How to Disinfect Water Garden Plants


Water lilies and other aquatic vegetation can add color and life to a backyard pond or water feature. Take proactive measures to clean the plants before adding them to your water garden, since such specimens often host various diseases and parasites. A quick dip in potassium permanganate--a common oxidizing agent available from pond-supply stores and used to treat common pathogens, parasites, bacteria and fungi--will safely disinfect the plants.

Step 1

Fill a bucket with 12 to 13 gallons of fresh water.

Step 2

Empty 4 tbsp. of potassium permanganate into the water. Stir the powder thoroughly to dissolve it. This creates a potassium permanganate concentration that effectively sterilizes all unwanted parasites, pests and organisms.

Step 3

Place the water plants into the solution. Let the plants soak for two hours.

Step 4

Remove the plants, rinse them with fresh water and release them into your pond or water feature.

Tips and Warnings

  • Potassium permanganate will burn your skin, according to the University of Florida. Wear appropriate safety gear, including rubber gloves and protective goggles.

Things You'll Need

  • Potassium permanganate
  • Bucket
  • Spoon
  • Aquatic plants


  • "The Hobbyist's Guide to Pond Plants"; Aquascape Lifestyle Books; 2007
  • Pond Trade Magazine: Water Garden Pests and Water Lily Diseases
  • University of Florida: The Use of Potassium Permanganate in Fish Ponds
Keywords: disinfect water pants, disinfect aquatic plants, clean pond plants

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.