Papyrus

(Question)

Hi
I have a papyrus , growing in my pond which is now about 9 feet high and spectacular .
here are my questions :
Is it possible to winter it here in Toronto?
Would it make sense to bury it?
Is there any way to indoor it over winter?
it is in the same plastic container (sunken and now weighted down) as it was purchased in ,and i am thinking that it is feeding off the algae because the pond has been particularly clean this year . Would this be correct?
I am grateful for any info that you can supply!

(Answer)

Hello gardener,

Papyrus (Cyperus spp.) is not winter-hardy in Toronto’s climate. However, it can be grown as a houseplant. The main limitation, in your case, will be finding room to accommodate your mammoth plant.

What papyrus needs is wet roots (setting the pot in a basin of water, for example), a bright window (or grow lights), a warmish room (above 60-65˚F) and moist air. For a small papyrus plant, a bathroom with a bright window would be good. As yours has reached soaring proportions, you’d also need a tall ceiling! If you are lucky to have a heated greenhouse, this would be an ideal place.

The plant won’t need feeding over the winter, as you want to preserve it in a dormant state during this time of lower light.

You can also fairly easily propagate papyrus, either by division of its roots or by using the seed heads to start new plants. None of the baby plants will be the same scale as the parent by spring, however. For this reason, many people treat papyrus as an annual, enjoying its winter profile in the garden.

Water Gardeners International has an extensive article on papyrus that you might enjoy. It includes instructions for propagation:

https://www.watergardenersinternational.org/journal/3-3/dave/page1.html

Good luck with your plant!