Care of Water Hyacinth

Overview

Water hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes) is a floating water plant that blooms randomly on a single day, at any point in the growing season. The flowers are purple with a yellow spot on one petal and grow on 6-inch stems. The 6- to 12-inch leathery leaves keep the water hyacinth floating on the water surface, with its roots dangling below the water. The water hyacinth grows best in USDA Zones 9 through 11, where minimum annual temperatures don't drop below 20 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit, but can be grown as an annual pond plant in cooler regions during the summer.

Step 1

Position your water hyacinth in full sunlight. Ensure that the water hyacinth's leaves are floating above the water surface.

Step 2

Maintain water temperatures of 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Colder water can shock the plant or induce dormancy.

Step 3

Keep the water pH levels around 6.5 to 7.5. Test your pond water's pH levels at least once each month and add pH balancing chemicals to the pond water when needed.

Step 4

Feed your water hyacinth once each week during the growing season with an aquatic plant fertilizer. Follow the dosage recommendations on the label.

Step 5

Keep your water hyacinth plants away from any fish that might feed on and damage them, such as koi. Most types of pond fish will simply use the water hyacinth's roots for spawning areas, however.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't let the water hyacinths take over your entire pond, because they can quickly reproduce and grow to cover the pond surface, choking out other plants and fish. Remove excess water hyacinth plants from the pond annually.

Things You'll Need

  • Water pH test kit
  • Water pH balancing chemicals
  • Aquatic plant fertilizer

References

  • LiveAquaria.com: Water Hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes)

Who Can Help

  • The Water Garden: Water Hyacinth
Keywords: water hyacinth care, pond plant care, Eichornia crassipes

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.