Phragmites australis


Norfolk reed or common reed

With tall, golden stems, this great architectural plant grows vigorously and must be contained and well managed in a domestic setting.


Norfolk reed has large, feathery flower spikes that can be seen (and heard!) blowing in the breeze from late summer onward, beginning as dark purple and slowly fading beige/brown. Supplied bare-rooted.

Top tip: Often used in water filtration reed beds.  Not recommended for lines garden ponds as the roots are very strong and can puncture even a rubber or butyl liner.

Flowers: June/July

Height of plant: 100+cms

Propagation: Happily self-seeds everywhere. Forms a dense mat of tangled roots that are difficult to separate, but can provide rooted offsets.

How to plant:  In a small basket will end up blown into the bottom of the pond, so plant into a 10lt planting basket using heavy garden loam or Westland Aquatic Soil and place on a large shelf in the pond.  Part fill the planting basket with well compacted soil, then carefully hold the plant so that the root-shoot junction (where leaf stems meet roots) will be level with the rim of the basket. Back fill to the brim with more soil making sure that the soil is well pushed in around the roots and holds the plant securely.  For aesthetic purposes, the soil can then be top dressed with no more than 1cm of pea gravel.

Recommended planting depth:  Position on the shelf so that the soil in the basket is 10-40cm below the water surface. The planting depth is always measured from soil surface to water surface, not including any gravel top dressing. Raise the basket on slabs or bricks to achieve the recommended planting depth.