Mini cattails

Maggie4(4-5)October 12, 2005

I know this sound dumb but...are mini cattails hardy in zone4-5? Mine are in a pot at the edge of the pond. I can bring them inside but would like to leave them outside. Large cattails have deep roots so........ I'm not sure how to treat the mini's.


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Hermit_Canada(zone 3)

I have miniature (dwarf) Cattails. (Typha minima). I bought them for the first time this spring.
I was told that these dwarf cattails won't survive the winter freeze here outdoors.
Not wanting to risk losing them ... to freezing ... I bought a 50 gal rubbermaid stock tank ... and am over wintering them indoors. I also put my yellow iris pond plant in with them ... a bunch of hyacinths ... along with a few minnows and a dozen applesnails. I put a full spectrum dome grow light over them ... which I roll back and forth between the indoor wintering pond and the indoor bog pond. I also use a hi/low device to make raising and lowering the light super easy.
I brought them in at the end of August.
It's amazing ... the cattails are thriving beyond expectations. I should have at least double the numbers by spring. The yellow iris is proliferating so much ... I'm cutting back on it already ... and it too will at least double in number. The hyacinths are alive so far ... but have shrunk to half their size.
I "dump" about 14 gallons of water every 4 days from the indoor bog pond ... and replace it with water from the 100 gal rubbermaid stocktank indoor fish pond ... where I put my ryukin (red/white) fantails for the winter. The bog plants seem to love the fish water ... and I don't use any pumps, filters, etc in the bog plant pond.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 1:23PM
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rocket_ken(Seattle, WA)

Where did you manage to find Mini Cattails? I've been searching for a mail-order source for them.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 2:25PM
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bomber(6 MA)

I found my mini or dwarf cattails from the local nursery that specializes in water gardens. Hope that helps.

In addition, all that I've read says to contain them or they'll take over your bog. I have mine in a clay pot submerged in the bog. This is the first winter I'll have them, but I'm also zone 6.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2005 at 7:56AM
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I grow Typha minima outside on my roof in a large tub.
The species is from Siberia! So I would think that it would
survive your winter but you could divide it when it is big
and test one outside using a mulch cover. Mine die back and
are brown now. They will appear later in late Spring though
I have never really kept track.
I got mine years ago from
Forest Farm (in Oregon) Right now they are offerring T. laxmanii but email them to see if they have any T. minima available.
but I am sure that some aquatic nursery sells them.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 11:33PM
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Here's a good source (good in that I've had good luck with their plants in the past.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lilyblooms - dwarf cattail

    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 11:24AM
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I have two types of mini catails. Both of they stay in the pond during the winter and do fine since they are very hardy.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 1:00PM
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Hello Catfishsam

I am curious about your 2 kinds of mini cattails.
got any scientific names for them
how about images?
a variety of typha minima?
any info is appreciated.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 10:59PM
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terrestrial man, I bought mine at Walmart in one of those packages a couple of years back.

The larger one is typha minima. The smaller one is Typha latifolia minima. Lilypons says zones 6-11, but I am in a zone 5 and don't have any trouble growing it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dwarf Cattail

    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 10:24AM
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terrestrial man, I think I told you wrong. After looking at that link to the Drawf Cattail, I think it is really typha minima.

The miniature one that I have is really tiny and only gets 8-12 inches tall. It puts on catkins really early in the summer. It is probably half the size of the typha minima. I haven't run across a picture though.

The Encyclopedia of Ornamental Grasses by John Greenlee refers to it as Typhia sp. "Miniature" and does show a picture.

Sorry I couldn't find a link to it. I suspect the growers are just dumping it in with typha minima.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 10:58AM
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Hello catfishsam!
Very interesting!
How are you growing your two plants.
In pots or in the ground.
Also when do they flower? At the same time or??
got any images?

If you plan on dividing up your smaller plant I would definitely like to get a piece to grow.

I think the plant has been mis-ided.
If it was a T. latifolia it would revert back to a taller
plant eventually. I have seen T. latifolia growing in the
local mountain in the crevises between rocks in flowing
creeks and these plants tended to be very small maybe around
a couple of feet. That is short for a T. latifolia but if you took that plant out of that severe habitat and grew it
in a pot and gave it proper cultivation then it would get

I would tend to think that you have a T. minima sport though
it would be impossible to know if it is a legitimate variety as the records if any would be from Russia where the
species originates.

Definitely divide up your smaller version of a mini-cattail.
And grow as many as you can. It has good market potential for small container water gardens that sit on an outdoor patio! You could use it to trade on other water plants from retailers!

So let me know about being able to get a piece of the plant from you. Much thanks.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 9:56PM
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terrestrial man, I am not sure where I put my two types of small cattails. I have some growing in pots in the pond and then some that are growing in sunken tubs. I also grow narrow leaf and broadleaf cattails.

The drawf cattail has short fat catkins, but the miniature as long narrow catkins, similar to narrow leaf cattails, except for only being about an inch long. The catkins didn't stay on the miniature plants very long like they do on most cattails.

I didn't take any pictures of them when they had catkins on them.

I will take some pictures when they put on catkins. The miniture cattail puts on catkins much earilier than the drawf type.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2006 at 11:27AM
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Hello catfishsam,
Thanks for the feedback.
I will have to image my plants as well when they flower.
I think they have the short fat catkins but I seem to
recall some oblong ones as well???? I think my plants
are under 2 feet tall. I will just have to get my measuring
stick out and check them out once they grow back out.
Here are images I googled

fat catkins

oblong catkins

The oblong ones may be the sport!!!?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2006 at 1:50PM
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terrestrial man, those pictures look like the two types of small cattails that I have.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2006 at 3:53PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Here is a great mail order source for pond/bog plants.

I've been to their nursery many, many times.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mini Cattails at Hughes Water Gardens

    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 10:51PM
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I am growing the dwarf cattail in a container on my patio, and it is doing great. However...the catkins are going to seed, and it is only July 2!! Anyone know if their 'bloom' season is really so short? Should I dead-head catkins starting to go to seed? Would doing so get them to bloom again??

    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 12:07AM
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Jake, the drawf cattails put on catkins really early, some even in June. Even if you dead-head them, they will not put on more catkins.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 3:57PM
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