How to transplant cattails is a task to get them from one place to another for extended natural growth of the plants is what we will talk about in this article. This is a fairly common question among people because naturally occurring cattails of the Typhaceae family are very beautiful.

How To Transplant Cattails

They can be easily transplanted to other locations without having to go through the process of buying seeds and starting from point one.

In this article, we will take you through all the necessary steps and information that are needed to transplant cattails and also its pros and cons.

How To Transplant Cattails Into Pots?

️⚡ You can transplant cattails by carefully removing the whole plant and its rhizome from the muddy soil by digging it up from the area it grows and planting it into a pot or area of moist soil, and supplying the right needs.

As they keep growing for quite a long, you will need to give them some sort of basal support, because the cattails grow rapidly and can spread easily as well. They can easily be transplanted only if they are dug up carefully with their rhizome intact.

Another important thing to remember here is that even though they grow in water, once grown, they can be successfully transplanted in a home garden with moist soil.

– Locate Cattails and Get Permission

The first step in transplanting the cattails is to locate the plant and its specific species that you require. As explained earlier, these plants grow best in open-water marshes, swamps, shores, and waterways.

Locate Cattails and Get Permission

In addition, they are a very distinct plant species that have long cigar-like seed heads that are brown in color. They have narrow leafy plants with heights up to 10 feet or more so is one of the tallest growing plants in water, which means that you must be keen when picking them.

If you have already picked a site for cattails, you will need to get permission from the concerned authority. Most times they will permit you easily, but it is also possible that the marshy plants are located there for a bigger concern and are not for general picking.

This is why getting permission to dig up cattails is very important. The local horticulture authority may be responsible for them so do have a chat with them. If you cannot find a suitable cattail location, search online and also ask some gardeners in your area, they will surely guide you.

– Dig Up the Cattails

After having the cattails’ location and permission to dig them, the second step is actually to dig the cattails from their roots inside the water. For this purpose, wear gloves, some old clothes, and most importantly, wear a pair of waterproof boots.

You will get muddy, so plan accordingly, and make sure that you are protected, even though the matter is messy hence the marshes. You will need a shovel and some plastic bags to store and transport the harvested plants in.

Get in the water and look for a healthy-looking cattail; it is up to you which plant you choose but make sure that the plant has some growing stems. The best time to harvest the cattails is early spring season so if you can manage to get around that time. Start by marking territory in your mind around the cattail’s base.

You will need to dig at least eight to 12 inches deep from the base of the plant. These plants have a very intricate root system and their rhizomes grow in clumps inside the muddy soil, giving the tall plants extra support to stand in the water. This matter is one that you should be careful and keen about, because having it in mind, you will be able to manage the task properly.

Once you have gone that deep, try to move and pull the cattail from the water left and right. If you have dug it well and the rhizome is not more deeply rooted, the cattail should come out easily. Store the rhizome of the plant in a plastic bag and be careful not to break or damage the stalk or the cigar head of the plant.

– Plant the Harvested Cattails

The harvested plant is now ready to be planted in a home garden because you have roots already prepared. What you must now do is choose a spot in your garden that is away from the other plants as the cattails tend to overpower their surroundings.

Plant the Harvested Cattails

Dig a hole in that spot that will house the rhizome of the cattails easily, and it should have considerable length and width. Once the hole is dug up, place the plant inside the hole and lightly cover its roots with moist soil.

Pat the soil in place and there you have it! Now, you have successfully transplanted the cattail in your garden. Water the spot and add additional support for the cattails to stand if necessary.

You will notice that these plants can be transplanted very easily from any marsh or swamp in your home garden; as these are beautiful to look at and add immense character to any landscape. They cannot stand high salinity in the soil, and they can spread easily like a weed. You must also be careful of their growth because they can hide and hinder the growth of plants in their surroundings.

How To Take Care of Transplanted Cattails?

You can take care of a transplanted cattail by making sure that it is getting adequate water, it is not standing in direct and harsh sunlight, and finally that the soil is moist and has required nutrients in good quantity for the cattail to grow.

– Soil

The soil plays the most important role in the transplantation and retention of the cattail plant.

Soil for Transplanted Cattails

The transplanted cattail might be from a source that would have muddy soil so when we transplant it, this great shift from muddy soil to moist soil may be a shock to the plant and its growth.

This is why it is very significant that at the start the plant is surrounded by very moist soil. You should read more on the available types of soil to pick the right for your garden!

– Water

The next most influential point in taking care of a transplanted cattail is the amount of water that it should be given. Now there is no specific amount that is mandatory, but you will figure it out depending on the nature of your garden, soil, and the cattail.

This means that you must make sure you regularly water the cattail and its surrounding soil, the one that you should also get from the marsh, because this significant one is where it grew and thrived.

On another note, they should have more water than normal garden plants as it has been transplanted from places that have so much water surrounding them. In short, you are supplying its necessary irrigation needs, just as where it used to live.

– Sunlight

The last point of concern is the sunlight, because note that even though the cattails get direct sunlight in the marshes and swamps, it is better to keep the transplanted cattails under some shade. This does not mean that they do not need sunlight but only that direct sunlight should be avoided; on the contrary, you must make sure to plant them somewhere they get shade and sunlight throughout the day.

Sunlight for Transplanted Cattails

Moreover, when the seasons change and the sun fades, the cattails die in the winter and also when the salinity in the water is more than the normally accepted range. In both cases, it is very easy to tell if the cattails have died because they will fall down to the base and will dry out.

Winters are thus the best time to cut your cattails and prevent them from becoming dormant, dry, and dead, if you wonder “when do cattails die.” As they can grow very easily, as soon as the winters end, they will regrow from their under-soil roots.

In the other case, if the salinity in the water is ten parts thousand during the growing season of the cattails, the plants will wilt and will definitely die. To prevent this, regularly check the salinity level of your water and soil.


1. Can Cattails Spread on Open Grounds?

Yes, cattails can spread on open ground in your garden after you have transplanted them or grown them from seeds. The growing time of a cattail is very short which is why it is easier for them to spread in its surroundings, as they root strongly.

Sometimes the ability of cattails to spread quickly can become a problem as they can take over the nearby arrangements of other plants and potentially hinder and hide their growth. This is why it is better to grow them in a place where the rest of the plantation is kept separate and also make sure to regularly dig up and remove the cattail rhizomes when they start to spread exponentially on the sides.


In this article, we talked about how you can transplant cattails from one place to another and what are its pros and cons but in case you missed anything, here is a small review to refresh your memory:

  • You can transplant cattails by carefully removing the whole cattail plant and its rhizome from the muddy soil and planting it into a pot or area of moist soil.
  • The transplanted cattails need adequate water, moist solid, sunlight, and shade throughout the day.
  • The best time to harvest the cattails is the early spring season.

Here we come to the end of the article. We hope it was helpful and informative for you and that now you know how to transplant cattails successfully, which means that you can cover the task in a precise manner.

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