How to grow Cattails?

Discussion in 'Plant Propagation' started by joejive, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. joejive

    joejive Member

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    How do you transplant cattail? Or, how do you grow them from wild seed?
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    First, find a cat that needs one?
     
  3. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Har har, Michael! You'd know them as Bullrushes.

    You're talking about Typha spp, yes? I'll assume you have a pond margin you want to grow them in.

    Go dig up some of the wild ones - make sure you get the rhizome (rooty-looking stuff). Then plant them in your pond margin. Voila, you've got Cattails. They're pretty hardy, and apart from the hassle of actually mucking out the wild ones, fairly easy to transplant. They'll start reseeding themselves once you've got them established.

    I've only ever done it this way; I've never tried to set them from seed. If you want to try seed, you can collect it when the catkins go "poof" and produce their grey-white seed fluff.

    The same can be said for transplanting Calamus (Acorus calamus), or Scirpus rushes, or in fact any of the rushes in general.
     
  4. flytrap

    flytrap Active Member

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    I've got some variegated dwarf cattails for trade. I'm interested in other pond margin plants, bromeliads, orchids, carnivorous plants and live frogs :-)
     
  5. koipondgardener

    koipondgardener Active Member

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    I would hesitate to put cattails in your yard voluntarily.
    There is a Best Western hotel where I live and they put cattails in a large circle in the middle of the lawn (landscaping I guess).They had a lawn barrier to prevent spreading but, this spring they have come up three and four feet away from the original spot even with the barrier.
    Not only do they spread by rhizomes but they also set seed to spread at an even quicker pace. If you must have them the only ways to control them is to either keep the surrounding ground they live in bone dry and keep the seed heads cut back before the birds get to them. Or, treat it like running bamboo and dig a trench 1' wide by 1' deep to prevent spreading, all the while still pruning off the seed pods before they mature.
    So...(breath) for your poor neighbor's sake, PLEASE DO NOT PLANT this weed.
     
  6. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Geese in the pond help keep the cattails in check. They tip their fannies up in the air and evidently dig out the roots and eat them. Funny to watch. I'm from Lopez Island in the San Juans and we had a saying. "Create a pond and the birds will seed it." The problem is that half the stuff they seed - you don't want.
     

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