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June 4, 2018

Host: Gary Bachman, Ornamental Horticulture Specialist


I find myself looking for more unusual and not so ordinary plants for my home landscape today on Southern Gardening.

One that always creates a bit of a stir and generates the question, “What is that plant? It’s an old plant called papyrus. Papyrus is similar to that grown by the ancient Egyptians to make paper. Papyrus is easy to grow and has few pests. There are selections suitable for use in Mississippi landscapes. King Tut has a regal and exotic six foot tall presence in the garden; provide plenty of room for the large pendulous leaves. There are a couple of smaller papyrus choices, Prince Tut and Baby Tut. Both are fun plants and will not overwhelm a smaller space. Grow Prince Tut in a large 15-gallon container is perfect for displaying the sturdy three foot plant. I’m currently growing smallest selection called Baby Tut, which is less than 2 feet tall. I grow Baby Tut in an iron cauldron in a couple of inches of water. All three feature green stems topped by an umbrella-like inflorescence with 100’s of thread-like rays. Papyrus generally aren’t winter hardy. In Mississippi in zones 8 and 9 usually King Tut will usually die back to the ground. Prince and Baby Tut must be protected, hence the reason for growing in containers. I consider just treating them as annuals and buy a plant or two each year; the rate of growth and that unique texture is worth it.

I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I hope you join me next time on Southern Gardening.

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