Why plant Audubon® Native Fringed Sedge?
Fringed Sedge at the water’s edge is eco-friendly gardening at its finest! This hardy, robust native is a wonderful addition to wetland environments, be it a pond, creek, bog, or swale. Sturdy, fibrous roots hold the soil in place, preventing erosion. Evergreen leaves provide cover for small animals even in winter. Long, pendulous clusters of seeds, which sway gracefully in the wind, supply sustenance to many birds, such as Trumpeter Swans, Wood Ducks, Blue-Winged Teals, Sandpipers, Woodcocks, and Swamp Sparrows. Plus, the foliage feeds caterpillars and other insects, which in turn nourish songbirds. Fantastic!
You may not think of grasses and grass-like plants such as Sedges to be great for the butterfly garden—their flowers are wind pollinated, after all. However, Sedges like Fringed Sedge are indeed valuable to some butterflies (and moths) as food for their young. The caterpillars of many skipper butterflies, the eyed brown, and the Appalachian brown butterfly feed on native Sedge foliage. The pretty Virginia ctenucha, a moth with an iridescent blue body and a bright orange head, also lays its eggs on Sedges. Fringed Sedge feeds caterpillars all over eastern North America. It is native in eastern Canada and all the way down to Texas and Georgia, excluding Florida.
How to use Audubon® Native Fringed Sedge in the landscape?
One bird that definitely benefits from the presence of Sedge habitat like Fringed Sedge is the appropriately named Sedge wren. This small, shy, perky bird nests among Sedge plants at the water’s edge throughout the Midwest. It is quite nomadic and doesn’t often nest in the same area twice. If you don’t see it this year in your Sedges, maybe you’ll see it the next!
Hardiness Zone: 3-8
How To Plant Audubon® Native Fringed Sedge
Fringed Sedge is easy to grow, provided you have rich, fertile soil that doesn’t dry out. Put it in a spot that receives all-day sun if you can; some shade in the afternoon will also suffice. This cool-season Fringe is in active growth in spring and fall, and it flowers in late spring. Fringed Sedge is evergreen in most parts of its range. You may still want to cut back the old foliage in early spring before the new growth emerges. This plant is a vigorous grower; do not site it next to more delicate plants.
How To Fertilize
Incorporate Elements Starter Plant food granular form into the soil when planting. If planting in spring or summer, start fertilizing late fall using Elements Starter Plant food granular form on an annual basis each late fall. Continue this for the first three years to get your plant well established.