Equisetum hyemale

scouring-rush horsetail
Scouring rush spreads easily and vigorously following moisture. Upright architectural look for narrow areas.
height 2–5ft
width 3–6ft
tolerates Salt, Wind
Water this plant regularly, when the surface of the soil feels dry. Usually this will mean once or twice a week in dry weather. Use drippers, emitters, or a slow stream of water so that it doesn’t run off; allow the water to trickle all the way down through to the deepest layers of soil. In a pot slowly water the entire surface until water comes out of the bottom of your pot.

Grows happily in low standing water.
exposure Full Shade – Full Sun
drainage In Ground: Planting Mix, In Pots: Potting Soil, Tolerates Sandy Soil
origin N Hemisphere

Outdoor Exposure Guide


Full Sun
Six or more hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Shade
Three to five hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Sun
One to two hours of sun beams directly landing on the plants leaves.

Full Shade
The plant is never fully lit by sun beams, but is in a bright spot or has dappled sunbeams playing over the leaves throughout the day.

Deep Shade
The plant never has dappled light on the leaves, and is in a place that feels dim, even on a nice sunny day.

Growing Notes

Avoid especially windy areas where the shoots will kink and need to be removed.
Can be cut to the ground in winter, and the plant will regrow looking refreshed in spring and summer. Doesn’t look it’s best when pruned partially down the stem, but this form of pruning will not affect the health of the plant.
While it will grow in full shade, this plant looks best in a sunny spot.

Special Interest

This plant is conveniently found along waterways, where it is used to scrub pots and pans, leading to the common name scouring-rush.

This plant is processed in Japan into fine grit sand paper. This is done by boiling the plant, mashing and then drying it.