How to Remove Duckweed


Unless you own an army of hungry ducks to limit the carpet of floating duckweed in the pond, you need to physically skim away these tiny plants. Simply removing a portion of all the floating plants improves the appearance of the pond, and repeated removal gradually diminishes their numbers without the need to rely on chemical herbicides.

Step 1

Skim the water surface with the leaf-skimmer net to collect the duckweed. Use a pole extension to reach more areas in a pond or stream. In small areas like an ornamental pond, your hand can act as a skimmer, scooping out the floating plants.

Step 2

Collect and fill the leaf-skimmer net with as much duckweed as possible and lift the net to allow water to drain away. Draw the net above the water surface.

Step 3

Invert the net over a bucket, dumping the unwanted duckweed out of the net.

Step 4

Repeat Steps 1 through 4 until only a satisfactory amount of duckweed remains in the water.

Step 5

Empty the bucket filled with duckweed into a compost pile or waste area where the sun will dry and kill the plants. Do not dispose of the duckweed where a rainfall may wash the plants back into the water area just cleaned.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid using herbicides to kill duckweed, as the decaying plant material will add nutrients to the water and likely result in an algal bloom. Make sure you have sound footing at the water's edge while skimming.

Things You'll Need

  • Swimming pool leaf-skimming net
  • Pole extension (optional)
  • Bucket


  • Natural Environmental Systems: Duckweed
  • Purdue University.: Control of Duckweed and Watermeal
Keywords: aquatic plant control, floating plants, duckweed removal

About this Author

James Burghardt has written for "The Public Garden," "Docent Educator," nonprofit newsletters and for horticultural databases, becoming a full-time writer in 2008. He's gardened and worked professionally at public and private gardens in Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. He has written articles for eHow and GardenGuides.