Why plant Audubon® Native Short's Sedge?
If you have a pond, creek, rain garden, or even just a ditch or low spot on your property, consider adding some Short’s Sedge to your landscape. The birds will love you for it! In the wild, Ducks, Turkeys, Ruffed Grouse, Prairie Chickens, and Woodcocks relish this nifty native’s valuable seeds. In more developed areas, Mourning Doves, Sparrows, Towhees, Juncos, and Cardinals may come to dine. Short’s Sedge also offers ground-dwelling birds a place to hide under its grassy leaves as well as additional food in the form of caterpillars, grasshoppers, and leafhoppers, which feed on its foliage. Give your feathered friends a treat!
Low, grass-like, green, and generally without showy flowers, native Sedges go unnoticed by most people. However, these humble plants provide big benefits to wildlife (particularly in wetland habitats), and we should include them more in our gardens. The seeds nourish many birds and the foliage feeds moths and butterflies, such as the tufted Sedge moth, the Virginia ctenucha moth, the eyed brown butterfly, the Appalachian brown, and several skipper butterflies. Short’s Sedge is one of our many wonderful native Sedges. It’s most often found in wet soil, and will perform best in your garden if consistent moisture can be supplied.
How to use Audubon® Native Short's Sedge in the landscape?
Short’s Sedge is not named for its stature, but for Charles Wilkins Short, the nineteenth-century physician/botanist who first described it in his home state of Kentucky. This species grows most abundantly in the lower Midwest, though its range stretches from eastern Kansas to Virginia.
Hardiness Zone: 4-8
How To Plant Audubon® Native Short's Sedge
Short’s 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. It will go dormant in winter, and you can cut it back then if you like. Short’s Sedge forms a clump and doesn’t run like some other Sedges, though it will spread out a bit in time.
How To Water
Water twice weekly for the first 3-5 weeks; then water weekly for the remainder of the year until winter. When you water, water slowly and thoroughly. Watering needs may be altered due to extreme weather conditions.
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 year. Continue this for three years to get your plant well established.
How To Prune
Each fall, just before winter sets in clean up the previous years foliage and compost it. Be sure your perennials are mulched well for winter protection. Two inches of an organic mulch will do the job. Consider leaving the plant debris in place through the winter and doing your clean up on the weather warms in the spring. While it doesn't make things neat and tidy, the debris provides overwintering protection for insects, their eggs and pupae including our native Viceroy butterfly.