Water Hyacinth Pond Plants

You want to know how to keep your new pond and fish healthy after doing all that hard work building it. Pond plants are one great choice and water hyacinth pond plants are one of the more common ones seen in water gardens.

What Are Water Hyacinth Floating Pond Plants?

Planting Water Hyacinth Pond Plants Image

Water hyacinth is a popular pond plant that floats along the top of garden ponds and serves an important function to your koi pond habitat. They have lavender-blue petaled flowers and thick, dark green leaves. Their look makes them easy for the aquatic plant admirer to love.

This plant is very versatile and grows in many watery areas around the globe. Hyacinths are one of the top pond plants that koi pond owners prefer to use. They are ideal for regular water gardens and container-like water gardens.

I don’t mean to alarm you, but a legal note needs to be made before we go any farther.

Did You Know?

The water hyacinth got its start here in the states on Dec. 16, 1884 during the “Worlds Industrial and Cotton Centenial Exposition”, otherwise called the World Fair in New Orleans, LA.

An herb called Eichornia crassipes was on display there and  caught peoples eye with it’s blue and purple flowers and dark green leaves. It is what we now call the common water hyacinth.

Even though this plant got its start in 1884 in the US the origin of this plant is actually in the Amazons. The late 1800s would see the water hyacinth make it’s way to Europe and Africa too, so much so that it started to become a problem with taking over the waterways. This leads to my next word of caution.

Even though they are quite popular and have a nice appearance, water hyacinth floating plants have an unfortunate side-effect to accompany its accolades. They can completely take over a pond or other water feature if not culled in some way. In their more natural form, they overtake naturally-formed ponds, take away habitats, and affect whole economies in some countries where they lay down their roots.

The fix? To keep water hyacinths from turning into an overgrowing nuisance you can keep them in a half-barrel or rope them up so they stay in the same place. Since it has this overgrowth problem in the Summertime you can take a net and fish some of it out of your pond. A good rule of thumb is to thin them out whenever they take over 60% of the surface of the water.

Who Could Benefit From Water Hyacinth?

Do you like being able to see your koi in the water? Of course, you do, we all do. Then you will be pleased as punch to know that water hyacinths have the ability to clear water so it isn’t murky. This enables you to see all the way to the bottom of your pond.A Pic of the Legendary Water Hyacinth Pond Plant

The spawning season will be aa good time for koi if water hyacinths are present. This plant serves as a good spawning area when the time to mate comes. They can use this plant as their nesting area.

Another reason people like to have water hyacinths as their floating pond plant of choice is their affordability. Water hyacinths are cheap for the cheapskates out there, just kidding. The fact that they are very economical is very likely another reason for their acclaim.

Koi carp need a shade for the hotter times of the year like Summer. Koi use plants for their naturally cool shade for some R&R. They also keep the pond a cooler temperature which will mean more oxygen and them getting all the rays will result in them keeping growing. Just don’t let them grow too far out of control.

If you are one of the people that own a container-like water feature, then you will notice how easy it is for water hyacinth plants to grow. They work very well for these man-made features just like they do ponds.

Can Water Hyacinths Grow In Soil Since They Are a “Floating” Plant?

Yes, they can. The difference in them growing on land and in the water are that they need shade on land from mid to late afternoon. In the water the more sun the better. This isn’t true when being grown in the soil. One thing that I learned is you never use commercial potting soil. To grow them in soil:

  • take a half-barrel and cover the inside of it with a large, black garbage bag
  • Add a small amount of regular soil at the bottom
  • Add some sand to top it off
  • Go to your local home and garden center to purchase a de-chlorinator for your water to give your plants adequate, healthy water to water them with

Don’t use commercial potting soil. Commercial Potting soil contains chemicals such as:

These chemicals within commercial potting soil mixes float to the top of the container they are in.

Don’t use city water. The city’s water supply will contain chlorine or chloramines. Go down to your local Garden Center, or Wal-Mart, and purchase a de-chlorinator.

How Long Do Water Hyacinths Last

Your floating hyacinths will last through Spring and Summer. Not winter fans! There are courses, posts, and plenty of how to’s online that tell you how to “winterize” their water hyacinth plants. I’m not really a fan of this so I don’t know how to do this. The reason I never learned is because of the fact that water hyacinth pond plants are cheap.

I just don’t see much reason to try preserving them over the cold months. When they die out they can actually make a good fertilizer for your garden so here comes my shameless sales pitch. Ready?


Stupid Disclaimer I Made For My Water Hyacinth Article

But seriously, these are a good plant with lots of benefits that can help your koi pond be everything you dreamed it could be. I will dish out the pros and cons below


  • They have an attractive appearance which is one reason you wanted a koi pond in the first place. They are eye-candy
  • They provide a great, shady spot for your koi pets to cool down
  • Plants add extra oxygen to the water to help your koi breathe. Koi don’t have lungs as we do so they have to take the oxygen from the water into their gills for respiration.
  • Make a good spawning area for your koi and goldfish’s mating season


  • The growing can get out of hand and take up too much of your pond
  • Will take work when it comes time to clear some of it out. This is fixable though through the techniques described further up the article.

So, To Recap

Your koi pond is a feature that needs certain things to keep looking it’s most astonishing. I let you know about the many advantages that deploying water hyacinths plants to your koi pond feature could greatly help awesomeify your pond to the next level.

The koi will naturally get more oxygen from the plants and the plants get a lot of nice sunshine so it’s a win-win relationship for both of them. They are also easy on the eyes and add character to your water garden feature. Koi also like to use the plants as a spawning location when it’s time to reproduce.

There were also disadvantages mentioned in that they can overgrow and try to choke out other living things in the pond. I find that the best thing to do is grab a net and start clearing some of it out once it is estimated to be overtaking sixty percent of the pond. Someone else also suggested roping them so they can just be pulled out altogether if they get out of hand.

What do you think of water hyacinths? Are you ready to check them out yourself?

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