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Phragmites australis (Common reed)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
3m
Max height
5m
Max spread
2-5 years
To maturity

Plant details

Botanical name

Phragmites australis

Other names

Common reed, Phragmites communis, Phragmites isiaca, Bennels, Carrizo, Danube grass, Ditch reed, Nal, Pole reed, Spire reed, Spires

Genus

Phragmites Phragmites

Species

P. australis - P. australis is a vigorous, rhizomatous, perennial grass with robust stems bearing flat, linear, grey-green leaves that turn golden-brown in autumn, and feathery, upright panicles of dark purple flowers from late summer into mid-autumn.


Phragmites australis is: Deciduous

Habit

Clump-forming, Spreading, Upright

Flower

Dark-purple in Summer; Dark-purple in Autumn

Foliage

Grey-green in Spring; Grey-green in Summer; Brown in Autumn

How to care

Watch out for

Pests

Generally pest-free.

Diseases

Generally disease-free.

General care

Pruning

Cut back in late autumn or winter.

Propagation methods

Division


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Where to grow

Phragmites australis (Common reed) will reach a height of 3m and a spread of 5m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Aquatic, Bog garden, Containers, Waterside, Wildflower, Wildlife

Cultivation

Plant in deep, moist soil in full sun. Since it is invasive, P. australis is best grown in lake or waterside plantings with ample space. If space is limited, grow in containers sunk in water to restrict growth.

Soil type

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

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Boggy damp conditions, Pond/In water, Moisture-retentive

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

East, West

Exposure

Exposed, 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

Phragmites australis

Other names

Common reed, Phragmites communis, Phragmites isiaca, Bennels, Carrizo, Danube grass, Ditch reed, Nal, Pole reed, Spire reed, Spires

Genus

Phragmites Phragmites

Species

P. australis - P. australis is a vigorous, rhizomatous, perennial grass with robust stems bearing flat, linear, grey-green leaves that turn golden-brown in autumn, and feathery, upright panicles of dark purple flowers from late summer into mid-autumn.

Foliage

Deciduous

Habit

Clump-forming, Spreading, Upright


Colour

Flower

Dark-purple in Summer; Dark-purple in Autumn

Foliage

Grey-green in Spring; Grey-green in Summer; Brown in Autumn


How to care

Watch out for

Pests

Generally pest-free.

Diseases

Generally disease-free.

General care

Pruning

Cut back in late autumn or winter.

Propagation methods

Division


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Phragmites australis (Common reed) will reach a height of 3m and a spread of 5m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Aquatic, Bog garden, Containers, Waterside, Wildflower, Wildlife

Cultivation

Plant in deep, moist soil in full sun. Since it is invasive, P. australis is best grown in lake or waterside plantings with ample space. If space is limited, grow in containers sunk in water to restrict growth.

Soil type

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

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Boggy damp conditions, Pond/In water, Moisture-retentive

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

East, West

Exposure

Exposed, 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, Zone 4

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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, Boggy damp conditions, Pond/In water, Moisture-retentive Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: East, West Tell us...
Exposure: Exposed, Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

GARDENS WITH THIS PLANT

Pat's Patch
Pat's Patch
Pat O'Keefe

ARTICLES WITH THIS PLANT

M&G Garden

By award-winning landscape designer James Basson. Taking inspiration from the unique Mediterranean landscape of Malta, the design for the M&G Garden 2017 draws on the ecological diversity and… read more


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