Pontederia Cordata Lanceolata Aquatic Pond Plant - Giant Pickerel Weed

Aquatic Plants
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Pontederia cordata, commonly known as Pickerelweed, is a perennial aquatic plant belonging to the Pontederiaceae family. It is native to North and South America and is often found growing in marshes, ponds, and along the edges of lakes and streams. Here's a general description of Pontederia cordata:

  • Growth Habit: Pickerelweed has a clumping or spreading growth habit and forms dense stands in suitable aquatic habitats. It typically reaches a height of 60 to 120 centimeters (2 to 4 feet).

  • Leaves: The leaves are large, heart-shaped, and glossy green. They emerge from the base of the plant and are held above the water surface on long stalks.

  • Flowers: Pickerelweed produces showy blue to violet flowers that grow on upright spikes called inflorescences. The flowers are tubular in shape and have a distinct upper lip and a lower lip with three lobes. They bloom during the summer months, attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies.

  • Seeds: After flowering, Pickerelweed develops small, oval-shaped seeds within capsule-like structures. These capsules split open when ripe, releasing the seeds that can float and disperse through water.

Care Guide: Here are some general care guidelines for Pontederia cordata (Pickerelweed):

  1. Light Requirements: Pickerelweed thrives in full sun to partial shade. It prefers at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day for optimal growth and flowering.

  2. Water Requirements: As an aquatic plant, Pickerelweed requires consistently moist or submerged conditions. It can tolerate both shallow and deep water. Plant it in the margins of ponds, wetlands, or water gardens, ensuring that the crown of the plant is at or slightly above the water level.

  3. Soil Conditions: Pickerelweed prefers rich, loamy soil with a neutral to slightly acidic pH. In aquatic settings, it can adapt to various soil types, including sandy or clay soils. Ensure that the soil or substrate is well-drained but consistently moist.

  4. Temperature and Hardiness: Pickerelweed is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 11. It can tolerate a range of temperatures but thrives in moderate climates with cool winters and warm summers.

  5. Maintenance: Once established, Pickerelweed requires minimal maintenance. Remove any dead or decaying foliage to maintain plant health and appearance. In late winter or early spring, you can cut back the old stems to allow new growth to emerge.

  6. Propagation: Pickerelweed can be propagated through seeds or division. Seeds can be collected from mature plants and sown in wet soil or submerged in water. Division of mature clumps can be done in early spring by separating the rhizomes and replanting them.

  7. Potential Issues: Pickerelweed is generally not prone to serious pest or disease issues. However, it can be susceptible to fungal diseases or rot if subjected to prolonged waterlogged conditions. Proper water circulation and maintaining appropriate water levels can help prevent these issues.

Remember to check and adhere to any local regulations regarding the planting of aquatic plants, as some species may be classified as invasive in certain regions.

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Here are some general tips and care guidelines for marginal pond plants:


Research different species of marginal pond plants to find ones that suit your pond's conditions and your aesthetic preferences. Consider factors such as height, flower colour, foliage texture, and seasonal interest when selecting plants.


Observe the natural conditions of your pond, such as sun exposure, soil type, and water movement, and choose plants that are adapted to those conditions. Create different planting zones around the pond, with plants that prefer wet soil closer to the water's edge and those that tolerate drier soil further away.


Marginal plants typically thrive in full sun to partial shade. Some species can tolerate more shade, but for optimal growth and flowering, provide them with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.

Water Depth:

Determine the water depth requirements of the marginal plants you choose. Some plants prefer water up to 6 inches deep, while others can tolerate water up to 12 inches or more. Ensure that the water level remains consistent within the preferred range for the chosen plants.


Marginal plants prefer a rich, loamy soil that retains moisture but is not waterlogged. Amend the soil with organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, to improve its fertility and drainage. Avoid using heavy clay soil, as it can become compacted and restrict root growth.


Dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball of the plant and loosen the soil at the bottom. Place the plant in the hole, ensuring that the crown is level with or slightly above the soil surface. Backfill the hole with soil and gently firm it around the plant to eliminate air pockets. Water thoroughly after planting to settle the soil and provide initial hydration.


Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the plants to suppress weeds, conserve moisture, and regulate soil temperature.Use materials like straw, shredded bark, or compost, and maintain a depth of 2-3 inches.


Marginal plants prefer consistently moist soil but should not be waterlogged. Monitor the moisture level regularly and water as needed to keep the soil evenly moist. During hot and dry periods, provide supplemental watering to prevent the soil from drying out.


Marginal plants generally do not require heavy fertilization if the soil is nutrient-rich. However, if growth appears weak or leaves show signs of nutrient deficiencies, apply a balanced slow-release fertilizer according to the manufacturer's instructions.


Remove any yellowing or dead leaves to maintain plant health and appearance. Divide overcrowded plants every few years to prevent competition for resources and promote vigorous growth. Prune back excessive growth to maintain a tidy appearance and to prevent plants from encroaching on other plants or the pond itself.

Winter Care:

Hardy marginal plants can withstand winter temperatures and require minimal care. Cut back dead foliage in late fall or early spring to tidy up the planting area. In colder regions, consider protecting tender plants with a layer of mulch or covering them with burlap during winter to prevent frost damage.

Monitoring and Troubleshooting:

Regularly inspect plants for signs of pests, diseases, or nutrient deficiencies. Address any issues promptly with appropriate treatments, such as organic insecticides, fungicides, or nutrient amendments. By following these detailed tips and providing proper care, you can create a beautiful and thriving planting zone around your pond, enhancing its visual appeal and supporting a diverse ecosystem.

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