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Anacharis

 Anacharis

 Anacharis

 

Elodea canadensis, also known as American waterweed and most commonly known as Anacharis (and also mistakenly known as Brazilian Waterweed, which is invasive), is an ideal pond plant. Although they are quite pretty with beautiful bright green fern-like leaves, you will rarely see them in the natural pond unless you plant them in the shallows where they will form gracefully flowing, many-leaved stems just beneath the water's surface. But they should also be planted in the deeper but not too deep (up to 18 inches) portion of the pond where they will receive enough light and be able to do their job.

 

Anacharis are submersibles and they're primary purpose in the pond is to help oxygenate and clarify the water and reduce algae growth. (They do this by using nitrates in the water for which algae compete.) Anacharis anchors itself in the substrate by its roots, but will also grow when floating freely, though they tend to look messy this way. Normally we plant them in heavy soil with pebbles around the base to hold them.

 

In addition to helping to clean the water, Anacharis also provide cover for fry (newborn fish), which might otherwise get eaten by the adult fish. You need to plant enough of them so they don't become over-grazed by Koi and other pond fish, as they will be seriously nibbled on. With enough Anacharis planted or floating in the pond, the fish can graze, much as cows do, without killing the entire plant or population.

Anacharis is an excellent submersible water plant for ponds, (also used extensively in aquariums both for their graceful appearance and their oxygenating and purifying effect) particularly the natural pond. They would not look appropriate in a clean-lined, contemporary or classical reflecting pool.

Propagate by removing cuttings, or more properly, by simply cutting a large stem into segments. The Anacharis looks best when planted in groups of groups. They can also be placed in small pots on the bottom of the pond. In a suitable environment, the Anacharis will grow well beyond their original 6 or 12 inches you buy them as. The hardiness zones for this plant are stated as being from zone 3 - 11, while some sources say zone 4-11. They're worth trying in the margin zones as the plant is not expensive and really does good work in a fish pond.