are numerous contributing causes of leaf scorch.
Bacterial leaf scorch is caused by the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa. The bacteria block the xylem vessels, preventing water movement. Symptoms may vary across species.
Physiological leaf scorch most commonly occurs when a plant cannot take up enough water. Numerous conditions can lead to this issue, particularly an unhealthy root system. Some causes of an unhealthy root system include overly-compacted soil, recent tillage, root compaction and severing due to pavement or other construction, drought, and overly-saturated soils.
Potassium deficiency can contribute to leaf scorch. Since plants need potassium to move water, they cannot properly move water when there is a lack of potassium.
Too much fertilizer can also cause leaf scorch symptoms. The accumulation of salts (including nutrient salts from fertilizers, as well as salt water) accumulate at the leaf margins and may build up to concentrations that burn the tissues.
Solutions
Solutions
The solution to leaf scorch will depend on the cause, however, in general all cultural care methods that improve plant health and root functionality will reduce symptoms.
  • Mulching the root zone (preferably with wood chip mulch) helps retain moisture, reduce evaporation, and promotes a healthy, functional root environment that is critical for water movement to the leaves.
  • Check the root collar for girdling or circling roots that strangle the trunk and limit water and nutrient movement.
  • Protect trees from severe root damage of nearby construction and excavation.
  • If fertilizer burn is to blame, irrigate the soil deeply to flush out excess fertilizer salts. However, keep in mind that fertilizer runoff is an environmental pollutant. Avoiding excess fertilization in the first place is the best approach.
  • If soil testing has revealed a potassium deficiency, apply a potassium fertilizer and water well. Even if you have enough potassium in the soil, plants will not be able to take it up if the soil is consistently too dry.
  • Severely affected twigs may be removed using a pair of sharp and sanitized pruning shears, as weakened branches are susceptible to secondary infections.
  • If your plant has bacterial leaf scorch, there is no cure. Antibiotic injections applied by a professional can reduce symptoms for a season, however, the above cultural management methods are the best options to reduce symptoms and prolong life. An infected plant will likely die within ten years.
Prevention
Prevention
  • Physiological leaf scorch is best avoided by making sure your plants have a healthy, functional root system and access to enough water. Water regularly, especially on the mornings of excessively hot, sunny days. Deep, infrequent irrigation is better than shallow, frequent irrigation.
  • Have your soil tested and apply the proper nutrients. Be sure to not over-apply fertilizers.
  • Make sure your plants’ roots have room to expand. Avoid compacted soil as well and avoid paving areas above the root zone. Do not till or disturb the soil where plant roots are growing.
  • Plant new trees and shrubs in the fall, so that they have the maximum amount of time to become established before the environmental stresses of the next summer.
  • Remove any dead or dying plant tissue that may harbor secondary infections.
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Fire ants
plant poor
Fire ants
Fire ants gnaw on the roots of plants and are aggressive toward people.
Overview
Overview
Fire ants are a group of ants that are known for their aggressive behavior and painful stings. Some fire ants are native and others are invasive from other countries. Once they reach plants, they climb them and chew away at leaves and flower buds.
Fire ants also kill and eat beneficial insects such as caterpillars, ladybugs, mantis, and native ants. They can be a problem any time temperatures are above freezing, but new infestations are most likely to appear when brought in via contaminated material such as potting soil or mulch, or when insecticides have harmed populations of beneficial insects that would otherwise control populations of fire ants.
They can be difficult to control, especially once populations become large. Plant damage is typically minor, but fire ants can destroy seedlings.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
The number one symptom of fire ants is seeing the ants themselves which are red or black in color. Ant mounds in the ground are also signs. Fire ant mounds rarely exceed 46 cm in diameter. If a fire ant mound is disturbed, many fast-moving, aggressive ants will emerge. These ants will bite and then painfully sting.
Even if no ants are visible, their damage might be apparent. Chewed leaf and flower edges might indicate fire ants. Fully eaten seedlings are another sign.
Solutions
Solutions
Caution: fire ants are venomous and cause painful bites which can be fatal in the case of a rare but significant allergy.
Fire ants can be a painful pest to have around for you and your plants. Keeping them under control will ensure comfortable gardening for all.
For less severe cases:
  • Physically remove mounds. Dig out and remove entire mounds (remember, they go deeper than they seem).
  • Use citrus oil. Pour citrus oil, which is toxic to fire ants, down their holes.
For severe cases:
  • Use ant bait. For a chemical solution, broadcast insecticide bait formulated for fire ants in the area around a mound. Apply the bait during a dry evening so the ants can forage for it at night. Look for products that contain Indoxacarb.
  • Release phorid flies. Introduce or promote beneficial phorid flies to gardens. These parasitic flies attack invasive fire ants.
  • Hire a professional. Some ant baits are only available to professional exterminators. For serious cases of fire ants, consider hiring a professional.
Prevention
Prevention
Fire ants become more difficult to control as they establish themselves, so try to prevent them or treat them early.
  • Monitor new material. Do not bring in any soil or plants from known infested areas, unless if they are "Quarantine Approved." Make sure to check new material for fire ants.
  • Apply insecticide. Some warm and humid areas have high fire ants populations. In these areas, spread a granular fire ants insecticide such as Varsity in the spring near gardens to prevent these unwelcome visitors.
  • Treat early. Spot treat at the first sight of any fire ants mound, as larger mounds are more difficult to treat.
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Brown spot
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Brown spot
This infection can cause brown spots or patches to appear on the plant.
Overview
Overview
Discolored spots on the foliage of plants are one of the most common disease problems people observe. These spots are caused by fungal and bacterial diseases, with most infections related to a fungal pathogen.
Brown spot can occurs on all houseplants, flowering ornamentals, vegetable plants, and leaves of trees, bushes, and shrubs. No plants are resistant to it, and the problem is worse in warm, wet environments. It can occur at any point in the life stage as long as leaves are present.
Small brownish spots appear on the foliage and enlarge as the disease progresses. In severe cases, the plant or tree is weakened when the lesions interrupt photosynthesis or cause defoliation.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
In most cases, brown spot only affects a small percentage of the whole plant, appearing on a small amount of the leaves. A small infection only puts minor stress on the plant. However, if left untreated and the disease progresses over numerous seasons, it will severely impact the health and productivity of the infected specimen.
  • Sporulation begins (reproduction of the fungal spores), and tiny spots appear on leaves.
  • Placement is often random and scattered as diseases are spread through raindrops.
  • May appear on lower leaves and the interior of the plant where humidity is higher.
  • Brown spots enlarge and grow large enough to touch neighboring spots to form a more prominent blotch.
  • Leaf margins may turn yellow.
  • Tiny black dots (fruiting bodies of the fungi) appear in the dead spots.
  • Blotches grow in size until the entire leaf is brown.
  • The leaf falls off the plant.
Severe Symptoms
  • Partial or complete premature defoliation
  • Reduced growth
  • Increased susceptibility to pests and other diseases
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Brown spot, or leaf spot, is a common descriptive term given to several diseases affecting the leaves of plants and trees. Around 85% of diseases exhibiting leaf spots are due to fungus or fungus-like organisms. Sometimes brown spot is caused by a bacterial infection, or insect activity with similar symptoms.
When conditions are warm and the leaf surfaces are wet, fungal spores being transported by wind or rain land on the surface and cling to it. They do not rupture the cell walls but grow in the space between the plant plasma membrane and the plant cell wall. As the spores reproduce, they release toxins and enzymes that cause necrotic spots (i.e., dead tissue) on the leaves, allowing the fungi to consume the products released when the cells degrade.
Solutions
Solutions
In minor cases of brown spot, there isn’t any need to treat the disease. However, if much of the foliage is affected and defoliation occurs, the plant will benefit from getting rid of the infection. It is recommended to start by applying organic treatment options, working up to the more potent synthetic, chemical fungicides if necessary.
Organic options won’t kill the fungus, but will prevent it from spreading.
  1. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water. Using a spray bottle, spray on tops and bottoms of leaves until the mixture drips off. Repeat every two weeks until existing spots stop enlarging and new spots no longer appear.
  2. Spray a copper-based fungicidal soap on the leaves, coating the top and bottom leaf surfaces. Reapply as directed on the product label. Copper penetrates the leaf surface and prevents germination of spores so the fungus cannot spread.
  3. Apply an all-purpose fungicide to the entire plant, following the label instructions carefully.
Prevention
Prevention
Like many other diseases, it is easier to prevent brown spot than cure it, and this is done through cultural practices.
  • Clear fall leaves from the ground before winter to minimize places where fungi and bacteria can overwinter.
  • Maintain good air movement between plants through proper plant spacing.
  • Increase air circulation through the center of plants through pruning.
  • Thoroughly clean all pruning tools after working with diseased plants.
  • Never dispose of disease plant material in a compost pile.
  • Avoid overhead watering to keep moisture off of the foliage.
  • Keep plants healthy by providing adequate sunlight, water, and fertilizer.
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Underwatering
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Underwatering
Leaves may wilt for a variety of reasons.
Overview
Overview
Underwatering plants is one of the quickest ways to kill them. This is something that most gardeners are well aware of. Unfortunately, knowing exactly how much water a plant needs can be tricky, especially considering that underwatering and overwatering present similar symptoms in plants.
Therefore, it’s important to be vigilant and attentive to each plants’ individual needs.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
As mentioned earlier, overwatering and underwatering present similar symptoms in plants. These symptoms include poor growth, wilted leaves, defoliation, and brown leaf tips or margins. Ultimately, both underwatering and overwatering can lead to the death of a plant.
The easiest way to determine whether a plant has too much water or too little is to look at the leaves. If underwatering is the culprit, the leaves will look brown and crunchy, while if it’s overwatering, they will appear yellow or a pale green in color.
When this issue first begins, there may be no noticeable symptoms at all, particularly in hardy or drought-tolerant plants. However, they will begin to wilt once they start suffering from a lack of water. The edges of the plant’s leaves will become brown or curled. Soil pulling away from the edges of the planter is a telltale sign, or a crispy, brittle stem.
Prolonged underwatering can cause a plant’s growth to become stunted. The leaves might drop and the plant can be more susceptible to pest infestations, too.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Underwatering is caused by, quite simply, not watering plants often or deeply enough. There is a heightened risk of underwatering if any of these situations apply:
  • Extreme heat and dry weather (when growing outdoors)
  • Grow lights or indoor lighting that is too bright or intense for the type of plant
  • Using fast-draining growing media such as sand
Solutions
Solutions
The easiest (and most obvious) way to address underwatering is to fully hydrate the plant. However, this must be done carefully. A common mistake that many gardeners make is to douse their underwatered plants with water. This can overwhelm the roots of the plant and shock its system, something that can be even more damaging than the lack of water to begin with.
Instead, water thoroughly and slowly, taking breaks to let the water slowly saturate through the soil to get to the roots. Use room temperature water, as cold water might be too much of a shock.
In the future, shorten the time between waterings. A good rule of thumb is to check the soil around each plant daily. If it’s dry to at least two inches down, it’s time to water. If a container plant is repeatedly drying out very quickly, repotting into a slower-draining container might be a good idea, too.
Prevention
Prevention
Always check the soil before watering. If the top inch of soil feels moist, though not wet, the watering is perfect. If it’s dry, water it immediately. If it feels soggy, you avoid watering until it dries out a bit more.
Also, make sure the lighting is sufficient for the species. Plants grow faster and need more water when there is intense light or lots of heat. Being aware of these conditions and modifying them, if possible, is a good way to prevent underwatering. Many container plants are potted in soil mixtures mean to be well-draining. Adding materials that retain moisture, like compost or peat moss, can also prevent these symptoms.
Other tips to prevent underwatering include:
  • Choose pots with adequately-sized drainage holes
  • Avoid warm temperatures
  • Use large pots with additional soil (these take longer to dry out)
  • Avoid terracotta pots, which lose water quickly
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distribution

Distribution Map

Habitat

Swamps, shallow lakes, along stream banks throughout Africa
distribution map
Native
Cultivated
Invasive
Potentially invasive
Exotic
No species reported
habit
plant_info

More Info

Plant Type
Plant Type
Herb
Flower Color
Flower Color
Brown
Green
White
Red
Bloom Time
Bloom Time
Summer, Fall
Leaf Color
Leaf Color
Green

Name story

Papyrus sedge
Egyptians used the plant which they call it "aaru", for many purposes and most famously for making papyrus. Its name in Greek and in English is widely believed to have come from Egyptian. Therefore, it is called papyrus sedge.

Symbolism

Protection

Usages

Garden Use
Papyrus sedge is a good focal point choice for adding height and interest to informal gardens. It works well in boggy yard areas, near ponds, or in water gardens. Greenhouse gardeners may also grow them as annuals, taking care to shelter them from colder temperatures. Flowering plants like Petunias and Verbena will combine well to add pretty splashes of color.
other_plant

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Meadowsweet
Meadowsweet
As its common name suggests, meadowsweet is a sweet-smelling herb that often grows in meadows. It is a perennial in the rose family and is native to Europe, the British Isles, and western Asia, and has also been naturalized in parts of North America. Filipendula ulmaria has been used to create potpourris and to add flavor to beers, wines, and stews.
Lovage
Lovage
Lovage (Levisticum officinale) is a perennial whose large flat-topped yellow flowers bloom in the summer. The nectar and pollen from the flowers attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, while birds feast on the seeds. Some will use it to flavor soups, sauces, and pickles but note that it's said to be toxic. It could increase urination or cause kidney or urinary passage inflammation.
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Papyrus sedge
Papyrus sedge
Papyrus sedge
Papyrus sedge
Papyrus sedge
Papyrus sedge
Add to My Garden
Papyrus sedge
Cyperus papyrus
Also known as: Indian matting plant, Egyptian papyrus
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Common Pests & Diseases

Common issues for Papyrus sedge based on 10 million real cases
Aged yellow and dry
Aged yellow and dry  Aged yellow and dry  Aged yellow and dry
Natural aging can cause leaves to turn yellow and dry out.
Solutions: If the yellowing and drying of leaves and flowers is a natural progression due to age, nothing can be done to slow or stop the process. Once hormones within the plant begin the process of senescence, it’s irreversible.
Learn More more
Leaf scorch
Leaf scorch  Leaf scorch  Leaf scorch
Leaf blight causes leaves to dry out and turn brown starting at their tips.
Solutions: The solution to leaf scorch will depend on the cause, however, in general all cultural care methods that improve plant health and root functionality will reduce symptoms. Mulching the root zone (preferably with wood chip mulch) helps retain moisture, reduce evaporation, and promotes a healthy, functional root environment that is critical for water movement to the leaves. Check the root collar for girdling or circling roots that strangle the trunk and limit water and nutrient movement. Protect trees from severe root damage of nearby construction and excavation. If fertilizer burn is to blame, irrigate the soil deeply to flush out excess fertilizer salts. However, keep in mind that fertilizer runoff is an environmental pollutant. Avoiding excess fertilization in the first place is the best approach. If soil testing has revealed a potassium deficiency, apply a potassium fertilizer and water well. Even if you have enough potassium in the soil, plants will not be able to take it up if the soil is consistently too dry. Severely affected twigs may be removed using a pair of sharp and sanitized pruning shears, as weakened branches are susceptible to secondary infections. If your plant has bacterial leaf scorch, there is no cure. Antibiotic injections applied by a professional can reduce symptoms for a season, however, the above cultural management methods are the best options to reduce symptoms and prolong life. An infected plant will likely die within ten years.
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Fire ants
Fire ants  Fire ants  Fire ants
Fire ants gnaw on the roots of plants and are aggressive toward people.
Solutions: Caution: fire ants are venomous and cause painful bites which can be fatal in the case of a rare but significant allergy. Fire ants can be a painful pest to have around for you and your plants. Keeping them under control will ensure comfortable gardening for all. For less severe cases: Physically remove mounds. Dig out and remove entire mounds (remember, they go deeper than they seem). Use citrus oil. Pour citrus oil, which is toxic to fire ants, down their holes. For severe cases: Use ant bait. For a chemical solution, broadcast insecticide bait formulated for fire ants in the area around a mound. Apply the bait during a dry evening so the ants can forage for it at night. Look for products that contain Indoxacarb. Release phorid flies. Introduce or promote beneficial phorid flies to gardens. These parasitic flies attack invasive fire ants. Hire a professional. Some ant baits are only available to professional exterminators. For serious cases of fire ants, consider hiring a professional.
Learn More more
Brown spot
Brown spot  Brown spot  Brown spot
This infection can cause brown spots or patches to appear on the plant.
Solutions: In minor cases of brown spot, there isn’t any need to treat the disease. However, if much of the foliage is affected and defoliation occurs, the plant will benefit from getting rid of the infection. It is recommended to start by applying organic treatment options, working up to the more potent synthetic, chemical fungicides if necessary. Organic options won’t kill the fungus, but will prevent it from spreading. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water. Using a spray bottle, spray on tops and bottoms of leaves until the mixture drips off. Repeat every two weeks until existing spots stop enlarging and new spots no longer appear. Spray a copper-based fungicidal soap on the leaves, coating the top and bottom leaf surfaces. Reapply as directed on the product label. Copper penetrates the leaf surface and prevents germination of spores so the fungus cannot spread. Apply an all-purpose fungicide to the entire plant, following the label instructions carefully.
Learn More more
Underwatering
Underwatering  Underwatering  Underwatering
Leaves may wilt for a variety of reasons.
Solutions: The easiest (and most obvious) way to address underwatering is to fully hydrate the plant. However, this must be done carefully. A common mistake that many gardeners make is to douse their underwatered plants with water. This can overwhelm the roots of the plant and shock its system, something that can be even more damaging than the lack of water to begin with. Instead, water thoroughly and slowly, taking breaks to let the water slowly saturate through the soil to get to the roots. Use room temperature water, as cold water might be too much of a shock. In the future, shorten the time between waterings. A good rule of thumb is to check the soil around each plant daily. If it’s dry to at least two inches down, it’s time to water. If a container plant is repeatedly drying out very quickly, repotting into a slower-draining container might be a good idea, too.
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Aged yellow and dry
plant poor
Aged yellow and dry
Natural aging can cause leaves to turn yellow and dry out.
Overview
Overview
Regardless of the type of plant or where it is grown, at some point, it will begin to aged yellow and dry. This is a natural, unavoidable process that happens when the plant has completed all of the steps in its life.
Annual plants go through this process at the end of a single growing season. Perennial plants live for multiple years, if not tens or hundreds of years, but will still ultimately exhibit these symptoms.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
When plants have progressed through their natural developmental stages and are nearing the end of their lifecycle, they begin showing signs of decline. Leaves will start to yellow and droop, and over time they turn papery brown and dry.
Once completely dry, the leaves begin to fall from the plant until the entire plant has dried out.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
At the end of its life, genetic coding within the plant increases the production of ethylene, a phytohormone that controls senescence or natural aging and death. Cell division stops, and the plant begins catabolizing resources to use in other parts of the plant.
As this happens, the tissues begin yellow and drying until the entire plant is desiccated and perishes.
Solutions
Solutions
If the yellowing and drying of leaves and flowers is a natural progression due to age, nothing can be done to slow or stop the process. Once hormones within the plant begin the process of senescence, it’s irreversible.
Prevention
Prevention
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent plants from dying of “old age.” To help prolong their life, and put off symptoms of aged yellow and dry for as long as possible, take care of them by giving them enough water, fertilizing them appropriately, and making sure they get enough sunlight.
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Leaf scorch
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Leaf scorch
Leaf blight causes leaves to dry out and turn brown starting at their tips.
Overview
Overview
Leaf scorch refers to two general conditions: physiological leaf scorch and bacterial leaf scorch. It causes leaves to discolor starting along the margins, and eventually die.
Leaf scorch development is most common in the hot, dry season, becoming most noticeable in late summer. However, it can occur at other times of the year. It most often affects young trees and shrubs, but it can also affect flowers, vegetables, and other plants.
Leaf scorch can get progressively worse over multiple seasons. If the root causes are not addressed, leaf scorch can lead to plant death.
While you cannot reverse the damage caused by physiological leaf scorch, you can prevent further damage. With proper management, plants will fully recover. However, there is no cure for bacterial leaf scorch, which is a systemic infection.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
  • Yellow, brown, or blackened leaves starting with the leaf margins
  • Dying twig tips on trees and shrubs as leaves die and fall
  • Often there is a bright yellow border line between the dead and living leaf tissue
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
There are numerous contributing causes of leaf scorch.
Bacterial leaf scorch is caused by the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa. The bacteria block the xylem vessels, preventing water movement. Symptoms may vary across species.
Physiological leaf scorch most commonly occurs when a plant cannot take up enough water. Numerous conditions can lead to this issue, particularly an unhealthy root system. Some causes of an unhealthy root system include overly-compacted soil, recent tillage, root compaction and severing due to pavement or other construction, drought, and overly-saturated soils.
Potassium deficiency can contribute to leaf scorch. Since plants need potassium to move water, they cannot properly move water when there is a lack of potassium.
Too much fertilizer can also cause leaf scorch symptoms. The accumulation of salts (including nutrient salts from fertilizers, as well as salt water) accumulate at the leaf margins and may build up to concentrations that burn the tissues.
Solutions
Solutions
The solution to leaf scorch will depend on the cause, however, in general all cultural care methods that improve plant health and root functionality will reduce symptoms.
  • Mulching the root zone (preferably with wood chip mulch) helps retain moisture, reduce evaporation, and promotes a healthy, functional root environment that is critical for water movement to the leaves.
  • Check the root collar for girdling or circling roots that strangle the trunk and limit water and nutrient movement.
  • Protect trees from severe root damage of nearby construction and excavation.
  • If fertilizer burn is to blame, irrigate the soil deeply to flush out excess fertilizer salts. However, keep in mind that fertilizer runoff is an environmental pollutant. Avoiding excess fertilization in the first place is the best approach.
  • If soil testing has revealed a potassium deficiency, apply a potassium fertilizer and water well. Even if you have enough potassium in the soil, plants will not be able to take it up if the soil is consistently too dry.
  • Severely affected twigs may be removed using a pair of sharp and sanitized pruning shears, as weakened branches are susceptible to secondary infections.
  • If your plant has bacterial leaf scorch, there is no cure. Antibiotic injections applied by a professional can reduce symptoms for a season, however, the above cultural management methods are the best options to reduce symptoms and prolong life. An infected plant will likely die within ten years.
Prevention
Prevention
  • Physiological leaf scorch is best avoided by making sure your plants have a healthy, functional root system and access to enough water. Water regularly, especially on the mornings of excessively hot, sunny days. Deep, infrequent irrigation is better than shallow, frequent irrigation.
  • Have your soil tested and apply the proper nutrients. Be sure to not over-apply fertilizers.
  • Make sure your plants’ roots have room to expand. Avoid compacted soil as well and avoid paving areas above the root zone. Do not till or disturb the soil where plant roots are growing.
  • Plant new trees and shrubs in the fall, so that they have the maximum amount of time to become established before the environmental stresses of the next summer.
  • Remove any dead or dying plant tissue that may harbor secondary infections.
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Fire ants
plant poor
Fire ants
Fire ants gnaw on the roots of plants and are aggressive toward people.
Overview
Overview
Fire ants are a group of ants that are known for their aggressive behavior and painful stings. Some fire ants are native and others are invasive from other countries. Once they reach plants, they climb them and chew away at leaves and flower buds.
Fire ants also kill and eat beneficial insects such as caterpillars, ladybugs, mantis, and native ants. They can be a problem any time temperatures are above freezing, but new infestations are most likely to appear when brought in via contaminated material such as potting soil or mulch, or when insecticides have harmed populations of beneficial insects that would otherwise control populations of fire ants.
They can be difficult to control, especially once populations become large. Plant damage is typically minor, but fire ants can destroy seedlings.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
The number one symptom of fire ants is seeing the ants themselves which are red or black in color. Ant mounds in the ground are also signs. Fire ant mounds rarely exceed 46 cm in diameter. If a fire ant mound is disturbed, many fast-moving, aggressive ants will emerge. These ants will bite and then painfully sting.
Even if no ants are visible, their damage might be apparent. Chewed leaf and flower edges might indicate fire ants. Fully eaten seedlings are another sign.
Solutions
Solutions
Caution: fire ants are venomous and cause painful bites which can be fatal in the case of a rare but significant allergy.
Fire ants can be a painful pest to have around for you and your plants. Keeping them under control will ensure comfortable gardening for all.
For less severe cases:
  • Physically remove mounds. Dig out and remove entire mounds (remember, they go deeper than they seem).
  • Use citrus oil. Pour citrus oil, which is toxic to fire ants, down their holes.
For severe cases:
  • Use ant bait. For a chemical solution, broadcast insecticide bait formulated for fire ants in the area around a mound. Apply the bait during a dry evening so the ants can forage for it at night. Look for products that contain Indoxacarb.
  • Release phorid flies. Introduce or promote beneficial phorid flies to gardens. These parasitic flies attack invasive fire ants.
  • Hire a professional. Some ant baits are only available to professional exterminators. For serious cases of fire ants, consider hiring a professional.
Prevention
Prevention
Fire ants become more difficult to control as they establish themselves, so try to prevent them or treat them early.
  • Monitor new material. Do not bring in any soil or plants from known infested areas, unless if they are "Quarantine Approved." Make sure to check new material for fire ants.
  • Apply insecticide. Some warm and humid areas have high fire ants populations. In these areas, spread a granular fire ants insecticide such as Varsity in the spring near gardens to prevent these unwelcome visitors.
  • Treat early. Spot treat at the first sight of any fire ants mound, as larger mounds are more difficult to treat.
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Brown spot
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Brown spot
This infection can cause brown spots or patches to appear on the plant.
Overview
Overview
Discolored spots on the foliage of plants are one of the most common disease problems people observe. These spots are caused by fungal and bacterial diseases, with most infections related to a fungal pathogen.
Brown spot can occurs on all houseplants, flowering ornamentals, vegetable plants, and leaves of trees, bushes, and shrubs. No plants are resistant to it, and the problem is worse in warm, wet environments. It can occur at any point in the life stage as long as leaves are present.
Small brownish spots appear on the foliage and enlarge as the disease progresses. In severe cases, the plant or tree is weakened when the lesions interrupt photosynthesis or cause defoliation.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
In most cases, brown spot only affects a small percentage of the whole plant, appearing on a small amount of the leaves. A small infection only puts minor stress on the plant. However, if left untreated and the disease progresses over numerous seasons, it will severely impact the health and productivity of the infected specimen.
  • Sporulation begins (reproduction of the fungal spores), and tiny spots appear on leaves.
  • Placement is often random and scattered as diseases are spread through raindrops.
  • May appear on lower leaves and the interior of the plant where humidity is higher.
  • Brown spots enlarge and grow large enough to touch neighboring spots to form a more prominent blotch.
  • Leaf margins may turn yellow.
  • Tiny black dots (fruiting bodies of the fungi) appear in the dead spots.
  • Blotches grow in size until the entire leaf is brown.
  • The leaf falls off the plant.
Severe Symptoms
  • Partial or complete premature defoliation
  • Reduced growth
  • Increased susceptibility to pests and other diseases
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Brown spot, or leaf spot, is a common descriptive term given to several diseases affecting the leaves of plants and trees. Around 85% of diseases exhibiting leaf spots are due to fungus or fungus-like organisms. Sometimes brown spot is caused by a bacterial infection, or insect activity with similar symptoms.
When conditions are warm and the leaf surfaces are wet, fungal spores being transported by wind or rain land on the surface and cling to it. They do not rupture the cell walls but grow in the space between the plant plasma membrane and the plant cell wall. As the spores reproduce, they release toxins and enzymes that cause necrotic spots (i.e., dead tissue) on the leaves, allowing the fungi to consume the products released when the cells degrade.
Solutions
Solutions
In minor cases of brown spot, there isn’t any need to treat the disease. However, if much of the foliage is affected and defoliation occurs, the plant will benefit from getting rid of the infection. It is recommended to start by applying organic treatment options, working up to the more potent synthetic, chemical fungicides if necessary.
Organic options won’t kill the fungus, but will prevent it from spreading.
  1. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water. Using a spray bottle, spray on tops and bottoms of leaves until the mixture drips off. Repeat every two weeks until existing spots stop enlarging and new spots no longer appear.
  2. Spray a copper-based fungicidal soap on the leaves, coating the top and bottom leaf surfaces. Reapply as directed on the product label. Copper penetrates the leaf surface and prevents germination of spores so the fungus cannot spread.
  3. Apply an all-purpose fungicide to the entire plant, following the label instructions carefully.
Prevention
Prevention
Like many other diseases, it is easier to prevent brown spot than cure it, and this is done through cultural practices.
  • Clear fall leaves from the ground before winter to minimize places where fungi and bacteria can overwinter.
  • Maintain good air movement between plants through proper plant spacing.
  • Increase air circulation through the center of plants through pruning.
  • Thoroughly clean all pruning tools after working with diseased plants.
  • Never dispose of disease plant material in a compost pile.
  • Avoid overhead watering to keep moisture off of the foliage.
  • Keep plants healthy by providing adequate sunlight, water, and fertilizer.
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Underwatering
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Underwatering
Leaves may wilt for a variety of reasons.
Overview
Overview
Underwatering plants is one of the quickest ways to kill them. This is something that most gardeners are well aware of. Unfortunately, knowing exactly how much water a plant needs can be tricky, especially considering that underwatering and overwatering present similar symptoms in plants.
Therefore, it’s important to be vigilant and attentive to each plants’ individual needs.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
As mentioned earlier, overwatering and underwatering present similar symptoms in plants. These symptoms include poor growth, wilted leaves, defoliation, and brown leaf tips or margins. Ultimately, both underwatering and overwatering can lead to the death of a plant.
The easiest way to determine whether a plant has too much water or too little is to look at the leaves. If underwatering is the culprit, the leaves will look brown and crunchy, while if it’s overwatering, they will appear yellow or a pale green in color.
When this issue first begins, there may be no noticeable symptoms at all, particularly in hardy or drought-tolerant plants. However, they will begin to wilt once they start suffering from a lack of water. The edges of the plant’s leaves will become brown or curled. Soil pulling away from the edges of the planter is a telltale sign, or a crispy, brittle stem.
Prolonged underwatering can cause a plant’s growth to become stunted. The leaves might drop and the plant can be more susceptible to pest infestations, too.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Underwatering is caused by, quite simply, not watering plants often or deeply enough. There is a heightened risk of underwatering if any of these situations apply:
  • Extreme heat and dry weather (when growing outdoors)
  • Grow lights or indoor lighting that is too bright or intense for the type of plant
  • Using fast-draining growing media such as sand
Solutions
Solutions
The easiest (and most obvious) way to address underwatering is to fully hydrate the plant. However, this must be done carefully. A common mistake that many gardeners make is to douse their underwatered plants with water. This can overwhelm the roots of the plant and shock its system, something that can be even more damaging than the lack of water to begin with.
Instead, water thoroughly and slowly, taking breaks to let the water slowly saturate through the soil to get to the roots. Use room temperature water, as cold water might be too much of a shock.
In the future, shorten the time between waterings. A good rule of thumb is to check the soil around each plant daily. If it’s dry to at least two inches down, it’s time to water. If a container plant is repeatedly drying out very quickly, repotting into a slower-draining container might be a good idea, too.
Prevention
Prevention
Always check the soil before watering. If the top inch of soil feels moist, though not wet, the watering is perfect. If it’s dry, water it immediately. If it feels soggy, you avoid watering until it dries out a bit more.
Also, make sure the lighting is sufficient for the species. Plants grow faster and need more water when there is intense light or lots of heat. Being aware of these conditions and modifying them, if possible, is a good way to prevent underwatering. Many container plants are potted in soil mixtures mean to be well-draining. Adding materials that retain moisture, like compost or peat moss, can also prevent these symptoms.
Other tips to prevent underwatering include:
  • Choose pots with adequately-sized drainage holes
  • Avoid warm temperatures
  • Use large pots with additional soil (these take longer to dry out)
  • Avoid terracotta pots, which lose water quickly
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distribution

Distribution Map

Habitat

Swamps, shallow lakes, along stream banks throughout Africa

Map

distribution map
Native
Cultivated
Invasive
Potentially invasive
Exotic
No species reported
plant_info

More Info

Plant Type
Plant Type
Herb
Flower Color
Flower Color
Brown
Green
White
Red
Bloom Time
Bloom Time
Summer, Fall
Leaf Color
Leaf Color
Green

Name story

Papyrus sedge
Egyptians used the plant which they call it "aaru", for many purposes and most famously for making papyrus. Its name in Greek and in English is widely believed to have come from Egyptian. Therefore, it is called papyrus sedge.

Symbolism

Protection

Usages

Garden Use
Papyrus sedge is a good focal point choice for adding height and interest to informal gardens. It works well in boggy yard areas, near ponds, or in water gardens. Greenhouse gardeners may also grow them as annuals, taking care to shelter them from colder temperatures. Flowering plants like Petunias and Verbena will combine well to add pretty splashes of color.
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