water drop


prince tut cyperus in a water garden
Let’s Go For a Swim!

That’s right, your favorite thriller plant for your patio planters is also a water plant! In fact, historically, papyrus was customarily considered aquatic rather than terrestrial until modern times when newer cultivars were well-adapted to both conditions. Now, it is used to add height, movement and flair to pond plantings, rain gardens, landscapes and the water’s edge.


If you have a sunny pond or water feature, try adding Prince Tut papyrus as a whimsical focal point. Follow the tips below to get the best performance from your plants.


  • The size and robustness of your Prince Tut papyrus will depend in part on how much sunlight it receives. It grows the biggest when it has six or more hours of sun per day and consistent moisture. However, the plants will also grow and bloom well in part sun. They will just be a bit smaller.
  • This grass is amazingly tolerant of a range of sun conditions. It won’t burn from the sun’s intense reflection off of the water if you grow it in a pond. It will also continue to bloom if it receives just a few hours of sun plus open shade for the remainder of the day.


  • Prince Tut papyrus should be planted in an 8 to 12” diameter nursery pot with holes in the bottom to let the water in.
  • If you will be growing it in a windy location, pack the bottom of the container with rocks to add weight to keep it from blowing over.
  • Fill the container with fertile garden soil and mix a bit of Proven Winners continuous release plant food in, then plant Prince Tut in it.
  • Alternatively, this plant can be sunk directly into boggy or muddy soil at the pond’s edge.
  • Water your newly planted Prince Tut immediately to help the soil settle in around the plants’ roots.


  • When growing Prince Tut in water, you want at least the bottom few inches of the container to be submerged. The purpose is to keep the soil and roots wet at all times.
  • Place the container on a ledge or shelf of your pond and pack a few large rocks around it to help keep it upright on windy days.
  • Make sure the crown of the plant (the spot where the green shoots emerge from) is above water. It is the woody rhizomes (roots) that need the moisture.
  • You can also grow this plant at the water’s edge where its foliage stays dry, but its roots can easily seek out the moisture they need.
  • If growing papyrus in a rain garden, position it in the lowest part where water tends to collect most often so that the soil is always moist.


  • Prince Tut is an evergreen grass that produces new flower plumes all season long. Once they are spent, the individual plumes turn light brown and should be trimmed away to make room for new ones to form. It is normal to see some browning of the oldest plumes; that is not a sign of decline. However, if your whole plant begins to turn brown, it is likely not receiving adequate moisture.
  • When growing papyrus in water, it’s important to remove the spent foliage to prevent too much organic matter from building up in the pond. Be sure the plant is positioned where it is accessible for trimming.
  • In tropical zones 10-11 where this plant is hardy, it will remain green year-round. If it needs to be divided, do so only in the spring since fall division can greatly impact its ability to live through the winter. Lift the entire pot out of the water and remove the plant. You will need a saw to cut away the oldest, woodiest parts of the roots. Discard those and replant the fresher pieces back into your container, then re-submerge it in the water.
build your own water garden diy project
DIY: Build your own water garden

Making your own simple water garden in a container is very easy and does not require any expertise in plants or gardening! Learn how to build your own in this DIY from our sister site Proven Beauty.