The Right Time for Sedges

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In the November 2017 issue of American Nurseryman, Hoffman Nursery’s Shannon Currey and Zika Wolfe write about what sets sedges apart, the market for sedges, and how to use them.

Sedges were almost unheard of in 1991 when we added two to our lineup at Hoffman Nursery. These additions had appealing ornamental qualities that spiced up our inventory and fit our focus on grasses and grasslike plants. At the time, grasses were still relatively unknown, and sedges were rare in the trade.

Nonetheless, the more we worked with sedges, the more their hidden talents came to light. They offered advantages beyond being ornamental. We discovered that sedges, especially native species, are workhorses as groundcovers, alternatives to turf grass and in ecological plantings.

The current popularity of native plants, an emphasis on sustainable landscapes and green infrastructure, and the rise of progressive planting design, have sent demand for sedges skyrocketing. In the past 10 years, sedge sales at Hoffman Nursery have tripled, and our sedge lineup has grown from two to 35. An article in the Washington Post this past summer (“How This Plain Plant Can Play a Vital Role,” July 12, 2017) declared sedges one of the hottest perennials in the landscape – not for their blooms or foliage, but for their no- nonsense, down-to-earth characteristics.

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