Responsible Water Gardening

July 21, 2017
Pond with water lilies and pickerel weed



Here’s How YOU Can Help:

DO NOT RELEASE: Do not release any aquatic plants or animals near or into lakes, rivers, streams or storm drains

CHOOSE NON-INVASIVES: Learn which aquatic plants are invasive in your area and choose non-invasive alternatives

PICK YOUR PLACE: Build your water garden away from natural waterways or areas that seasonally flood

PROPERLY DISPOSE: Properly dispose of water garden plant material: burn it, bag it, or compost it

DON’T PICK UP HITCHHIKERS: Carefully inspect purchases for “hitchhikers” before putting them into your pond

What Makes a Water Weed?

While most garden plants do not cause problems, a small number are aggressive in new environments and can spread rapidly. The results can have dire consequences, especially in aquatic ecosystems.

Dense mats of invasive aquatic plants:

  • degrade water quality
  • clog waterways used for irrigation, flood control and fire protection
  • out-compete native water plants including threatened and endangered species
  • threaten fish and other water creatures
  • increase the number of mosquitoes
  • make recreational activities like swimming, boating and fishing nearly impossible

In California, more than $50 million has been spent trying to manage water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) and Brazilian waterweed (Egeria densa) in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta alone over the last fifteen years. Nationwide, losses from invasive aquatic plants, many of which are the same species popular in the water gardening trade, total $110 million annually. You can help prevent these problems by following the easy steps above!

Please visit Cal-IPC for a California guide to aquatic plants and how you can protect lakes, rivers, and other waterways in your area.

For more information about invasive aquatic plants visit these websites:

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