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Plant Care Guide >> Grasses & Bamboo >> Cyperus alternifolius
Umbrella plant is an interesting and beautiful plant which is easy to grow under wet or dry conditions. Umbrella plant also makes a great container plant. It is a good plant to use for that instant tropical look. It takes its common name from its shape and appearance which looks like an umbrella. The umbrella plants are excellent tender specimen plants in the home or used in the landscape in shallow ponds.
Common name:

Umbrella plant

Botanical Name:

Cyperus alternifolius




The leaves of the umbrella plant are narrow and flattened and only 6" to 10" long. All the leaves are arranged atop triangular stems.


Small greenish flowers, which are inconspicuous, form an attractive umbrella-like head, grow at the center of the leaves.


The umbrella palms grow well in light shade to full sun.


It will do well in normal room temperature.


Umbrella plant will grow well in regular potting soil. A rich peaty soil is best (2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 1 part sand).


Umbrella plant is happy growing in shallow water but can also handle drier situations ,like in your perennial bed.


Give the plant lots of water. Never let this plant dry out. The wetter the roots are, the more it thrives. It is best to put the pot inside another pot with water.

Pest and Problems:

Spider mite is of greatest concern for this plant.

Growth habit:

Grow well in moist or even with root submerged in water. Can grow to about 5' or 6' in height under good conditions.


Fertilize the plant monthly during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer diluted to the strength recommended on the label.


It is necessary to trim dying stems out as they become unattractive.


Propagation is done by dividing the clumps. An easy way to get more plants is to simply place an "umbrella" in wet sand. New plants will begin to grow from it within a few weeks.

Special Care:

Golden rule to success - keep roots constantly wet.

Landscaping Utility:

Cyperus can be grown as an accent plant. It forms a nice background plant in the garden. It could also be incorporated into a rockery which includes a water feature.


Container plant, accent plant, rockery plant, water garden

Click here to locate a nursery to buy this plant.
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