The papyrus plant was used by the ancient Egyptians for various purposes. This plant was also used in the making of mattresses, furniture, baskets, boxes, etc. The rhizomes of papyrus plant was used as food and medicine. Even perfumes were made from the rhizomes. However, the most important among the papyrus plant uses was its role in the making of 'papyrus', which was used as a medium for writing. The following method was adopted by the Egyptians in making papyrus. After harvesting the stems, the green outer covering were removed and the inner pith were cut into long strips. These strips were soaked for a few days and after that they were arranged in alternating horizontal and vertical layers, over a cotton cloth. These layers of strips were pressed along with the cotton clothes, which were removed, after they get completely dry. These papyrus sheets or paper-like materials were polished with stones for getting smooth surfaces for writing. The word 'paper' is derived from the Egyptian Papyrus.

Growing papyrus plants is not a messy or daunting task from the gardening point of view, if you know the right methods. You have to take care of the location of planting, which should be a partial or fully sunny area. It is mainly grown as a landscape plant and is planted in boggy areas near ponds as part of landscaping project. You can also use them as houseplants in containers. Make sure that the container does not have any holes. If there are holes in the container, keep it in a tray of pebbles and fill the tray with water. Use potting soil with a little amount of sand. Water the plant at regular intervals and mist the potted papyrus plants, because they need high humidity levels to thrive.

Now, you know more about papyrus plants, its role in making papyrus and how to grow them. If you are interested in this plant, contact a local nursery for some rhizomes or plants. You can also collect more information about papyrus plant care from them.

How to Care for Egyptian Papyrus

The Egyptian papyrus plant, also known as the Egyptian paper plant or Cyperus papyrus, grows to heights of 5 to 10 feet and thrives in full to partial sun. During ancient times, water-loving Egyptian papyrus plants grew along the Nile River, where the Egyptians gathered the stalks of the plants to make papyrus paper. If left to grow, the green stalks will produce cream-colored blooms in the fall. If you live within USDA hardiness zones 9 to 11, Egyptian papyrus will create an interesting focal point in your water

Things You'll Need

    * Egyptian papyrus seeds
    * 4-inch pots
    * Moist potting soil
    * Larger pots
    * Cinder block or brick
    * Fertilizer
    * Grow light
    * Plant heating pad

      Sow Egyptian papyrus seeds in 4-inch pots filled with moist potting soil. Bury the seeds ¼ inch deep in the soil, and place the pots in a sunny location. Maintain a temperature of 75 degrees F or above during the germination process. Germination should take place within a month.

      Maintain moist soil conditions, bright sunlight and the required temperature during the growth of the Egyptian papyrus plants. As the plants outgrow their pots, replant them in larger containers.

      Transplant the papyrus plants, along with their pots, in your water garden in the spring. Simply submerge the pots in the water, keeping the top of the pot slightly below the waterline. Put the pot on top of a cinder block or brick to raise it, if necessary.

      Feed the papyrus plant a diet of pond plant fertilizer. Pond fertilizer comes in granules and stick form. Follow the instructions on the package to determine amounts and times for fertilizing.

      Remove the pots from the pond and bring them inside if the temperature drops below 20 degrees F in the winter. Unlike plants that grow in the ground, potted plants have no protection from frost or cold temperatures. Bringing the Egyptian papyrus indoors will protect it from temperature drops. You can take it back outside when the temperature rises again.

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