Pond Weed Phragmites good or bad

PhragmitesSome plants are good for the pond and surrounding the pond and then there are the bad guys who while take over the entire area. Phragmites is one of the bad guys.

Where do they come from? There a plenty of ways the bad guys get transported. Birds and wildlife can be the vehicle of transportation, whether stuck on their body somewhere or if they ate the plant and go to the bathroom at your pond.

Some are actually dumped into pond, maybe as a good gesture but can ruin the pond rather quickly. For instance someone with an aquarium or small Koi pond deciding they’ve had enough of it and dump their water, fish and plants into a pond. What happens is the aquariums and koi pond have opportunity to get these really cool looking exotic plants because of color or shape but they are imported from out of the states and can be invasive or fast spreaders.

Wind/weather also plays a part in the vehicle of spreading plants, tornadoes, hurricanes, up drafts and storms can pull plants and seeds out of the pond and ground and carry them for miles and be dropped off in your pond.

On with our Phragmites story. A year ago we had a few geese stop by but only for a little while and they would be on their Pond weed Phragmitesway once the fountain came on or we shooed them off. So for these few visits they did leave behind their little nutrient bombs so this is who I can say left the seeds behind for the Phragmites to grow.

Maybe I made a mistake to see how far this plant would go in one season because in a few months it went wild. One little stalk fell into the pond and grew about 20’. I thought it was just floating but NO. At each point or knuckle of the stalk it dropped down roots to the bottom of the pond. Then along the ground I pick up a stalk only to find it was 20’ some feet long as well with the same thing going on dropping down roots along the length of this stalk.

I did hand picking and tried to get all the roots but they spread through rhizomes, long roots spreading horizontally along the ground which can infest an area extremely fast by popping up another stalk where ever it pleases, plus the thousands of seeds the produce. At least I got them before the seed or flower started.

This year they’re back, plus what was in the water came back too, looks like more digging to do and wade out in the water and pluck them before they spread more. Yes chemical treatments are available so far I’m sticking to my plan of not using chemicals in my ponds.

Options for control is to continue to hand pull and dig up the roots which is the way I’m working on the now since they are just getting started and a small group of plants. But if you have a large stand or group of these Phragmites an option is to use a chemical, the same you would use for cattails, called Shoreline Defense.
For other chemical treats.

About the Author: Darrell Rhoades is the founder of Whatpond.com. A one man business, works full time in tool & die. It all started when he built his own pond for the family. Ran into pond issues and started the research with pond suppliers and conferences for pond management. He writes about pond building and pond management and sells pond management supplies, aeration & fountains and Practical hands on experiences at Whatpond.com. . No physical store, but has items in stock.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • frankesilver Jul 30, 2015 @ 13:55

    I just built my pond with a liner. Darrell has been my source of info from beginning to end. ordered an EasyPro PA8SW aeration system from him today, very happy about price. without him I never would have attempted to build a pond. THANKS DARREL!!!!!!!

  • frankesilver Jul 30, 2015 @ 13:55

    youre the best!!!!

  • Darrell Rhoades Jul 30, 2015 @ 21:31

    Thank you Frank, It been a long haul but finally reaping the rewards on the new pond. I walked mine every day as it filled and grew each day, then the life starts taking off in it and you can watch as the new life grows.

  • shelley giles May 1, 2021 @ 8:55

    would phragmitis be safe to put in a big water tank to act as filtration to our pond? Or would it still be the bad guy ?

  • Darrell Rhoades May 5, 2021 @ 4:10

    I wouldn’t mess with it, could do more harm than good.