Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - November 06, 2014

From: Wallingford, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Overwintering Juncus spiralis in a Container in PA
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I have been growing a Juncus 'Spiralis' in a self-watering container on my zone 7 patio in Pennsylvania happily all summer. I have read that this plant is native and should survive outdoors over the winter. However I am concerned about keeping it adequately watered as the water in the reservoir of the container will freeze. Do you have any ideas or tips on how best to prepare this plant for winter?

ANSWER:

Juncus 'Spiralis' is a cultivar of Juncus effusus (corkscrew rush) which is native to east and SE Texas.

It is noted on the wikipedia website that Juncus 'Spiralis' has distinctive leafless, green coiled stems may turn yellow-brown or tan over the winter and that the plant is hardy to USDA zone 4 or higher.

Previously, Barbara Medford answered a somewhat related question about overwintering Juncus 'Spiralis' in NY.

Your plant should go dormant this winter and you can remove it from your container and overwinter it in the garden. Simply plant it in a handy spot and water it well. Keep it watered if the soil does dry out during the winter. Once spring arrives, you can dig it up and put it back in the self-watering container and move it to your patio. If you would like to leave it in the garden, the best spot is a moist, boggy site.

 

From the Image Gallery


Common rush
Juncus effusus

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Buffalograss (Bouteloua dactyloides) for horse pastures
February 04, 2008 - Can Buffalo Grass be used for browse for horse pastures?
view the full question and answer

Evergreen native plants for slope in South Carolina
July 14, 2008 - We would like to plant an evergreen garden in our backyard, which is on a slope. It receives the sun from approx 9-4. We have an above ground pool, and patio area. Would also like a recommendation of ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants to make houses for sale more attractive
November 03, 2006 - I could use your suggestions: I have 2 small houses in Dallas which I am trying to sell, and would like to beautify -- with plants. Currently there are no shrubs or groundcover or trees -- nor anyo...
view the full question and answer

What's invading my bermuda grass?
June 11, 2013 - Our grass is being totally overrun by this weed.(I don't know what the name is identify it by the description. It is in Bermuda grass and the only way to describe the weed is to say it looks like big...
view the full question and answer

Cause of yellowing buffalo grass (Bouteloua dactyloides)
June 07, 2008 - We are getting large yellow areas in our buffalo grass lawn and think this is probably due to grub worms. Are grub worms the likely culprit and if so, what is the best way to get rid of them? We don...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.