Ornamental cereals in room culture have just begun to look closely. And sedge, the “most indoor” of all cereals, is no exception. When her relatives in the garden became real stars, potted herbs only conquer fans of non-standard landscaping. Sedges are modern in terms of the perfection of lines, beauty of textures, and unique splendor. And, unlike other indoor cereals, they are not swampy, extremely moisture-loving plants. They are relatively easy to grow, but still quite original in their preferences.
Ornamental sedge is one of the most graceful indoor plants
Ornamental sedge – plant description
Ornamental cereals are not for nothing considered one of the most difficult categories of indoor plants to grow. The sod that these enchanting grasses form require space and the ability to grow freely, frequent renewal and proper maintenance. But it would be a big mistake to think that perfectly growing and thick cereals are not suitable for growing in pots.
In room form, they do not lose their main advantages at all – they just appear in a completely new light. And the first candidate for interior landscaping is not at all outlandish rare herbs. A simple, familiar and variegated sedge.
Osoka (Carex) Is a representative of perennial ornamental cereals from the family Cervical (Cyperaceae), found in almost all climatic zones of our planet. It is such a familiar plant that little attention is paid to its features.
Sedge is the main peat-forming agent in the biosphere.
Sedge is a large genus of cereals, famous for the intensity and variability of the color of the leaves. Outwardly, in a potted format, it resembles thick, lush, but rather narrow bunches of long blades of grass – green fountains. It develops in the form of bumps and curtains. The ability to form sods and grow into cereal carpets and massifs is not lost even in the indoor format.
The rhizome is fibrous, horizontal, powerful, it consists only of adventitious roots. This is one of the most graceful indoor plants. The height of sedge, depending on the variety, ranges from 10 to 40 cm. With age, all plants produce longer leaves.
Grooved, narrow and long, the leaves of the plant are arranged in three rows, surprising with a closed reddish sheath and an unusual tongue on the vaginal joint. It is difficult to guess about the unpleasantly sharp edges of the leaves before touching them, but microscopic teeth often leave trauma and contact with clumps of this cereal – not improving the idea.
With a length of up to 30-40 cm in width, the leaves do not even reach 0,5 cm. They are quite tough, beautifully arched and droop, creating graceful silhouettes. Young leaves tend to grow very straight.
Sedges are durable evergreen cereals that do not die off in rooms for the winter. And growing fast enough. The rate of degeneration of curtains and the need for rejuvenation depend on the conditions and care. They are quite durable, but, like garden grains, they cannot do without rejuvenation.
In general, sedges require mandatory separation at least once every 1 years, but at the wrong temperatures, flowering or improper watering, they often lose their decorative effect more quickly.
Sedge flowering shoots are thin. They are almost indistinguishable in the turf before flowering and die off after fruiting. In indoor format, the plant rarely blooms. Thick and fluffy, the spikelets are hidden under the spinous veil of the bracts and are not particularly impressive in beauty.
Most often, dense spikelets are not allowed to form, since they are not very decorative. And sedge is grown only as a deciduous textural plant, and flowering always greatly damages the decorative foliage. Simple pruning of the flower stalks before the inflorescences appear allows you to keep the clumps consistently decorative.
Types and varieties of sedge for growing in rooms
Sedge, which is used for indoor format, is most often called simply – decorative sedge… But in fact, these are varieties of the most variegated and most adapted to the indoor format of the species – brownish sedge (Carex brunnea).
It is a very compact, stable and very diverse species, hundreds of varieties of which allow you to choose different color variations. This type of sedge is also called brown, graceful, graceful.
If a couple of decades ago, the only plant variety adapted to indoor culture was considered ‘Variegata’, then today sedge is represented by a large number of plants. Moreover, sedge varieties are usually nameless – they can be distinguished exclusively externally.
In addition to dark-leaved, rich green plants, there is sedge with a bright herbaceous, marshy and even anise-green color, yellow, white, chocolate or multicolored stripes on the leaves. It is worth choosing varietal plants for the interior and to your liking.
When choosing a sedge, do not rush: be sure to check if a particular plant is suitable for rooms. Indoor sedge is best found in flower shops. Garden seedlings in containers may look just as good, but they won’t be able to grow indoors. It is a big mistake to buy any sedge cuttings for the interior. Garden sedges should remain garden grains.
Very rarely on the shelves among indoor plants also comes across Oscar Morrow (Carex morrowii) Is an even more invulnerable species that is resistant to drought, but it degenerates much faster.
Growing conditions for house sedges
Finding a place in the house for sedge is not so easy. It requires a special status and the correct selection of temperatures and lighting, but it adapts much better to the conditions of living rooms than one would expect from such a garden cereal. Despite the love of coolness, leaving can compensate for its lack. True, not in winter.
Lighting and placement
Sedge does not like direct sun and strong shade. It adapts to all other conditions, sometimes partially or completely losing color in a stronger shade. For this indoor cereal, light places with diffused lighting and partial shade of varying intensity are quite suitable.
If varieties with variegated or colored leaves are grown, more intense light will be needed to preserve them. But even such plants cannot stand the direct sun.
If for sedge in winter to compensate for the reduction in lighting (rearrange the plants to more illuminated places or organize additional lighting), it may not go through the rest period at all and will only slow down its growth.
Sedge can be placed not only on window sills, it feels good on northern, eastern and western windows. A slight distance from the windows is quite acceptable, and in rooms with a southern orientation, sedge grows well in the middle zone of the room.
When choosing a place for sedge, it should be borne in mind that when grown in separate containers, it requires considerable space. In order for the sods to develop normally, to become only more luxuriant, they should not “rest” on either neighboring plants or walls.
Sedge is placed as a solo plant or in series in identical pots, placed in a row or in a group at a certain distance, giving each bush more space. It grows well on dressers and room dividers, together with coasters or furniture, it can be used to effectively delimit space.
Sedge is one of the best plants for group compositions – creating indoor flower beds and mixed plantings in large containers. It is used to shade the beauty of other plants, to place textural accents, but it should be borne in mind that sedge grows in breadth and not all neighbors can withstand its pressure. When planted in groups in wide and floor containers and in conservatories, sedge can also be used as a lush groundcover.
Temperature control and ventilation
The main secret of growing indoor sedge is a cool wintering. Temperatures around 10 degrees from November to February are the ideal environment for sedge conservation year after year. Permissible temperature deviations are from the minimum 8 degrees, which the plant can withstand to a maximum of 15 degrees Celsius.
At the same time, sedge does not require any other care – it changes only accordingly with changes in the rate of soil drying. With a warm winter, the plant inevitably quickly loses its decorative effect, the clumps begin to dry out. Even an increase in air humidity and ventilation will not stop this process. But when separating and separating healthy parts, transplanting into new soil, sedge is well restored.
During the period of active growth, from March to October, sedge thrives at all room temperatures. It grows more actively not in the heat and retains its decorative effect for much longer, but if all measures are taken to compensate and provide thorough care, it will not suffer even at elevated temperatures.
The ideal temperature range for growing this cereal is + 18 … + 22 degrees. But regular and frequent ventilation (or constant supply of fresh air) and increased humidity compensate for any heat.
Sedge is characterized by a dislike of drafts and a love of fresh air at the same time. The plant requires ventilation, regular and frequent, grows well in rooms with constantly ajar windows and is perfect for decorating balconies, terraces and garden recreation areas, provided that places with dim lighting are selected.
Even in winter, ventilation should be frequent. But to place sedge so that it is constantly exposed to air currents is still not worth it.
Caring for sedge at home
Sedge grows well in rooms, if watering for it is strictly controlled, it receives all the procedures it needs and the plant is constantly monitored. Sedge is not the best choice for beginners in floriculture, but with enough experience, there are few problems with it.
Watering and air humidity
Constant, stable, medium moisture content of the substrate is the main goal of caring for indoor sedge. Sedge reacts very badly to waterlogging of the soil, stagnant water in the pallets, constant dampness of the substrate, but drought is also destructive for it.
The leaves inevitably lose their decorativeness even with a slight drying out of the soil; they first dry out along the edge of the curtain. The drying process is fast enough and does not stop immediately.
Water the sedge so that only the upper layer of the substrate dries out partially. It is quite laborious to keep track of humidity all the time, so the plant is one of the candidates for growing in hydroponics and with automatic irrigation systems. Irrigation methods for sedge can be changed freely, she easily adapts to them.
But in ordinary pots, sedge can only be watered in the classical way. Immersion with the soaking of an earthen clod with water is unacceptable; sedge should not be confused with moisture-loving “swampy” grasses. The water in the trays should not stagnate for more than 5 minutes.
Unlike many indoor plants, for sedges, watering is almost not changed for the dormant period – the soil moisture should remain stable, the substrate is dried only a little more. But since the plant is cool under optimal conditions, the need for moisture is greatly reduced, and the frequency of watering is reduced to no more than 1 time per week.
Increased air humidity is not needed for sedge; it will not develop normally in tropical conditions. But in a room format, it is much more sensitive to extremely dry air. In the heat, when air conditioners or heating systems are operating, if there are signs of the beginning of drying of the tips of the leaves, it is better to include moisturizing measures in the care program.
Extremely dry air is especially dangerous during the winter. Regular spraying can be used for sedges, but do not opt for conventional sprayers. If water accumulates at the base of the leaves, the risk of decay will increase: this plant does not like getting wet, especially strong and constant.
It is better to use fog or fine spray than drip spray. You can simplify the care of room sedge by installing humidifiers – simple bowls with water, damp moss or pebbles around or additional pallets with any decorative damp materials. Sedge looks charming in the company of indoor fountains.
It is necessary to clean the leaves of sedge from dust very carefully. The best option is to gently shower with a finely dispersed nozzle that does not break sheet plates. The plants are kept at a strong slope with free flow of water from the tips of the leaves and the exclusion of wetting the base of the sod. Manual wiping of greenery inevitably leads to damage to the leaves.
Top dressing and composition of fertilizers
Sedge cannot grow without feeding, but excessive feeding is contraindicated for it. Fertilizers are applied only with water for irrigation, in a low concentration, from March to October. It is best to use half the dose of fertilizer, but fertilize every 2-3 weeks.
Only fertilizers with a balanced composition are suitable for sedge. When choosing preparations for a plant, it is worth looking for complex organomineral fertilizers containing all trace elements, and not just macronutrients.
Sedge pruning and shaping
Formation in the classical sense on sedge is not carried out, leaves and shoots are removed to the base. Partial pruning speeds up the drying of adjacent leaves. Usually pruning comes down to sanitary cleaning – removing dry or damaged leaves, but if the plant is affected by rot, then all affected parts of the curtains are cut off.
If you do not want some of the leaves to dry out and sedge lose their decorative effect, it is better to cut out flowering shoots as they appear. The exclusion of not too decorative flowering is the main measure of extending the decorativeness of the plant for maximum periods.
Transplant, containers and substrate
The transplant of this cereal is carried out in the spring, no later than the end of March. Sedge is usually replanted annually. But if she has not filled the entire space of the pot, this procedure can be postponed. The plant is not afraid of transplantation and recovers quite well, provided that all the rules of care after transplantation are observed.
Sedge can be transplanted only at the very beginning of active growth. The plant is transplanted before moving back to warmth – at the end of February or March.
Sedge, even in indoor format, should be grown in soil, the characteristics of which are as close as possible to the garden. The ideal option is to mix your own clay-sod soil with leaf (field or greenhouse) soil and add coarse sand to create the necessary looseness, and not use purchased substrates.
If sedge is planted in ready-made soil mixtures, then it is better to choose complex-component options with a good content of loosening additives. For any soil, additional application of sphagnum, perlite and vermiculite is preferable.
Acceptable pH values are from neutral to slightly acidic, from 5,0 to 7,0. Sedge grows well in partially inert and completely inert soil, in hydroponics in soilless substrates.
The sedge containers can be selected at your discretion. It grows well in hanging pots, in small pots, and in flower girls or large containers with other plants. The main thing is sufficient width, in excess of depth, and the presence of good drainage holes. Sedge is not demanding on container materials.
When transplanting, a high drainage layer is laid on the bottom of the containers. It is desirable to make it layer-by-layer – from large and finely fragmentary materials. The plant is transferred by placing it on a small mound of soil, carefully filling the voids. If sedge has not separated, it is better not to destroy the soil clod. The substrate should not be tamped heavily.
After transplantation, sedges are kept in partial shade in cool temperatures. Spraying, constant but light soil moisture will allow the plant to adapt faster. Top dressing for this crop is not renewed 6-7 weeks after transplanting (except for hydroponics).
Diseases, pests and problems in sedge cultivation
Indoor sedge very often suffers from rot, which threatens it with any waterlogging, but it cannot be called invulnerable to pests either. This cereal without spraying, when grown in very dry air, can suffer from both spider mites and scale insects.
It is better to fight rot with an emergency transplant with the removal of damaged parts of the curtains and a decrease in the moisture content of the substrate (until recovery). But pests can only be dealt with with insecticides and correction of care.
Separation remains the only breeding method for indoor sedge. This cereal needs quite frequent rejuvenation – separation every 3-5 years, so that new strong plants with high decorativeness can be obtained constantly. On too young bushes, it is not worth separating.
It is very simple to divide sedge bushes:
- the curtains are carefully freed from the substrate and examined;
- the bushes are cut into fairly large pieces with a powerful rhizome.
The standard for dividing sedges is the division of mature bushes into no more than 2-3 parts. When transplanting, damaged or dry parts of the sod are carefully separated, cleaning the plant and leaving only healthy, high-quality roots and shoots.
Planting is carried out according to the general rules, maintaining the level of burial and not too compacting the soil. Plants should be kept in partial shade, in soft light, with light soil moisture and frequent spraying.
Sedge can also be grown from seeds, but this method will not allow preserving the varietal characteristics of plants – the offspring will always be pure green. But on the other hand, it is also more adapted to the room format.
Sowing is carried out according to standard rules – with a light cover with soil, in containers, under film or glass. In indoor conditions in good light, plants develop quite quickly. Seedlings are very sensitive to waterlogging of the soil and its complete drying out.
Sedges dive after the appearance of the fifth leaf in small containers. You can stir sedges in groups to speed up their achievement of maximum decorative effect.