Papyrus Plants

Papyrus Plants
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Expert Guide on Growing and Caring for Papyrus Plants

Cyperus Papyrus has various names, such as Nile grass, Paper Reed, Papyrus Sedge, Indian Matting Plant, or Papyrus. In this article, you’ll learn about papyrus plant care and growing tips.

Well, Papyrus is a special type of aquatic flowering plant, commonly found flourishing along streams, rivers, lakes, and swamps. Belongs to the Cyperaceae family, it was commonly grown in tropical regions of Africa near the Nile River, and more recently, they have become highly cultivated as ornamental houseplants.

The papyrus plant is considered a hardy plant with grassy leaves, like triangular umbrella stems, spreading. This is why it is also known as an umbrella plant. However, Growing papyrus indoors in water is also very easy by adding it to a water or rain garden. The grassy heads and tall stems of the plant can fill any garden area in your lawn. Let’s see what tips to follow for growing and caring for papyrus plants.

papyrus plant care

Quick Detail of Papyrus Plant

Other Common NamesPapyrus Plant , Papyrus Sedge, Nile Grass, and Indian Matting plant
MaintenanceLittle annual care
LightFull, partial
Water Thrives in wet soil  but avoid overwatering
TemperatureRange between 10°C / 50°F to 22°C / 72°F
SoilMoist, loamy soil
FertilizerAcidic, neutral, alkaline
Common DiseasesRust fungus
Scientific NameCyperus papyrus

Papyrus Plant Buying Instructions

Papyrus is typically potted in the spring from nursery-grown plants. It flourishes faster to achieve its adult stature. This makes papyrus plant care easy as well as ideal for potting as an annual in areas where it is not hardy.

Overview of Papyrus Plant

Papyrus plant is related to the family of Cyperus Genus, having 600+ species across the world. This specific variety of papyrus is a wonderful companion to other aquatic plants, such as lilies and lotuses, that are grown in a water garden, creating an exotic vibe. 

The plant is a robust and tall herbaceous perennial that can grow to 13–16 feet tall and 2–4 feet wide. They produce high stands of grass-like vegetation in shallow water. 

Their thick, woody roots produce clumps of triangular-shaped stems called rhizomes. Each erect spire is ornamented with a thick cluster of shiny, green, slender, hair-like stems, 10 to 30 cm lengthy, that look like the ribs of an open umbrella. This plant bears nut-like, dark brown fruits once their flourishing duration ends.

papyrus plant care

History of Papyrus Plant

Papyrus plant paper, one of the ancient forms of paper, also called Egyptian paper reed, played a crucial role in written record keeping during ancient times. Ancient Egyptians also used their stems to produce toys, sandals, cloth, boats, and sails.

papyrus plant care

Varieties of Papyrus Plant

Before planning to pot a variety of papyrus plants, you will need to pick the average tallness of the following varieties:

  • Baby Tut – Dwarf cultivators of the Papyrus plant, baby tut usually flourishes 1 to 2 feet tall. If you are planning to grow papyrus plants indoor, consider potting this variety.
  • King Tut – Papyrus’s this version tends to flourish only 4 to 6 feet tall. If you are growing papyrus indoors in water, you may opt for this variety since it’s a best-suited backdrop plant for a water garden with a lake or pond. 
  • Umbrella Sedge – This cultivator grows between 3 to 5 feet tall. To add more tallness to your garden or water area, you may prefer this variety of papyrus.
  • 3. Nanus – Another dwarf variety of Papyrus plant. 3. Nanus is compact and can flourish up to 3 feet.

Usage and Advantage of Papyrus Plant

There are multiple uses for the papyrus plant. Some of them include the following:

1. Papyrus Plant in Water Garden

Adding Papyrus plants to a rain or water garden is one of the common usages. This plant fills your open space since it has grassy heads and tall stems. Also, you can use them as a centerpiece by pairing them with a row of flowers or aquatic flowers like a lotus.

2. Papyrus plant in a container

Potting papyrus plant in container is one of the best ways to serve Papyrus as an ornamental plant indoors. You can either use a small or a large pot, based on the size and variety of papyrus plants. As stated above, even though Papyrus plant care is minimal, be sure to water your plant regularly.

3. Papyrus plant in a rain garden

A rain garden is a spot that collects rainwater. Being a water variety, your plant flourishes well in a rain garden. Other uses: Papyrus plant paper nowadays is used by most artists and calligraphers for various projects. Further, since papyrus is an edible plant, it can be consumed cooked or raw.

Papyrus Plant Caring and Growing Tips

Papyrus is one aquatic flowering plant easily submerged in shallow water. But, in the case of papyrus plant indoors that is planted as solely potted plants in a yard, keep them consistently moist. Pots can be moved to a greenhouse or sunroom to overwinter at the end of the season if planted in winter or if potted in colder regions. So, let’s check what factors to consider when it comes to papyrus plant care:


Both sunny and half-shade locations are enough to let Papyrus thrive well. In papyrus plant care, providing enough sunlight is the leading factor. If you move potted plants indoors for the winter, give them a bright spot. The best location may be a greenhouse or sunroom, although a sunny window or door to a bright patio will also be sufficient.


Papyrus demands boggy, moist soil. If treated as a perennial plant, it is best resting in soils with a coat of trivial water along the margins of marshes or ponds. If you want to keep papyrus plant in a container, it’s best to grow them in pots filled with organic peat-based potting soil. Ensure it can be immersed in a large container/vessel filled with water.

Humidity and Temperature:

Papyrus plant care also includes providing the right temperature and humidity. Being a native plant of Subtropical and Tropical Africa, it is best to grow Papyrus plants in sunny, warm temperatures. But, if you do move potted plants indoors during the winter, be sure they will be kept in cooler conditions for this certain period of time, around 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit.


Every type of soil is perfect for growing papyrus plants, whether it is loam, clay, or sand. When it comes to container growing, this plant grows well in commercial potting mix, but don’t forget to add some more organic matter. In the early stages, feed them with a balanced liquid fertilizer at half the suggested amount. But later, regular feeding with a fertilizer watered down to 1/2 strength is required once a month.

Pest and other problems for the Papyrus Plant

While performing papyrus plant care, make sure that your plant should be kept away from serious diseases and pests. Although papyrus plants are not prone to serious issues, they can get rust fungus. This fungus appears as discoloration and spots on the stems and leaves of the plant. Thankfully, this can be treated with neem oil. Otherwise, you can spray with baking soda or chemical insecticides.

Papyrus Plant Propagation

 Propagation means expanding the benefits of a plant as well as maintaining its growth. Papyrus plants are difficult to grow from seed, but mature plants are easy to dig up. You can propagate your plant by removing rhizomes in groups of 2 to 3. Replant the clusters and plant them as baby plants.

Pro tip: To propagate papyrus, prefer the spring season.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you take care of a paper reed?

Use Organic rich soil.
Annually with natural organic feed
Keep soil moist.
Kept in a location that stays wet all year.

What is a reed of paper?

Paper reed, also called Cyperus Papyrus, is an aquatic flowering plant that belongs to the sedge family, Payprus.

Where does paper reed grow?

Usually, a paper reed is grown as an ornamental plant. In a natural environment, it often grows in flooded swamps, in full sun, and on lake boundaries throughout the Mediterranean, Madagascar, and African countries.

What is a reed plant used to make paper?

A writing material, papyrus, from which we get the modern word paper, is related to the papyrus plant. It is cultivated in marshy areas across the Nile River.

Why are the tips of my papyrus plant turning brown?

Papyrus ends are likely to turn brown from too much sun exposure and too little water. Although plants may grow organically well in sun-drenched areas, those not attuned to the harsh rays will show symptoms of environmental shock and sun-scorching.

Why is papyrus a very special plant?

Since papyrus served as a writing base, most calligraphers and artists used it. It is made from the papyrus plant.

What is the papyrus plant used for?

An important use of the papyrus plant is its writing surface, made from strips of pith found inside the stalk laid in layers and dried under pressure.

Priyanka Gangwani

Priyanka Gangwani

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