The Corkscrew Rush plant is a small perennial that is part of the species Juncus Effusus, from the family Juncaceae. The species itself is actually a cultivar from a species native to Japan.
Affectionately nicknamed “Spiralis” or “Twister”, the Corkscrew Rush is literally a botanical entanglement of twisting and spiraling stems; they curve and clump in such a manner that it gives the plant this obscure yet somewhat tantalizing appearance.
The herbaceous Corkscrew is both amusing as it is versatile; not only does it appear whimsical due to its unruly look, but it’s also able to survive in a wide range of environments and temperatures.
In hotter and more arid regions, it grows as a semi-evergreen and is sometimes deemed invasive because of the fact that it can propagate by rhizomes – specialized stems that run underground and sprout new growths to the surface via nodes.
The Corkscrew Rush is unique in that it’s a very good ornamental plant when paired with a water feature; like a fountain or pond. One can also use these plants to landscape and accentuate places or scenic marks near bodies of water as they can thrive in slightly boggy or even marshy areas.
These plants really add to the ambiance of a home that has a more natural vibe and aesthetic to it, not to mention the fact that they are really low-maintenance and are great even for plantcare beginners.
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About the Corkscrew Rush
- The name Juncus Effusus pertains to the species of Corkscrew Rush that is native to North America. Wild species that can be found elsewhere are called “Soft Rush” or “Common Rush” and lack the distinctive spiraling stems.
- One type of rush, called the “Path Rush” is actually identified as a weed but with useful features as described in the weed-identification handbook, ‘Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast’.
- This plant can live up to 8 years under ideal conditions and with little care.
- The Corkscrew Rush does bloom, usually in summer, but the flowers are often rare and insignificant in terms of its appearance.
- The plant’s different cultivars mainly offer variation in height ranging from 8 to 36 inches tall. In the order of shortest to tallest, these are: Curly Wurly, Big Twister, Spiralis, and Quartz Creek. Appearance-wise, they are almost identical.
- Despite being deemed invasive in some areas, this rhizomatous plant actually aids in controlling and mitigating soil erosion.
Corkscrew Rush Features: An Overview
- The Corkscrew Rush is a herbaceous perennial that grows hardy in USDA zones 4 to 9. It grows as a semi-evergreen in more temperate climates and regions.
- This plant is mainly used for ornamentation outside, near bodies of water or along water features. If you live in the wetlands, they can be partially submerged in boggy areas.
- As members of the Juncaceae family, this plant assumes a round shape and typically clumps itself together and grows between 2 to 4 feet in height. Its stems are usually colored darkish green with strips of lighter green, offering for good contrast under partially shaded areas.
- The Corkscrew Rush grows best in full sun to partial shade. They will do fine in hot regions and even in some colder regions conforming to USDA zone 6 conditions. The only places that these plants won’t survive in would be extremely hot regions with little-to-no water.
- This plant requires a steady supply of water and almost always has to be partially submerged. Naturally, they are found growing along marshes so replicating these conditions will be best to facilitate healthy growth and propagation.
- The Corkscrew Rush is not iffy when it comes to soil type or composition, so long as it’s wet. This plant does fine in any kind of soil, even acidic ones! The thing that you must consider is that your soil must have superior irrigation so that it does not dry out.
Growing Corkscrew Rush
Because its requirements differ slightly from the usual, you can start growing Corkscrew Rush practically anytime of the year. Preferably, choose either during spring or summer, where it can benefit from the bright sun and receive optimum nutrition for faster growth.
They enjoy full sun and are easier to maintain near a constant water source; so ideally you should grow them outside.
Once you have identified a desired location, it now mainly boils down to keeping the soil wet. These plants cannot survive in dry soil, so investing in superior irrigation will help cutback on watering requirements. These are very adaptive plants and can tolerate pests and a varying degree of climates.
The main thing affected by atmospheric conditions when growing your Corkscrew would be the coloration of its stems, where cooler temperatures often lead to browner looking foliage.
These are aces for water gardens. Because of their ability to grow in a few inches of water, you don’t necessarily have to put them in a pot. You can place them in submersible containers and lay them out accordingly around a water feature or near an irrigation system you’ve built for a self-sustaining water garden.
Once matured, prune mainly in spring, once some stems have browned. Apply all-purpose liquid fertilizer annually after pruning.
Watering Corkscrew Rush
Watering Corkscrew Rush is pretty simple and straightforward. These plants are all for water and, as such, must be kept constantly hydrated. You have to water frequently, be it daily or so, enough to ensure that the soil remains wet.
You can continue to water during winter, just so that the soil stays moist or soggy, any layer of snow will gradually melt and replenish any lost water supply.
In a water garden, place them somewhere with constant water or consider building an irrigation system if you plan to have them sit in a regular garden; just be mindful if you group them with other plants as those might not be as receptive to water as the Corkscrew is.
- Houseplants; Requires Partial Sun - Sun
- Container Size: 3" (2.6x3.5"); 12.00in High, Spreads 18.00in
- zone: 5, blooms: from April to July
- 60 Days Return Window from Delivery
- ✅ SPIRALS IN ABUNDANCE! Spectacular spiraling stems! Perfect For inquisitive kids (and adults) to ponder as well as touch. Wonderful for adding to cut flower arrangements!
- ✅ NO LEAVES! Rushes have no leaves and the stems maintain a clean look through most of the year! In mild winters it will even stay evergreen!
- ✅MOTHER NATURE KNOWS BEST! Water plants act as filters & work WONDERS for the clarity and quality of your water--naturally! They also provide excellent habitat for your prized fish and other wildlife!
- ✅BLACK THUMB FRIENDLY! Pond plants are forgiving & super simple to grow! All they need is plenty of moisture & some gravel or soil to hold roots in place! Easy as that!
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Last update on 2023-07-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Propagating Corkscrew Rush
One generally propagates Corkscrew Rush by dividing its rhizomes. Begin by pruning excess foliage to more easily be able to handle the plant. Next, dig under the soil and find the parts where the stem clumps grow, this is a rhizome.
Use a small saw to cut through the rhizome and divide the clumps into sections. Lift the roots by digging beneath the rhizome. Repeat this process until you are satisfied with the number of rhizomes you have.
Next, dig up a new bed of soil for the rhizomes. Bolster the water retention capacity of the newly dug soil by adding peat moss or vermiculite. Set in the rhizomes and spread the roots outward.
Cover with soil until it’s leveled with the ground. Mulch the newly covered area and generously water. Lastly, add all-purpose liquid fertilizer and wait for the rhizomes to start sprouting new stems.
So far, this is the most effective way of propagating Corkscrew Rush with a high success rate. In the case of repotting, most re-pots are for Corkscrews grown indoors and usually need to be done after 2 to 3 years.
The Corkscrew Rush is a very amusing, highly versatile, and ridiculously easy plant to own and care for. They’re good indoor ornamental plants and are absolutely lovely as decor for water gardens and private ponds.
Though a bit tricky to propagate, this is an acceptable tradeoff given the ease of maintenance of the plant. The most important thing to remember with the Corkscrew is that it almost always has to have water; never let the soil run dry, lest the plant wilts and dies.
You don’t have to worry about needing to have a water feature, though this plant is best if you do, you can still have it as a fun, spunky decor that still gives you that natural feel and does good as an accent for indoor gardens; it helps give an organic touch.