Planting plugs is the surest way to establish a new stand of this species. Plug spacing of 25-30 cm will fill in within one growing season. Fluctuating the water level during the establishment period may speed spread of Juncus. Water levels can be managed to enhance spread and control weeds.
Clip leaves and stems to 15 to 25 cm (6 to 10 inches) before planting; this allows the plant to allocate more energy into root production. Transplants should be planted as soon as possible in moist (not flooded or anoxic) soils. Plants should be transported and stored in a cool location prior to planting. The roots should always remain moist or in water until planted.
Soil should be kept saturated after planting. Plants can tolerate 2.5 - 8 cm of standing water as long as the level fluctuates over the growing season. Allow roots to become established before flooding soils if possible.
Ideally, plants should be planted in late fall just after the first rains (usually late October to November). Survival is highest when plants are dormant and soils are moist.
Fertilization is very helpful for plant growth and reproduction. Many more seeds are produced with moderate fertilization.
Seed may be collected by hand, using a pair of hand shears, or with a gas-powered handheld seed harvester.
The tiny, black seeds are easily lost from the capsules when collecting by hand. Be careful to keep capsules upright before putting in collection bag. Use paper sacks when collecting seeds for this species.
To clean the seed, run the collection through a hammermill to break up debris and knock the seeds loose. Use a 1/20 inch screen on the top and a solid sheet on the bottom of the seed cleaner. Adjust the air flow to blow off the chaff. The cleaning process can be speeded up by shaking the hammermilled collection to settle seed to the bottom of the pan. The top portion of the chaff can then be discarded and the seed-rich mixture that is left in the bottom can be run through the seed cleaner.
Seeds need light, moisture and heat for germination. Soaking the seeds in water for 1 - 7 days will decrease the time the seed takes to sprout.
To grow seeds, place on soil surface and press in lightly to assure good soil contact. Do not cover the seed. Soil should be kept moist. Greenhouse should be kept hot (32-38°C).
Seeds begin to germinate in approximately 1 week. Maintain soil moisture until plants are to be transplanted. Seedlings cannot withstand long periods without water while growing in the greenhouse.
Plants are ready in 100 - 120 days to come out as plugs. By planting seeds in August, plugs are ready to plant in soil by November. These plants are very small; growing plants to a larger size will result in increased revegetation success.
Juncus effusus is easily propagated from bare root stock or seedlings, from container stalk, or directly seeded into the soil. Bare root stock or seedlings are preferred revegetation methods where there is moving water. These plants can be invasive. They are useful for stabilization and revegetation of disturbed areas. Juncus effusus requires moderate summer watering (irrigation), generally 1 - 4 times per month depending on the absorption rate and water retention capacity of the soil. Salt rush plants may need to have their roots in moist or wet soils. These native plants are especially good for stabilizing or restoring disturbed or degraded areas for erosion and slope control.
Live Plant Collections: The following information on Juncus balticus is provided by J. Chris Hoag and Mike Zierke (USDA, NRCS, Plant Materials Center, Aberdeen, Idaho). Due to their taxonomic and habitat similarity, it is likely that Juncus effusus establishes in a similar manner.
Seed Collections: The flowering period is late May to August, occasionally to September. Seed ripens in early August. Phenology will change by area, aspect, elevation, and specific site conditions.
Seed germination in greenhouse:
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