Carex morrowii Variegata
Common name: Silver Variegated Japanese, Japanese Sedge Grass
Distribution and habitat: Carex morrowii Variegata is originated in woods from low mountains in Japan.
Description: Carex morrowii Variegata is a clumping, evergreen variegated sedge. This stiff, grass-like sedge will contrasts well with broad-leaved plants. Its clustered leaves, which grow from a rhizomatous rootstock running just below the surface, are up to 30cm (12 inch) long and very narrow. Leaves are yellowish green narrowly striped with white. Flowers are insignificant.
This plant grows more or less continuously, but attractive growth will slow down in the reduced light of the winter.
Houseplant care: Carex morrowii Variegata is a moderate grower and is often used in association with other species to add contrast in shape and colour of the display. When plan to create displays using Carex morrowii Variegata, choose plants needing similar life conditions such as Scindapsus and Maranta species.
Light: Grow the Carex morrowii Variegata in bright filtered light. Inadequate light will dull leaf-colour contrast.
Temperature: Carex morrowii Variegata can tolerate warmth 18-21°C (64-70°F), only if humidity is kept high.
In warm rooms is advisable to stand plants on trays of moist pebbles and mist-spray them regularly. If possible keep winter temperatures down to 10-15°C (50-59°F).
Water: When grown indoors Carex morrowii Variegata should never be overwatered. Throughout the year water moderately, enough to make the mixture thoroughly moist, but allow the top 2cm (0.8 inch) of the potting mixture to dry out completely between waterings.
Fertilising: Apply standard liquid fertiliser once a month during spring and summer only.
Potting and repotting: Use a soil based potting mixture. A 13cm (5 inch) pot is likely to be the biggest pot size required. Move small plants into pots one size larger whenever the tufts of leaves completely cover the surface area of the potting mixture.
Gardening: Carex morrowii Variegata is an hardy evergreen for hardiness zone 5. It is adapted to chalk, clay loam, loam, loamy sand, peat, sandy clay, sandy clay loam, sandy loam, silt loam and silty clay loam soils and prefers high fertility. It should be placed in partial shade. It will grow in full shade and even tolerates full sun in cool climates. Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. It spreads slowly by rhizomes and is quite drought tolerant once established. For a neat appearance, remove old foliage in late winter or early spring, before new growth emerge.
It is seldom necessary to divide clumps, unless more plants are desired. Divide and replant every 2 to 3 years in early spring.
Propagation: Split the mature plants into two or three clumps and plant each separately, preferably in spring. Do not divide a plant into more than three sections; very small clumps rarely grow into healthy plants.
Uses: Carex morrowii Variegata is wonderful as a ground cover especially under trees or as border edgings. It is most effective when grown in large clumps or massed plantings. It is an useful sedge for erosion control, rain garden, rock garden or will naturalize spaces. Makes also an attractive specimen plant or ground cover as waterside plants like Heuchera, Canna, Astilbe, Iris and Tiarella species, especially those with contrasting purple foliage. Create an exotic Asian garden with Acer palmatum (Japanese Maple), Athyrium niponicum (Japanese Painted Fern), Lilium asiatic (Asiatic Lilies) and Peonies species. It is an attractive addition to low lying wetlands, streambeds or near ponds and water features.
Carex morrowii Variegata is the only one from its large genus widely grown indoors being an attractive container plant.
Height: 30-45cm (12-18 inch)
Spread: 45-60cm (18-24 inch)
Hardiness zone: 5-9