A Dramatic Tropical for the Pond

You last saw me post about this back on August 16–Foliage Follow-Up day.  But the picture I had there didn’t really give a sense of the scale of this tropical grass.  And since I’ve just repotted it for the third time (it was continuing to blow over in the slightest breeze because it had become too top-heavy in its last pot) I thought I’d post about what a remarkable plant it was.  It’s definitely one I’ll over-winter again for next year!

The tall plant in the background is the plant I’m really talking about–it’s cyperus papyrus King Tut, a Proven Winners plant that really has become a standout in the pond.  The frog adores it–it is his favorite basking place.  And the fish seem to enjoy nibbling around the pot and the roots too.

Its smaller cousin in the foreground, the umbrella plant, cyperus alternifolius, is one that I’ve wintered over 2 or 3 years now.  It gets pretty scraggly by the end of the winter and looks rather pathetic when it first hits the pond in the spring.

Water plants really need warm water to get going so I usually don’t even put them in until June or so but once the water warms they take off–and they can stay in the pond for quite some time in the fall because the water stays warm.  I leave them in until there’s a threat of a freeze, usually.

While these marginals are not great at filtering the water or preventing algae, their roots do provide some food for the fish–and King Tut’s pot has always been “Freddy,” the resident frog’s favorite basking and hunting spot, regardless of its size or position.  Even when it kept flipping on its side because the plant was top-heavy, I’d find Freddy perched on the plastic, astride the pot as if it were a mountain.

When a plant provides that much eye appeal (never mind entertainment for both me and the resident aquatic life) how can I not save it over for next year?

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