Trouble in Paradise: Keeping Your Plants Under Control

Keeping Your Aquatic Plants Under Control

As much as we love our aquatic plants, it's important to remember to keep those plants under control, too. I was reminded of this recently when I came home from work to find our pumps were gurgling. The pond had lost quite a bit of water during the day. Upon investigation my son Steven and I found the issue -- a combination of flourishing creeping Jenny and string algae had made a dam in our creek. After a little plant and algae removal, the creek could flow normally.

The Creeping Jenny and Water Celery have combined on the right side of the center boulder to create a nice dam and completely block the water flow. I'm wondering if the Army Corps of Engineers could use this somehow? 

Incidents involving the damming of a creek happen most often with floating plants placed in the waterfall or in a creek. Water hyacinth and water lettuce grow so rapidly that they can dam water flow in just a matter of days. This has happened to us so often in fact that we never place floating plants anywhere other than the pond now.

String algae can be an issue in a creek as well because it can raise the water level. If you have experienced string algae, especially in a creek, you know it can grow extremely fast. As it grows, it displaces the water. If your creek is shallow, its banks can overflow pretty easily. It's a good idea to keep it pulled and treated so it doesn't get to that point.

Now is a good time of year to thin back hardy plants if they're getting out of control. They won't have time before winter to fill back in again. Plus, if you wait until spring, it will be difficult until the plant is well underway to determine how much to remove. By thinning your plants now, they will be ready when spring arrives.

Sometimes it's difficult to realize how much a plant has grown. Do you have photos of your pond through the years? Get them out and compare the difference to today... you might be surprised!

Written by Cool Ponds staff member Staci


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