Carex, a grass for your garden

The carex are grasses that do not need a great maintenance. They grow very quickly, and in any corner, so they are highly recommended as “plants to fill in” those gaps that have been left empty in the gardens, or to give them a more rustic touch but without losing an iota of elegance.

They are very attractive plants, which make the place where they are located look really beautiful. In addition, they do not have significant pests or diseases and do not require pruning, so they are ideal for people who do not have much experience caring for plants or who do not have much time to dedicate to them.

Origin and characteristics of the Carex

These are evergreen plants , that is, they are constantly putting out new leaves while the older ones are wilting. The flowers appear grouped in spike-shaped inflorescences, which you can cut if you have or think you have an allergy to grass pollen as soon as you see them coming out.

They are very adaptable, to the point that they grow in practically the whole world, except in most of Africa and Arabia. Thus, they can be planted in gardens where rainfall is low, or where temperatures are cold. As if that were not enough, because of their size they can also be kept in pots.

Main species

The most popular are:

Carex pendula

Image – Flickr/ Leonora (Ellie) Enking

It is a species native to Europe that forms tall clumps between 180 and 250 centimeters. At its end it develops a spike, 16cm high if it is female, and that can exceed 25cm if it is male.

Related article:Carex pendulum (Carex pendula)

Carex currency

Image – Wikimedia/ Marie PORTAS

It is a species native to Europe, Asia and Africa, which forms clumps with stems up to 40 centimeters. The flowers are unisexual, and are grouped in spikes.

Carex testacea

It is a plant native to New Zealand that forms clumps up to 50 centimeters high. It has green leaves in spring, but they turn a coppery-orange color when mature. The spikes are small, brown in color.

Carex paniculata

Image – Wikimedia/ Françoise CARLE

It is a plant native to Europe that forms clumps between 40 and 150 centimeters high. Its leaves are green, and the flowers are grouped in small but very numerous spikes of brown color.

Carex muricata

Image – Wikimedia/ Julia Kruse

It is a plant native to Europe and Asia between 20 and 50 centimeters high. Its leaves are green, straight, and somewhat rough on the edge. The flowers are unisexual, and they form spikes.

Carex halleriana

Image – Wikimedia/ Luis nunes alberto

It is a species native to Western Asia, southern Europe and northwestern Africa that reaches a height of about 40 centimeters, with green leaves. The spikes are composed of whitish unisexual flowers.

Carex nigra

Image – Wikimedia/ Matti Virtala

It is a plant native to central and southern Europe that reaches a height of about 30-40 centimeters, with green leaves. The spikes are small and blackish in color.

Its current scientific name is Carex parviflora.

Carex divulges

It is a plant native to Europe, except the extreme north, North Africa, West Asia and Macaronesia. It reaches a height between 25 and 60, sometimes 70, centimeters in height. The leaves are dark green, and the spikelets are 3 to 12cm high.

What are the care they require?

If we talk about its care, we are facing an ideal grass for beginners. But so that there is no doubt, below we will tell you how to take care of it:


They are plants that have to be outside, either in full sun or in semi-shade.


  • Garden: they grow in all types of soils, although they prefer those that have good drainage.
  • Pot: you can fill it with universal substrate for plants.


Carex plants are not very resistant to drought, so if you have them in the ground you can water them daily, especially during the summer and/ or if the climate in your area is very hot and dry.

On the contrary, if you are going to grow them in a pot, you must water them 2-3 times a week, and you can even put a plate under it and fill it up.


Image – Wikimedia/ David Eickhoff

It is not necessary, but you can pay them with a universal fertilizer or with guano for example, following the instructions specified on the package.

Planting or transplanting time

In spring, when the frosts have passed.


In spring you can divide the bush to have new specimens, or sow its seeds in individual pots with universal growing substrate.


It is well resistant to cold and frost up to -18ºC. In addition, the wind does not harm them either.

What uses are they given?

The carex are used as ornamental plants. In gardens they look great as border plants, but in pots they can make any balcony, terrace or patio look very nice too.

You can buy seeds from here:

Portal Cool 5 The Plants…

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