Care of a Horsetail Plant

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Things You'll Need

  • Gallon-sized container

  • Potting soil

  • Pea gravel

  • All-purpose fertilizer

  • Bricks or cinder blocks (optional)

Horsetail requires minimal care.

Also known as scouring rush, the horsetail plant (Equisetum hyemale L. Canuela) is an aquatic perennial that works well in the garden landscape. Mature horsetail plants measure approximately 4 feet in height and can be somewhat invasive. For this reason, horsetail plants require sunken containers to control their spread. The bright green leafless stalks of the horsetail plant, require minimal care when planted in wet, boggy soil within USDA hardiness zones 7 through10.


Step 1

Fill a gallon-sized container 3/4 full with potting soil. Remove the horsetail plant from its nursery container and plant the horsetail in the center of the pot.

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Step 2

Place a 1-inch layer of pea gravel over the soil around the horsetail plant. A thin layer of pea gravel will help to keep the soil in the submerged pot. Without the gravel, the soil is subject to erosion.

Step 3

Dig a hole for the horsetail plant and its container in a wet area that receives full or partial sun throughout the day. Because horsetail prefers boggy conditions, the edge of a pond or water garden will fulfill the water needs of the horsetail plant.

Step 4

Bury the container in the hole and backfill, making sure that the foliage of the horsetail plant is above the soil line. Feed the horsetail plant a diet of all-purpose fertilizer per label instructions. Horsetail appreciates a dose of fertilizer in early spring before new growth develops.


Step 5

Allow the horsetail plant to die back naturally in the fall. The foliage will turn from green to yellow, and finally to brown. The horsetail plant will begin to grow once again after the winter thaw. There is no need to cut the plant to the soil line once it dies off.


If you prefer a smaller cultivar, dwarf varieties of horsetail are available that grow 6 to 8 inches tall.

Submerge the pot directly in the pond, if you prefer. Make sure that the foliage rests above the water line. Set the pot on bricks or cinder blocks to raise the foliage above the water line.


Do not allow the soil around the horsetail plant to dry out. If your pond recedes after planting, relocate the pot.


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