Tips for Successful Growing of a New Carex Variety

Carex Straw Hat (Emerald Coast Growers)

Carex Straw Hat (Emerald Coast Growers)

With more prominent flowers than others in its species, Carex ‘Straw Hat’ is a great eye-catching choice in ornamental grasses. Its sulphur-yellow flowers give the plant a showier floral display, uniquely topping the low mounds of green foliage. It blooms up to two weeks earlier, with arching flower stems in April through May, making this an easy choice for spring production.


Straw Hat is propagated at Emerald Coast Growers using Stage 3 tissue culture plants, rooted in a 50-cell liner. From here, plugs are planted into 1-gallon pots and grown out for spring sales, finishing in 8 to 10 weeks. They have great rooting success rates, so only one plug per pot is used.

Unlike most sedges, this carex does not like a lot of water. A well-draining growing media is recommended, helping to keep moisture levels on the dry side.

“Be sure to provide shade,” says Josiah Raymer, General Manager and Head Grower at Emerald Coast Growers. “2,000 to 3,000 foot candles would be a good range.”

Carex Straw Hat is grown mostly for foliage and loves the shade. For Southern growers, it will be very important to pay attention to light levels, and it may struggle with summer high temperatures in the deep South. Using a constant liquid feed and keeping an eye on the pH and EC levels is a big factor in getting a full, finished product for Spring sales in 8 to 10 weeks.

Typically, there are no serious pest issues with this Carex. Furthermore, no serious disease issues should present themselves if preventive measures are in place, Raymer says. Consider a monthly preventive broad-spectrum fungicide rotation.

Raymer’s Recommendations for Growing Carex Straw Hat Successfully

Fertilizer: Constant liquid feed at medium levels of 100 to 150 ppm nitrogen.

Propagation: Stage 3 tissue culture performs very well. Division of active tillers is possible, but can be challenging.

Plant growth regulators: Generally not needed

Lighting: None required

Pinching: None required

Growing media: Well-draining commercial media; keep the pH at 5.8 to 6.2 and the electrical conductivity (EC) at 1 to 1.5 mS/cm using the 2:1 extraction method.

Irrigation: Even moisture is best; do not overwater

Planting/Scheduling: From a 50-cell liner into a 1-gallon pot, with one plant per pot, plants will finish for spring sales in 8 to 10 weeks.

Learn more about Carex Straw Hat at

Emerald Coast Growers is one of the industry’s largest suppliers of ornamental grass liners to North American growers and retailers. With three locations in Florida and one in Pennsylvania, it has more than 500,000 square feet of greenhouse space, plus 55 acres of outdoor farmland. In addition to ornamental grasses, Emerald Coast Growers is known for its wide variety of perennial starter plants and specialty plants. Its breeder partnerships are a key part of the never-ending quest to bring Emerald Coast Growers customers the best genetics they can grow, so they can pass it along to their customers. Breeding and selecting is also accomplished at the Emerald Coast R&D facility, with trial gardens in two locations.