All about papyrus

Papyrus is a plant that wants a lot of water

Image - Wikimedia / pjt56 -

This is a plant that has seen the birth and death of one of the first civilizations (some experts say it was the first) on Earth: that of Ancient Egypt. Growing on the banks of the longest river in the world, the Nile, it was used by the Egyptians to make the first role of the world, and as a consequence, also the first book. But in addition, it was also used to make boats, which could travel short distances and were very useful for making short transports. Not long after they began to make wooden boats, but they always used this plant to write their history.

El papyrus, whose scientific name is Cyperus papyrus, it is a plant highly sought after by those who are attracted by the history of Egypt, but also by those who wish to have a different aquatic plant in their ponds.

Origin and characteristics of papyrus

Papyrus is an easy-to-grow plant

Image - Flickr / Bernard DUPONT

El papyrus It is a rhizomatous semi-aquatic herbaceous plant that grows to a height of 2-3 meters. Its leaves, seen from afar, they look like pompoms of ballerina that grow upwards and then fall slightly. The whole plant is a lovely grass green color. It blooms during the summer, producing very small flowers grouped in yellow-brownish inflorescences. Its growth is very fast if it has the right conditions, and somewhat slower if it lacks water or the climate is too cold for it.

In gardening it can be used as a pond plant, but it will look just as good in a pot or in the middle of the lawn, as long as it has direct light, as it does not grow well in semi-shade. It can also be kept indoors as long as it has good natural light.

What is the care of the papyrus plant?

If you dare to have a copy of Cyperus papyrus, we recommend that you provide the following care. You will see that it really is a very grateful plant:


It is a plant that must be abroad preferably, in an area exposed to the sun directly. In any case, it must also be said that it can live in semi-shade as long as it is in a bright place.

On the other hand, it will be a good indoor plant if a lot of natural light enters the room it is in.

Soil or substrate

  • the garden: the land must be rich in organic matter, with good drainage.
  • Flower pot: the substrate to use can be the universal substrate for plants that sell for example No products found..


Papyrus grows fast

Image - Wikimedia / Liné1

Irrigation must be frequent. We cannot forget that it is a plant that lives on the banks and on the banks of rivers, so its water needs are high. In fact, daily watering may be necessary if the weather is very dry and hot, especially if it is being cultivated in a pot since in a container the soil takes less time to dry out. It is even a good idea to choose to put a plate under the pot.


During the entire growing season (spring and summer) it is very interesting to fertilize the papyrus regularly every 7 to 10 days. For this, preferably organic fertilizers will be used, following the indications specified on the product packaging to avoid an overdose. The most recommended are guano, for its rapid effectiveness, and chicken manure as long as it is as dry as possible or is bought ready to use (here! they're selling this).


It reproduces either by plant division, or cutting a stem -with flowers- and putting it in a bucket with water upside down; that is, with the leaves submerged.

The method of reproduction by seeds sown in seedbeds is not recommended, as it is quite complicated, first to get those seeds and after they germinate. The viability period is very short.

Planting or transplanting time

Spring is a good time to plant it in the garden, or to change it to a larger pot if necessary.. But how do you know if your plant needs more space? Its roots are not invasive, so when they occupy the entire container, the only thing that will happen is that it will stop growing.

But that is precisely the detail in which you will have to guide yourself, since once it has occupied the entire pot, it is when it will need more space. Anyway, and this I tell you from my own experience, nothing will happen if you have a papyrus in a pot of about 50 centimeters in diameter and it does not grow any more, do not worry because it will be fine. You can if you want to cut off some stems, but boy, don't you have to.

Rusticity of papyrus

Papyrus flowers are brown

It can withstand very mild frosts down to -2ºC, but it will live better if grown in climates with temperatures above 10 degrees. During cold winters, the leaves and stems are likely to wilt, but will sprout again in spring (except in severe frosts).

What did you think of the papyrus plant?

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  1.   Jim said

    Hello, I have a potted papyrus near a window and I have noticed that some of its plumes are turning a little yellow. Please tell me what can I do ... and especially how often should I water it or if I should apply any fertilizer? Thank you very much for your answer.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Jim.
      Have you noticed if those yellow plumes are the ones closest to the window? If so, I would recommend moving the papyrus away from it a bit, as it could be burning.
      If not, you may just be getting old. This is completely normal, and you shouldn't worry.
      As for watering, it must be very, very frequent. Keeping it indoors, I recommend watering it every 2 or 3 days.
      You can fertilize it in spring and summer with a universal fertilizer for plants, or with liquid organic fertilizers such as guano, following the specific indications on the container.
      A greeting.

  2.   Macarena said

    Hello, I have a papyrus and it has dry stalks and dead yellow that I must leave it or cut them and I must cut them as I should.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Macarena.
      If they are dry, you can cut them with scissors, making the cut as low as you can.
      A greeting.

  3.   Marianela Castillo placeholder image said

    Hello, good morning, my name is Marianela ,,, I saw some papyri on the bank of a river ,, with a tool cut a good piece with the roots, I brought it home and planted it ,,,, when I came in the car noticed that the leaves were already sad and withered ,,, anyway I put them in the pot and they are very ugly ,,, the withered leaves and chocolates. I water them almost every day, but nothing…. I don't have them so exposed to the sun… .. the temperature is a bit hot.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Marianela.
      Have you had them long? At first it is normal that the leaves get ugly, and that it even runs out of them, but usually shoots tend to come from the roots themselves.
      If you can, get powdered rooting hormones and sprinkle a little on the surface; then water.
      Another option is to make rooting hormones with lentils. Here we explain how.
      A greeting.

  4.   daniella said

    Hello I have a papyrus a week ago and it turned yellow and dry ... as if it was dying. … .They came all together so I separated it into 3 and added new soil… is next to a window inside the house …… it lacks water? what kind of land do you use? acidic earth?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Daniella.
      Papyrus needs frequent watering, but if it is indoors it is better to let 2 or 3 days pass before watering again.
      If you can, get powdered rooting hormones or make with lentils (here! explains how), and waters with them.
      A greeting.

  5.   jhonnatan said

    halo look is that I have a papyro in a pot and it gets direct sun but the earth dries up and I put it in a valde with a little water it does not cover the pot and it is uncovered from the bottom in bad or good

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Jhonnatan.
      Papyrus needs always moist soil, so if it has a plate or something under it in the hottest season, it will do well.
      A greeting.

  6.   Adriana said

    Hello, I have papyri in a flowerbed and it reproduces very quickly taking up a lot of space, the rods that I have cut leave compact roots that prevent the plant from developing well, how should its maintenance be? And if I remove those remains with a shovel, how to do it so as not to damage the plant? Thank you very much for your help

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Adriana.
      The roots will eventually wither; in doing so they will decompose and become compost for the earth and also for papyrus. It is not necessary to cut them.
      A greeting.

  7.   simon said

    I would like to know what benefits it brings to the home because I read that it was very good but I don't remember very well.
    Thank you

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Simon.
      According to Feng Shui, it attracts good luck, but of course, it has not been scientifically proven.
      A greeting.

  8.   Stefania said

    Hi there! My papyrus has red spots. The place where it is is in a corner of the patio. In the summer it gets the sun but now in winter not much. What can I do to cure it?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Stefania.
      For prevention and so that the thing does not go to more, I recommend treating it with a systemic fungicide. This will eliminate the fungi that are probably affecting you.
      A greeting.

  9.   Yenny said

    Hello, my papyri are planted outside the house on the ground but I must perform maintenance on the facade of the house just where they are planted. Can the papyri be uprooted and planted elsewhere temporarily or do they die? Thanks

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Yenny.
      They can be taken out in spring with a good earth bread and put them somewhere else, no problem 🙂. To do this, you have to make trenches about 30-35cm deep, and remove it with a shovel using a little lever.
      A greeting.

  10.   Ana Maria Maria Valdata said

    Hello Monica! I found out that I can reproduce my papyri by cutting and placing the plume in a bowl of water. I did it but with no luck. Do the plumes have to have any special characteristics? Long rooting delay? Thanks!

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Ana Maria.
      No, they are not cut 🙂. What you have to do is simply take them from the plume in summer and bury it in the ground. After a few weeks the sprouts will start to emerge.
      A greeting.

  11.   Carlos Andrade Vergara said

    They gave me a papyrus my query could this be as a houseplant?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi carlos.
      Yes, it can be indoors without problem, but it must give it plenty of light.
      A greeting.

  12.   elvira said

    Hello, the papyri that I bought, I cultivated it in soil and in a pot and they have always died and mosquitoes easily hit it, what should I do to make it stick and grow? I love papyri. Thank you

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Elvira.
      Plant it in a pot with universal growing substrate mixed with 20 or 30% perlite.
      You have to water it a lot, preventing it from drying out, but it is also important that it does not have a plate under it, as it could rot.
      A greeting.

  13.   David said

    I have a pairo in my indoor garden where it grew abundant and the first ones began to dry but it had other new shoots that makes it stay well, but outside in the outer garden I plant another one that did not develop much and the plumes are turning yellow ( there are four stems)

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello david.
      If you are in the northern hemisphere, that is, in winter, it is likely that the one you have outside is getting ugly due to the cold. In that case, I would recommend protecting it with a transparent plastic, and avoid overwatering, only twice a week at most.
      A greeting.

  14.   ellen said

    Thank you for your wonderful advice, you can read the comments you make to others, I found the answer to my question and I will perform the transplant of my beautiful papyrus, thank you very much for serving others in this way, God Bless you.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Elena.
      I'm glad to read that the tips help you.
      Greetings and happy week!

  15.   Marilu said

    Hello, I have a papyrus in the garden but it is reproducing too much and invades other plants, what can I do to contain it? Thanks

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Marilu.
      My advice is to make trenches about 40-50cm deep (the more the better) and put an anti-rhizome mesh. You will find it for sale in nurseries and garden stores.
      So your papyrus cannot be extended any further.
      A greeting.

  16.   Maria Luisa said

    Hello, I have some papyri planted in a pot in full sun.
    Are they going to be good for me?
    How often should I water them? (As in some parts it appears that it is an aquatic plant, I am somewhat confused)
    Thank you very much!
    Maria Luisa

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Maria Luisa.
      Papyri can grow well in pots, if they are in full sun as I see to be the case 🙂.
      They must be watered frequently, preventing the soil from drying out.
      A greeting.

  17.   Beatriz said

    I have a papyrus where it has all the conditions to grow, but two days ago my dog ​​accidentally fell on the plant and its branches broke. What can I do to make it grow again?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Beatriz.
      It is enough that you cut where they are broken, and continue to provide the same care. New stems will sprout soon.
      A greeting.

  18.   Mario said

    Hello I have a papyrus in my garden but it does not come out much, it has a barite it did not open well and another barite is just coming out but it takes a long time to come out and where I have it the sun hits little and most of it shade that I can do so that it comes out more papyrus

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Mario.
      Papyrus needs a lot of sun and a lot of water in order to grow well. So if you can take it to a place where it gives it more light, it will certainly grow better.
      A greeting.

  19.   Nora said

    My «dwarf» Papyrus is in a small pot, the stems have grown (they are 50 cm.) And they are bent. How can I fix it to get the pot back with the short stems, what should I do

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Nora.
      Where do you have it? Plants often grow too much looking for light. These stems, being weak, bend very easily.
      Therefore, if you have it in a place where it is shaded or semi-shaded, my advice is to put it in an area where it is directly exposed to sunlight.
      A greeting.

  20.   Varo said

    Hello, I had some very nice papyri, but a few months ago they became more brittle and did not grow anymore, until they died. Pull out the root and notice little worms inside that had ground it up, like termites. How do I avoid that? is there a natural method or insecticide recommended?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Varo.
      For worms you can use the insecticide Cypermethrin 10%, both to prevent them and to eliminate them.
      A greeting.

  21.   mogar said

    Hello. Everything is explained very well, but you know that I have a beautiful giant papyrus on the ground next to an asequia, the issue is that I must put things on it to hold them because they grow sideways. It is terrible to see it like that because it does not look orderly and it takes up space due to the size of the stems and covers about 2 to 3 meters of pass. Why don't they grow straight? What should i do? Thanks i wait answer.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Mogar.
      Papyri do not grow upright, but lie down a little because of their weight.
      You can put stakes on it to keep them straight.
      A greeting.

  22.   Lucy said

    Thanks for your advice Monica. I have some papyri in an indoor garden and they really are a wonderful ornamental piece, really beautiful… they have not required more care to date. My question is what plants can I put near them that combine well with them and do not alter the harmony of those impressive stems? Greetings and thanks again.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Lucy.
      Papyrus is a plant that combines well with short plants, such as croutons, Canna indica, geraniums, and the like.
      A greeting.

  23.   Mario said

    Good morning Monica, I just bought some cyperus papyrus and I want to put them in my mini pond that I have in Boalo, near Manzanares el Real in Madrid, I have already had papyri other times of other varieties and they have always died, I don't know if due to the cold of winter, the substrate or being in the water since I have always had them inside the pond, in a pot completely covered with water and with about 3 fingers of water above the edge
    from the pot, as I have read that they live on the margins or even in water. When I put them on, they hardly grow anything and they endure like this until the winter that they die. They are supposed to sprout again in spring but nothing at all.

    What do you think is the problem?
    Thank you very much in advance.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Mario.
      I think the problem is the cold. They are plants that do not support it very well. At -3ºC it is easy for damage to occur; even mine (I live in the south of Mallorca, in a town where there are occasional frosts of -1ºC) can have a bit of a bad time if the temperatures are kept low for a long time.
      For this reason, I would recommend having them in pots, or even in those large buckets that bricklayers use, which are like rubber. You can put them if you want limestone soil mixed with cultivation substrate, or substrate alone, and when the time comes it will be easier for you to protect them from the cold.
      A greeting.

  24.   Mario said

    So it is not because of having them in the water because their roots can rot, right? Can I put them as I have always had them in pots but into the water and take them out when winter comes?

    Thank you.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Mario.
      No, it is not because of the water. Keeping them in pots and taking them out of the pond when temperatures drop is ideal in these cases.
      A greeting.

  25.   Ramon said

    I have a papyrus in a large pot and I would like to know at what time or season of the year I should remove suckers to a new pot. to continue playing. Right now we are in winter in Chile.
    Thank you.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Ramon.
      Papyrus sprouts suckers in spring and summer. When they are about 10cm tall they can be separated.
      A greeting.

  26.   Luciana Red said

    Hello, I read all your comments regarding your papyri, I have a huge one in a tub with only water and stones and in another tub I have turtles and the stones and roots serve as a filter for the water of my turtles and with the waste the Paipiro and they have no idea of ​​what has grown, and when I see a slightly yellow stem I cut it and submerge the pompon in water and in a week or a little more it already has new shoots and from there I make another plant if I could send you a serious photo great Greetings to all. (ah my papyrus is the star papyrus also it is full of flowers)

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Luciana.
      It sure will be beautiful 🙂
      You can upload a photo to tinypic (or another image hosting website) and copy the link here. If you have questions, ask and we will help you.
      A greeting.

  27.   Ali Salt said

    Hello, you know I have a papyrus in a pot, with substrate, it was very nice almost the whole year, but now all his new children have no hair, they are only stems and I am very sorry, I do not know what to do

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Ali.
      Where are you from? I ask you because if you are in winter now, it is normal for it to get a bit ugly.
      If you are in summer, water it daily. In the event that you have never changed it pot, it is important to do so so that it can continue to grow.
      A greeting.

  28.   CLAUDIA said

    All your comments have helped me a lot, I had a beautiful and huge papyrus in my house, I took it with me and transplanted it in my new house, it is difficult for me to get the same, I will take into account everything you have commented so that it returns to grow as beautiful as I was.THANK YOU

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Little by little it will surely improve.
      Anyway, if you have any doubts, ask.
      a greeting

  29.   Jessica said

    Hello, I have 2 potted papyri and the 2 pots are with worms, I don't know what to do to eliminate them, please help

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Jessica.
      You can eliminate the worms with Cypermethrin 10%.
      A greeting.

  30.   Javier said

    Hello, a while ago I bought 2 papyrus in pots, one is giving many shoots, the other when I bought it was very nice, in a couple of months the tips began to turn yellow and I cut them, after that no more shoots have come out in 3 weeks despite watering it daily.
    and the other thing is that I did not understand very well how to reproduce it.
    thank you!

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Javier.
      Sometimes it takes a little longer to recover. Continue watering it daily during the warm months and decrease the frequency of watering the rest of the year and it will end up taking out new shoots.

      To multiply it you have to take a stem and submerge the leaves in water, leaving a part of what is green stem outside the container.

      A greeting.

  31.   stephanie blackberry said

    Hello, everything I have read is very useful, I have learned a lot, now I need to know why most plants have to be transplanted in spring? Is it bad if I do it in summer ???

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Stephanie.
      It is recommended to transplant in spring because in summer the plants are in full growth, and if they are removed from the pot they can be damaged.
      Papyrus is a strong plant that you can transplant in summer.
      A greeting.

  32.   sonia silva said

    I have some papyri in a pot, they are beautiful, but they have been bending until they break. For example today 3 woke up on the ground :(.
    Will the ratio of water v / s temperatures be very high?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Sonia.
      It could be, certainly. How often do you water them? These plants need a lot of water, but without excess.
      A greeting.

  33.   Natalia said

    Hello, I have the papyrus in a pot and the earth turned white as powder, the roots too. The same I observed in two more potted plants, a pine dried up. What will be the problem? Thanks

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Natalia.
      From what you count, it looks like they have fungus.
      You can sprinkle copper or sulfur on the surface of the soil and water. Repeat after 15-20 days.
      A greeting.

  34.   Christian head said

    Hello, I have been growing this type of plants for a couple of years, and I can tell you that it is a plant that requires a lot of water, hopefully almost stagnant, in my area winter is very cold, (sometimes it even snows) in that period its stems they dry up but they sprout again in spring summer with greater force, the important thing is the amount of water, which they need and, must be in full sun, they are not attacked by almost any insects, it could be that they do not present major phyto- problems. sanitary, they only require water and sun, the important thing is to eliminate the dry stems, to give growth to the new ones, as I said previously, stagnant and chlorine-free water is their ideal food.

  35.   Marjorie morales said

    Hello, excuse me for bothering you, they gave me some papyri a while ago
    I was beautiful but my husband closed and they stayed inside the house, the bushes are green but the ponpon is drying, what can I do? The new guides that are growing are drying. What can I do? Thanks in advance

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Marjorie.
      Water them frequently in summer (daily), and every 2-3 days the rest of the year.
      A greeting.

  36.   Maria said

    Hello Monica. They just gave me 4 papyrus to plant in my yard. I have a small parterre area 40 cm wide by about 2,5 m long and I would like to plant them in a line. My question is what distance do I have to leave between them so that they grow well. Right now they come in a pot with an approximate diameter of 25-30 cm. And if I want to intersperse them with another lower floor, how should I do it? Thanks!

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Maria.
      Considering that they are 2,5 meters long, they will look great if you plant them at a distance of about 30-35 centimeters more or less.

      I do not recommend planting anything else, since the papyri grow very fast and would end up 'suffocating' the smallest plants.


  37.   Aveil said


    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Aveil.
      You can treat it with some universal insecticide. Anyway, can you send us any pictures to see our Facebook? So we can help you better.

  38.   Victor Merida said

    Hello, I have a papyrus and I want it to grow in a specific direction, which surrounds a part of my garden, how do I make it grow like this?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Victor.

      Papyrus is not a plant that you can guide. What you can do is leave the stems that come out of one side, and remove the other if you are not interested.


  39.   sergio nick said

    it is a beautiful plant. and for all environments. It is a matter of environment. The whole plant is surrounded by legend and mystery

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Sergio.

      It is very adaptable, yes. As long as it does not lack water, it will grow well.


  40.   Nicole said

    Hello, query I have a papyrus and the stems bent, why does that happen?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi nicole.

      It may be that they lack light. These plants need sun so that their stems are strong and can stand straight. For this reason, if you have it in shade or semi-shade, I recommend moving it to an area with more clarity.

      And in case it is not that, write to us.


  41.   Haydee Gamba said

    It was very useful to me and I hope that when I apply the advice you gave me it will work for me and I can wear the Egyptian papyri.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Haydée.

      Thanks a lot. We hope you enjoy your plants.