Try Shade-Loving, Evergreen Cymophyllus Sedge as a Hosta Replacement

| 3/10/2016 8:51:00 AM

Tags: ornamental plants, shade gardening, garden planning, native plants, landscaping, seed starting, spring, groundcover, Barry Glick, West Virginia,


Many years ago, when I was just getting my nursery off the ground, there was buzz about a very rare, very mystical, very difficult to grow sedge. A sedge like no other sedge, so different that sometime in the 1940s, it was removed from the genus Carex and given its own monotypic genus - Cymophyllus!

Somewhere along the line, I was fortunate enough to barter with a colleague for 10 one-quart plants. They were immediately bumped up into gallons and placed out in the woods and forgotten about. Yes, I forgot about these "difficult-to-grow”, really rare plants. I forgot about them, not just for a week or two, or a month or two, or even a growing season. I forgot about them for 10 years!

Now, during that decade of neglect, they didn't put on much growth, what with no one providing any additional water during dry spells, no fertilization, no weeding etc. But, they did survive.

Imagine my joy at rediscovering these precious sedges and at their still being alive. I immediately rescued them from their life of despair and repotted my treasure in fresh soil. A hearty meal of 21-7-7 Peters Acid Special Fertilizer was much appreciated, I'm sure. They were very happy. I was very happy. My wayward little plants soon filled their new home with roots, and it being spring, found a permanent home in one of my woodland trial beds. Boy, were they excited to get their feet into the earth with real soil instead of that commercial potting mix.

In the following year, they doubled their size and flowered profusely in early spring. I collected the seeds, sowed them immediately and was rewarded with nearly 100 % germination. The young seedlings filled 2-inch pots in one growing season and 4-inch pots the next.

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