Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Prevent Algae in Garden Fountains

By S.F. Heron ; Updated September 21, 2017

Garden fountains require regular cleaning to keep them performing properly throughout the growing season. Garden fountain maintenance includes tackling incidences of algae blooms. Algae thrives with abundant water, sunlight and nutrients. Control algae blooms with regular maintenance and without the use of harsh chemicals.

Empty the water out of the fountain at least every other day.

Remove tree, flower or leaf debris daily from the fountain. Organic material creates the perfect environment for algae to form.

Scrub the sides of the fountain with a stiff brush after emptying, rinse and then refill the fountain. Water quality should be perfect and clear until the next water change. Water becomes stagnant if left to sit more than a day or two.

Remove and rinse clean the fountain pump and tubing with every other water change to remove algae residue. Soak the tubing and pump parts for 15 minutes in 2 cups of white vinegar mixed with 1 gallon of water.

Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the fountain to discourage algae buildup if water replacement doesn't clear the algae problem. Perform daily water changes and soak the pump and tubing in white vinegar more frequently to kill residual algae.


Things You Will Need

  • Stiff brush
  • Mild dish detergent
  • White vinegar
  • Measuring cup


  • Add a cup of household bleach to the fountain to discourage algae growth. Bleach won't harm most fountains as long as it's diluted properly and doesn't come in direct contact with the fountain surface. Don't use bleach in fountains where birds bathe or animals drink.
  • Tablet algaecides can also be used to help reduce algae formation in fountains. Some formulas contain enzymes that eat the algae but are harmless to wildlife.