Home Water Gardening Pond Weed Management: The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Water Gardens

Pond Weed Management: The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Water Gardens

by Gregory
4 minutes read

Pond Weed Management: A Guide for Healthy Water Gardens


Ponds are beautiful additions to any garden, but they can also be prone to weed problems. Pond weeds are plants that grow in, on, or around water, and while some can be beneficial in small amounts, others can quickly become invasive and harm the health of your pond.

Types of Pond Weeds

There are three main types of pond weeds:

  • Floating weeds: These weeds float on the surface of the water, such as duckweed and fairy moss.
  • Submerged weeds: These weeds live underwater, such as oxygenating plants like water milfoil and invasive species like curly pond weed.
  • Blanket weed: This is a type of algae that forms dense mats on the bottom or sides of the pond.

Problems Caused by Pond Weeds

Invasive pond weeds can cause a number of problems, including:

  • Blocking sunlight from reaching other plants
  • Reducing oxygen levels in the water
  • Smothering fish and other aquatic creatures
  • Making the pond look unsightly
  • Spreading to natural waterways and causing environmental damage

Controlling Pond Weeds

The best way to control pond weeds is to prevent them from taking hold in the first place. Here are some tips:

  • Buy plants from reputable sources: Avoid purchasing plants that are known to be invasive.
  • Inspect new plants carefully: Before adding new plants to your pond, inspect them for any signs of pests or diseases.
  • Keep your pond clean: Remove fallen leaves and other organic debris from your pond regularly to reduce the amount of nutrients available for weed growth.
  • Control runoff: Divert rainwater runoff from nearby gardens or lawns to prevent fertilizers and other chemicals from entering your pond.

If pond weeds do become a problem, there are a number of ways to control them:

  • Physical removal: Hand-pulling, raking, or netting can be effective for removing small amounts of weeds.
  • Chemical control: Chemical weedkillers are only permitted for use by professional contractors and must be used strictly according to regulations.
  • Biological control: Some types of fish and other aquatic creatures can help to control pond weeds.

When to Control Pond Weeds

The best time to control pond weeds is in the fall, when there are fewer species using the pond. Avoid removing weeds during the spring and summer, when frogs, toads, and other creatures are breeding and raising their young.

Disposing of Pond Weeds

It is important to dispose of pond weeds properly to prevent them from spreading. Leafy growth and stems can be composted, but roots should be bagged up and turned over to exclude light for at least a year to kill growth. Never dump pond weeds in the wild.

Invasive Pond Plants

Some pond plants that were once popular have been discovered to be invasive and are now banned from sale and disposal. These plants include:

  • Floating pennywort
  • New Zealand pygmyweed
  • Curly pond weed
  • Nuttall’s waterweed
  • Parrot’s feather
  • Water milfoil

It is important to avoid planting or disposing of these plants in the wild, as they can cause serious problems for natural ecosystems.


Pond weeds can be a nuisance, but by following these tips, you can keep your pond healthy and weed-free. Remember to always prioritize physical control methods and dispose of weeds properly to prevent their spread. With a little care and attention, you can enjoy a beautiful and thriving water garden for years to come.

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