The name cyperus derives from the Greek for sedge, a plant that grows in wet places. The umbrella plant is one of the few aquatic plants suitable for growing indoors, where with reasonable care it will do well.
It will, with time, adapt itself to almost any location. The plant forms clumps of rather thin, pale green, grassy leaves, which radiate from the tops of the stems and are not in themselves particularly attractive.
But the petalless flowers, enclosed in tiny bracts and arranged in umbrella like flower heads, add much to the plant s appearance. Cyperus alternifolius is usually available during the summer months.
It has an almost Oriental quality and suits uncluttered, modern interiors. C.a. ‘Variegatus’ is an attractive variety with leaves striped with white or, often, completely white.
ORIGIN Madagascar; Mauritius.
HEIGHT 2ft-4ft/60cm-1.2m, with a spread of up to 3ft/90cm.
POTTING MIX Soil-based, with charcoal added to keep the soil fresh and to lessen odors caused by sour soil.
REPOTTING Move into a pot one size larger each spring.
PROPAGATION When the plant fills the pot, remove it from the pot. Make an initial knife cut across the clump, then tear it apart by hand. Pot sections individually.
KEEPING PLANTS As stems die, cut them off to allow for new growth.
Cyperus Alternifolius Cyperaceae Umbrella PLANT CARE
- Full, bright sunlight or light shade.
- Minimum winter temperature of 50°F/10°C, with constant room temperature at other times. ®
- The pot should stand in a pan of water at all times; it can be immersed in water to the top of the pot.
- Apply weak liquid fertilizer once a month from spring to fall, or push fertilizer tablets into the soil around the roots.
- Aphids and whiteflies may attack young leaves; check regularly for signs of these pests.
Recommended tips and guide for Cyperus Alternifolius plant
If leaves develop brown patches or edges, make sure the plant is receiving enough water.
Pale leaf coloring, unsightly blotches on the leaves, or the plant’s failure to produce many stems may indicate that its location is too shady.
Mealybugs may infest the green flowers at the top of the plant.