Overwintering Papyrus


In a pot with assorted flowers that we bought last summer was a substantial amount of Papyrus (aquatic). The pot dried out several times and we lost some of the Papyrus but amazingly most of it survived which we have brought into the house for the winter, it is about 3ft tall.
Question 1: How did the Papyrus survive in the garden without water was it due do you think to the amount of humidity we experienced last summer?
Question 2: The Papyrus is now indoors and planted in triple mix and it needs to be well watered three times a day or it complains. Where does all this water go?
Question 3: Is Papyrus in any way toxic if one has it indoors? Could it cause allergies? The pot at all times smells very fresh


What an exotic sounding plant you are growing. Papyrus (Cyperus papyrus) is a tropical perennial but will not grow as such in our climate.  It needs to be overwintered inside. It is a vigorous grower that loves to have its roots kept moist. In fact some call it an aquatic plant. You report that your papyrus dried out in the summer but most of it survived. One can only presume the plant had enough moisture, from either rain or watering. Maybe the top of the soil dried out but there was moisture left at the bottom in the area of the roots.  If there are no drainage holes in the pot this could definitely be the case.

Presumably your pot is fairly large and filled with a good quality soil. Yes, you are watering your plant heavily.  Most likely the water is evaporating due to the heat indoors and at the same time the plant is drawing up the water in order to grow and nourish the roots.

When it comes to watering there are no hard or fast rules.  It’s a judgment call that depends on the type of plant, the soil, the temperature and many other variables. One thing you constantly need to do is check the soil. Soon you will get to know if the plant is watered thoroughly by the weight of the pot.

Unable to find anything in the literature suggesting that papyrus can be toxic or cause allergies if kept indoors. The only thing, if the soil is too moist you may get mold which may cause distress for some people.

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