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Horsetail reeds for shade?

Posted by dietze4 Zone5 (My Page) on
Fri, Apr 10, 09 at 22:25

Hi all, I have a question for the reed experts out there. I found (in a sunny vacant lot) a small stand of horsetail reeds and would like to plant them into containers in a shaded area. Some sites claim this reed grows in shade. Does anyone have real world experience growing this in shade?

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RE: Horsetail reeds for shade?

I have some experience with our native Equisetum hyemale, as well as the giant Equisetum.
I grow both in containers - E. hyemale above ground, E. giganteum below ground. Of the
two, the in-ground container tends to shoot up new spears about three weeks before the above
ground container. Incidentally, both are shooting right now, and the new growth is thick!

My E. hyemale was collected from a shady alder grove at about 5000' elevation. Now, however,
I grow it in a bit more sun - dappled light beneath oak and birch. The giant Equisetum grows
in the shade of several redwood trees. I think that these reeds will grow taller in the shade
(as they search for light), and more compact in the sun.

Also, Horsetail reeds can be grown in regular potting mix, with regular drainage. They don't
need standing water - in fact, I think they do better without it. I use a lot of small
gravel and perlite and pine bark in my potting mix, to simulate the roadsize drainage-ditch
conditions that Horsetail loves. I use Alaska brand fish emulsion to fertilize every few
waterings during the growing season.

If you want pics - type "horsetail" into the search box. I've littered this Forum with images.


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