The Scouring Rush or Equisetum hymenale is one of approximately 25 plants in this family that are found on damp soils around the world (except Australia and New Zealand interestingly enough).
The variety most often sold in garden shops is E. hymenale and while it can be evergreen in warmer areas, it is wildly spreading in almost all garden zones.
Do not let this plant out of its container – do not plant it in the bare soil.
Cut it back in the spring or fall right to the ground
I hope I’m clear enough here. Scouring Rush can be a major pest in the garden and very difficult to eradicate. You only want to grow this plant (and it’s available at many garden centers so this is a warning as well as a how-to article) if you’re interested in a wild look or need something taller in your damp garden.
Personally, I rather like this plant but always grew it in a container. I plunged the pot (buried the pot up to the rim) every fall and never lost it. Dug up the pot in the spring to let it grow and give me some height. It will try to escape through the drainage holes so do watch for this. Never leave it plunged in the garden during the summer.
- Having said that – growing to 3-4 feet tall, it is a wonderful extension adding height to the garden design.
- This plant will tolerate being grown in anything from damp soils right through to 8 inches of standing water.
- It prefers full sun but will tolerate light shade.
It divides easily in the spring and will fill a pot in a single year. It will also self-sow so follow the instructions below
Flowering is a brownish bloom on top of a spike. Not overly attractive, I recommend you deadhead this as soon as it has finished flowering and do not let it set or spread seed in your garden.