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Sedge family. Homeland - humid tropical forests of almost all continents, another name is Syt or Sitovnik. It is an elegant herb, generally unpretentious. Tsiperus does not have a pronounced dormant period and gets along equally in cool and warm rooms. Cyperus grows naturally in swampy areas, so the main requirements at home are abundant watering and high humidity.
In total, the genus has about 700 species, among them annuals and perennials, there are real babies, no more than one and a half centimeters in height, and giants are shrubs with two or three human heights. In some regions, cyperuses are invasive weeds that can clog any other vegetation. Three species are grown as a home plant. All of them are quite similar to each other, i.e. have long flowering stems, leaves are collected at the tops in whorls. The flowers are creamy greenish, pollinated by the wind and can bear fruit - they form a small nut. Fusiform tubers are formed on the roots.
- Cyperus is the alternate-leaved Cyperus alternifoius native to Madagascar and the Indian Ocean islands. It grows about 1 m in height, and its leaves are about 0.5 cm wide at the base, there are variegated and dwarf forms. It blooms under good conditions at any time of the year with small nondescript yellowish flowers, collected in spike-shaped inflorescences. This is the most common "grandmother" cyperus. There is a more decorative variety: Cyperus alternifolius variegatus - with variegated leaves and a bush size of about 50 cm.
- Spreading cyperus Cyperus diffusus is very similar to the previous species, but shorter, only about 60 cm tall, and wider leaves at the base - about 1.5 cm wide.
Cyperus papyrus Cyperus papyrus is a large and original plant - up to 2 m tall, the stems are triangular, thick in cross-section, the leaves on the umbrella are very thin and there are so many of them that the umbrella looks more like a drooping panicle, this is a rather rare species in culture, but very decorative forms exist:
- Cyperus papyrus 'Nanus' is a dwarf variety of Cyperus, only about 20-30 cm in height.
- Cyperus papyrus 'Green Gold' - a slightly larger bush, up to 50 cm tall, with golden inflorescences.
- Cyperus papyrus 'King Tut' - the stems are crowned with a very fluffy umbrella of leaves - like a brush, one to 100 leaves, they are long - on average 25-30 cm long, the bush itself is quite compact 50-60 cm tall in a pot, but can reach and more than a meter in height.
Temperature: moderate in summer, daily within the range of 18-25 ° C, in winter 16-18 ° C, but not lower than 14 ° C, the cool content is due to the natural decrease in illumination in autumn and winter, with additional light it can grow in warmth all year round. Under natural conditions, cyperus also tolerates lower temperatures, up to 0 + 2 ° C, but it is not worth taking risks with plants in pots, if the temperature is forced to drop (for example, when wintering on the balcony), very poor watering is required.
Lighting: Cyperus loves a very bright place, varietal Polish and Dutch plants are more demanding than rooted umbrellas of unknown blood taken from the grandmother on the market. In general, varietal cyperus needs 4-8 hours a day of direct sun. It is bright east, southeast, northwest and even southwest. Shading is required in the afternoon (from 12:00 to 16:00). Light partial shade is acceptable only in summer, and in winter (from October to February) shading is not required. In nature, cipersus grow in full sun, in flooded swamps and flooded fields - most of the ornamental species are native to hot and humid Africa, Madagascar or the Mediterranean countries.
Watering: Abundant all the time, the soil should never dry out completely, but do not turn the contents of the pot into a sour swamp - remember that the culture in the pot is somewhat different from the conditions in nature. And it looks like this: in its natural habitat, the upper part of the root zone of the cyperus bush is in the sun and fresh air (the areas are open and perfectly blown by the wind), and the bottom of the root system is constantly in the water. When watering in a pot, its walls do not allow the upper part of the soil to dry out, complete constant waterlogging is obtained, so the plant turns yellow and turns pale. You think that water is not enough for it and you water it even more often, but it turns yellow again! At the same time, puffs crawl in the soil and midges (mushroom mosquitoes) start up, which cannot be removed for months. Watering from the pallet does not help. What to do?
It is necessary to properly plant the cyperus - to make the lower and upper drainage. At the bottom of the pot - clay shards, then the root system in nutrient soil (see soil composition below), and the upper third of the roots, up to the root collar, should be covered with inert particles: fine gravel, pebbles, pebbles, granite screening - all about 5- 10 mm. You can use colored stones for aquaristics (do not use expanded clay). So the upper part of the roots will not become waterlogged and get air access. In this case, the water in the pan of the pot after watering does not need to be drained.
Fertilizer: from March to September, every two weeks, they are fed with a complex fertilizer for indoor plants with a good set of macro and microelements. The NPK formula is optimal 10-10-10 (in equal amounts).
Air humidity: Cyperus loves very, very humid air, not lower than 70-75%, ideally, some varieties are more demanding, they need regular spraying and washing the leaves. It is more correct to place the pot on a wide pallet with damp pebbles or sphagnum moss. In the heating season, a humidifier helps out.
Repotting: annually in spring in fresh soil to avoid the accumulation of salts in the soil. Theoretically, cyperus grows on soils with a slightly acidic reaction to a slightly alkaline pH from 6.0 to 8.5, but our tap water is too different from that in our native lakes and swamps - there are many impurities that household filters cannot cope with (fluorine, iron etc.), when the soil becomes saline, some nutrients cease to be absorbed and cyperus turns yellow, withers, the bushes are liquid and ugly. Therefore, every year we transplant into soil with a lot of drainage! The pot should not be too wide in width. Soil: 2 parts of sod land, 1 part of leaf (peat), 1 part of gravel or very coarse sand, with a particle size of 3-5 mm. It would be good to add a little charcoal, brick chips, broken into crumbled coconut shells to the soil.With constant flooding in natural conditions, there are enough air bubbles around the roots due to drainage.
Reproduction: seeds, dividing the bush, tuberous cuttings, as well as apical cuttings. The easiest way is to root the leaf: to do this, cut the "umbrella" after it has faded or before flowering, and put it in a glass of water "head down", with the handle toward the top. Water in a glass is about 2-4 cm. After 5-7 days it will give roots, and when they grow about 3-4 cm, plant in a pot about 8 cm in diameter.
Reproduction by seeds is also not difficult: prepare a soil mixture from universal soil, sand and fine gravel (in a ratio of 2: 2: 1), spread the seeds over the surface, no need to sprinkle. Keep the soil moist at all times. Germination at temperatures from 25 to 28 ° C, within 3-4 weeks. When sprouts appear, place the crops in a very bright place.
- The leaves turn pale, there are few new leaves - with a lack of lighting.
- The leaves turn yellow and turn brown, dry up from the tips - with insufficient watering, dry air.
- The ends of the leaves dry out - from low humidity at high temperatures.
- In spring, the plant does not grow or grows very poorly - when the soil is depleted, if the pot is too small, or too dark.
- Light dry spots on the leaves, appeared in the spring - too intense lighting or sunburn. Cyperus needs shading from direct sunlight after a dark winter.
- The leaves are curled, soft with brown edges - the temperature is too low, with high soil moisture, it may be warm during the day, and at night the temperature drops below normal. This problem occurs when planting in heavy clay soil. Another reason is an excess of fertilizers, when the transplant is replaced with top dressing.