Minnesota Farmer


My pond has been overrun by floaters this year and something has to be done.


I took half a wheel borrow full of floaters to the compost pile earlier this week and the floaters filled the cleared spot up the next day.  All of this green is from 10 small plants purchased in early June.

The floaters in my pond are water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) and water hyacinth (Eichhoria crassipes).  They are just leaves and roots.  So far neither of these plants have bloomed for me.

The roots on the water lettuce are about 8 inches long on mature plants.  The plants send out side shoots with smaller plants on them.  As the plant gets bigger, it also sends out more babies.  They continue to grow as long as they can reach water.

Water hyacinth are much like the water lettuce  in that they are just green plant and roots, and they send out shoots to produce more plants.  The hyacinth have bladders to help keep them afloat.  In southern states they are considered invasive.  Some places in Africa and Asia they will heap hyacinth together to make floating islands where people will live.  Here in Minnesota both plants will freeze off as winter nears.  Then I just net them up and add them to the compost pile.

So, after taking all of these floaters out of my pond, I can now see some water.

We shall see how long it takes to fill in the open spots now.

If you look at the bottom of the picture you can see the newest addition to the pond, sagittaria latifolia.  Sagittaria latifolia is a plant found in shallow wetlands and is sometimes known as broadleaf arrowheadduck potatoIndian potato, or wapato. This plant produces edible tubers that were extensively used by the Indigenous peoples of the Americas.







2 Comments so far
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These floaters sure can be a pain! I put these in my little balcony pond and they completely took over. I have to thin the water lettuce out every couple days to keep it under control. Unbelievable. Couldn’t imagine having them in anything larger. Lol

Comment by Linda

the water lettuce are always in bloom the the flower is about half the diameter of a dime, gotta look VERY close to see it (white near the center). The hyacinth ONLY bloom in low nutrition environment and enjoy some sun. In high nutrition they divide by root (like after a flood, water nutrition is high in nature) they suck up all the nitrogen and spread that way. As rivers or lakes dry up and there is less nutrition they prepare for a dry spell by reproducing by making seed in low nutrition environment (note the leaves will often not be as lush a green color and they spread much more slowly at this point) we show you how to force it on our company Facebook page. Opposite of many other flowers that bloom in high nutrition times. Hope that helps, if you feed fish you wont get a lot of flowers. If you never do the plants will spread like crazy, eventually clean the pond of nutrients then begin to bloom if no more nutrition gets added and they can bloom very heavily.

Comment by Zac deGarmeaux

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