Today, I scooped up all the Water Lettuce from the pond and stream. This lovely floating plant turns out to be bad news.
- It multiplies like Tribbles. I started with three plants in late spring and threw out hundreds today. If it gets loose in the waterways, it can outcompete native plants.
- The leaf rosettes hold water. Yaay, say the Mosquitoes looking for a place to breed.
- The plants are so prolific that they shade out emerging Water Lily pads and reduce oxygen in the water.
On the other hand, Water Lettuce is very easy to grow, has adorable leaf rosettes, shades out String Algae, and helps filter the water. I’d keep some if not for the mosquito problem. I take several steps to keep the Mosquitoes to a dull roar, but during this rainy summer, they’ve multiplied like, well, like Water Lettuce.
Before and After Photos
The top row shows the stream and pond before I removed the Water Lettuce today. The second row shows the same views without the Water Lettuce. Notice how much more open water there is! The bottom photo shows the long roots in the sunlight.
Learn more about Water Lettuce from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the University of Florida Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants. You are not supposed to propagate, move, or sell Water Lettuce in Florida.