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Equisetum arvense (Field horsetail)

Beginner
skill rating
3 hours care
per year
1.5m
Max height
0.7m
Max spread
2-5 years
To maturity
Low
Toxicity

Plant details

Botanical name

Equisetum arvense

Other names

Field horsetail, Horse pipes, Mare's tail, Snake grass

Genus

Equisetum Equisetum

Species

E. arvense - E. arvense is a creeping rhizomatous perennial with fleshy unbranched shoots with spore-bearing cones in spring, followed by green, regularly-branched, deeply-grooved shoots until winter.


Equisetum arvense is: Semi evergreen

Habit

Clump-forming

Toxicity

Can be poisonous to wildlife and livestock

Foliage

Green, Yellow, Variegated, Cream in All seasons

How to care

Watch out for

General care

Pruning

Regular hoeing can help control the spread. Also a heavy, light-excluding mulch can be used around ornamentals to keep this weed in hand. It will take several seasons before the weed is controlled.

Propagation

The single cone on each fertile stem can release 100,000 spores that germinate quickly on moist surfaces.

Propagation methods

Rhizome sections, Spores


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Where to grow

Equisetum arvense (Field horsetail) will reach a height of 1.5m and a spread of 0.7m after 2-5 years.

Cultivation

Enjoys moist soil. The rhizomes penetrate deeply into the soil and is the main means of spreading. When these stems are broken-up, individual pieces will regrow very readily.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Moisture-retentive, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

South, West

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

We do not currently have companion plants added for this plant.

Botanical name

Equisetum arvense

Other names

Field horsetail, Horse pipes, Mare's tail, Snake grass

Genus

Equisetum Equisetum

Species

E. arvense - E. arvense is a creeping rhizomatous perennial with fleshy unbranched shoots with spore-bearing cones in spring, followed by green, regularly-branched, deeply-grooved shoots until winter.

Foliage

Semi evergreen

Habit

Clump-forming

Toxicity

Can be poisonous to wildlife and livestock


Colour

Foliage

Green, Yellow, Variegated, Cream in All seasons

General care

Pruning

Regular hoeing can help control the spread. Also a heavy, light-excluding mulch can be used around ornamentals to keep this weed in hand. It will take several seasons before the weed is controlled.

Propagation

The single cone on each fertile stem can release 100,000 spores that germinate quickly on moist surfaces.

Propagation methods

Rhizome sections, Spores


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Equisetum arvense (Field horsetail) will reach a height of 1.5m and a spread of 0.7m after 2-5 years.

Cultivation

Enjoys moist soil. The rhizomes penetrate deeply into the soil and is the main means of spreading. When these stems are broken-up, individual pieces will regrow very readily.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Moisture-retentive, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

South, West

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 9, Zone 8, Zone 7, Zone 6, Zone 5

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types) Tell us...
Soil drainage: Moist but well-drained, Moisture-retentive, Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: South, West Tell us...
Exposure: Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

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