Dividing Equisetum hyemale

Time to exercise our propagation skills.  One of the easiest propagation methods is division, and Horsetail (Equisetum hyemale) is a great candidate to get divided.  We rescued this Horsetail a couple months ago.  It was abandoned on the curb, waiting for the trashman to pick it up.  Glad we got to it first.

Time to divide the Horsetail - Equisetum hyemale

Time to divide the Horsetail – Equisetum hyemale.

Getting it out of the pot was challenging.  We tipped it upside down, but it did not flop out like we hoped.  We ended up using a couple bamboo sticks and poke them through the drainage holes on the bottom…essentially pushing it out.

Horsetail - Equisetum hyemale...out of the pot

Horsetail – Equisetum hyemale…out of the pot. Those green sticks on the right are the bamboo sticks we used to poke this Horsetail out.

Using our (not so good anymore) chef’s knife, we found a good spot to start cutting.

Using our chef's knife from the kitchen.

Using our chef’s knife from the kitchen.

The rootball was dense, and we did not worry ab0ut cutting through major roots.  Horsetail roots are vigorous and will recover quickly.

Finally in two pieces...and all fingers are intact.

Finally in two pieces…and all fingers are intact.

If you look closely, you can see the last time it was re-potted.  It is that lighter colored square shape dirt in the center of the division.  It also looks like the previous owner used a sandy mix at the bottom.  I can only guess it was for extra drainage, or they did not have enough soil to fill the pot.

Quartering up the rootball.

Quartering up the rootball.

Megan stepped in and finished off quartering up this plant.  Each one of these sections would grow well on its own.

Squeezing them into their new home.

Squeezing them into their new home. One quarter of the division on the left, and another quarter of the plant to the right.

The reason we decided to split this into 4 chunks was due to the old putting a circular peg into a square hole.  The original pot was round, the new pots are square.  Good time to mention that you should not plant your Equisetum hyemale directly into the ground.  As Danger Garden has observed, this baby will spread fast, and in many places is as invasive as running bamboo.

Backfill with fresh dirt.

Backfill with fresh dirt.

We picked up some good potting soil and filled it up.

and Volia...  The Horsetail looks happy.

and Ta DA… The Horsetail looks happy.

After we finished potting up the Horsetail, we gave it a deep watering.  As a lot of plants in the Equisetaceae family…it loves water and can be used in a shallow pond. The stalks can be dried and then used as a cleaning scrubber or even sandpaper.  Probably where another common name is derived, Scouring Rush.

– Far Out Flora

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