Algae Control: Natural and Easy
This year, stop algae before it starts. For pond owners, the first blush of spring is quickly followed by the green-water days of summer. But the easiest way to beat algae is to start controlling it before the green-water becomes a problem. Check out our three favorite ways to control algae and discover how easy it is to have clean, clear water all summer long.
Submerged Pond Plants
These under-appreciated plants are the key to a beautiful pond with clean, clear water. Anacharis and other submerged pond plants are natural algae-busters. These plants have roots that are specially adapted for taking nutrients directly from the water. Without those excess nutrients, your algae problem will disappear. Have some patience. This isnít an over-night fix. But, give the plants a little while to grow, and youíll see your green water problems fade into nothing.
Our favorite submerged plants for algae control are Anacharis, Hornwort, Cabomba and Parrotís Feather. We recommend approximately one bunch of submerged plants for every 1-2 feet of surface water. But remember that every pond is different. You may need more plants if your algae problem is severe, or less if your pond is partially shaded or heavily planted.
Floating Pond Plants
Submerged plants may be the masters of clear water, but floating plants come in a close second. Water Hyacinth and Water Lettuce have dense, feathery roots that are especially good at removing excess nutrients from the water. And these floaters are not just useful. They are also pretty. Water Lettuce will carpet your pond with velvety-green leaves while Water Hyacinth is best known for its beautiful purple flower stalks.
Floating plants work best when combined with some submerged plants. Water Hyacinth and Water Lettuce are both excellent algae-busters, but they can also be very invasive. Please be careful and never release these plants in natural waterways. If you want a gentler solution, try Water Poppy or Frogbit.
No one is entirely sure why Barley straw works to control green water and pond algae, but it does. Recent studies suggest that barley straw may release a compound the inhibits the growth of new algae, but does not kill existing algae. So, the best time to add barley straw is before you have a problem.
Barley straw is available as a liquid extract or as miniature bales of actual straw that you simply toss into your pond. These floating bales are only about 8-12 inches long, so they are readily hidden by vegetation. Or, go one better and try a new floating barley straw planter. Simply pop a plant into the center of the planter, and enjoy your clean, clear pond.