Carex Comans: New Zealand Hair Sedge Information and Care

Carex Comans, or New Zealand Hair Sedge, is an cluster forming ornamental grass. Why should you grow it and how to take care of it?

Carex comans, which is also known as New Zealand hair sedge, is an ornamental grass with a species name that originates from the Latin word comans meaning “resembling a head of hair,” and carex, meaning “cutter.” 

In this article, I’ll introduce you to this unique ornamental grass and how to care for it so that it thrives in your garden.

General Information

As its name implies, the New Zealand hair sedge is a perennial that originated in New Zealand. It grows naturally in meadows and along roadsides. 

New Zealand hair sedge grows in a 1 – 2 foot tall mound. Its leaves resemble a mop or a head full of limp hair, which is one of the main reasons gardeners add it to their landscapes.

The plant has lovely reddish-brown leaves for most of the year; they usually turn brown in autumn. It also grows brown spikey flowers early in the summer.

fallen grass clumps of carex coumans

Care and Maintenance

New Zealand hair sedge is easy to cultivate, making it a great option for filling gaps in gardens and flowerbeds in challenging places like slopes and riverbanks. 

It is not only drought resistant, but it also has a high tolerance for soil salinity and repels deer. It grows best in well-drained soil when planted in sunny locations. Let’s take a closer look at its care needs below.

brown and dried grass

Sunlight Exposure

The New Zealand hair sedge thrives in bright, direct sunlight or partial shade. However, growing it in full sun yields the best color.

Soil Requirement

This plant thrives in moist, rich soil that drains well. New Zealand hair sedge plants will be even more robust if they’re planted in soil enriched with organic matter. 

It is also important that the soil drains well because it doesn’t grow well in damp soil, especially during the winter. 

Watering Frequency

This ornamental grass can survive in drought conditions. However, if left to dry out excessively on hot days, its leaves may curl or turn brown prematurely. 

To prevent this, increase the number of times you water it during drought periods.

bronze colored outdoor grass

How to Use New Zealand Hair Sedge in Landscapes

The New Zealand hair sedge’s drooping leaves give it its signature look. It looks great when planted along the banks of streams or around pond edges, in big pots, along slopes, or small groups in garden beds with light-colored stone or basic patterns.

For winter appeal, plant it in a meadow garden or at the edge of heavily wooded areas. Planting them between rocks in a rock garden or along a landscaping border or path are good spots as well.

Companion Plants

This ornamental grass can add visually-striking texture, color, and fragrance to your garden, transforming it into a naturally beautiful sanctuary. The key lies in choosing the best companion plants for it. We’ve listed some of the best companion plants for your New Zealand hair sedge below.

1. Autumn Joy 

Autumn joy is a fantastic companion plant for New Zealand hair sedge. It is a robust, resilient, and low-maintenance perennial that actively grows six months from early summer until winter.

This plant can grow into a 2-foot-tall clump with thick, blue-green leaves and broccoli-shaped flower buds. 

In mid to late summer, these tightly-packed buds gradually open to display delicate, star-shaped, raspberry-colored flowers. Their blossoms make wonderful cut flowers and attract bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies.

When planted in large quantities, autumn joy’s foliage and dead inflorescences remain beautiful through winter.

beautiful autumn joy flowers

2. Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ 

The crocosmia cultivar “Lucifer” actively blooms for 5 – 8 weeks from mid to late summer. It has attractive clumps of tall, pleated leaves and dazzling flaming red tubular flowers. It can grow 2 – 4 feet tall and expand to 1 – 2 feet wide.

Autumn joy is an excellent companion plant for New Zealand hair sedge because it also grows in rich, damp, well-drained soil. 

They make great border plants that can brighten landscaping borders and contrast with New Zealand hair sedge’s foliage. They’re also a great option for flower arrangements and can be kept in a vase for up to 2 weeks.

pretty and blooming lucifer blooms

3. Geranium ‘Rozanne’ 

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ is a robust, spreading perennial plant that grows up to 2 feet tall. It has thick, lobed, marbling green leaves. It grows 2-inch violet-blue cupped flowers that actively bloom from early summer to early fall.

They grow best in full sun with some afternoon shade and in well-drained, moderately moist soil. This plant is drought-resistant once its roots are fully established.

Geranium’ Rozanne’ makes a stunning addition to landscaping borders with herbaceous plants. They also add color to their surroundings when planted in flowerpots or hanging baskets. 

Consider planting large groups of this flowering plant for an extra boost of color near New Zealand hair sedge. 

blue geranium flowers in the garden
Jeffrey Douglas
Jeffrey Douglas own a landscaping company and has been in the business for over 20 years. He loves all things related to lawns or gardens and believes that proper maintenance is the key to preventing problems in the first place.
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