Carex (Carex testacea)


Carex is a hardy native New Zealand sedge familiar to anyone who spends time tramping in the high-country. It is also increasingly popular in garden plantings due to its easy care. Although not technically a grass, for gardening purposes sedges like Carex are grouped with the ornamental grasses. Carex likes a position in the full sun with plenty of water ensuring it grows well. The plants survive a drier site just as well but growth will be limited. To harvest it is just a case of cutting the leaves and packing it in bundles.
Like many of the foliage plants, a market does exist but the end users (florists) are not prepared to pay enough for it to justify the costs of growing, picking, packing and shipping it outside of New Zealand. This means local market sales are about the only option.

Growing Carex

Propagation: From seed is the main method. Some divisions also.
First harvest: Should be able to start harvesting foliage from year 2 onwards.
Crop protection: Not needed.
Soil type: Friable and free draining.
Fertilisers: General soil fertility is OK.
Weed control: Important especially at estabslishment
Pest/Diseases: Nothing obvious.
Harvesting: Cut the foliage back to a 40-50cm length and sell in bunches
Marketing: Local market sales only at this time. Prices tend to be very low.