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Arrowhead

Sagittaria spp.

Arrowhead, which earned its name because of its arrow-shape leaves, is a no-fuss water garden plant that adds a lush, tropical feel to ponds, pools, and water features. Several species are available, many of which are native to areas of North America. They all bear attractive three-petal flowers throughout summer and are largely carefree once established. Check carefully when you buy: Some species are considered invasive and have naturalized in streams, ponds, and other waterways.

Several types of arrowhead plant form starchy tubers (similar to small potatoes) that can be harvested and eaten by humans. Birds and other creatures also eat these tubers, making the plant a valuable choice for attracting wildlife.

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Light:

Sun

Type:

Height:

From 1 to 8 feet

Width:

1 to 3 feet

Flower Color:

Foliage Color:

Seasonal Features:

Zones:

5-10

Propagation

garden plans for Arrowhead

Growing Arrowhead

This water garden plant is surprisingly versatile. It partners well with canna, for example, to create a tropical look in landscapes. You can also plant it with varieties like parrot's feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum) to create a more casual cottage look. Plant arrowhead in the standing water of pools, ponds, or containers where it can rise out of the water like a lush tropical island. Or plant it in wet soil at the edge of a water garden where you can see its flowers up close.

Because it thrives in wet soil, you can enjoy arrowhead in ponds, bogs, and containers. It can be planted at the edge of a pond or submerged in as much as a foot of water. Because many common water-garden plants are low-growing, the upright arrowhead makes a perfect focal point and adds drama with its mid-size height, textural leaves, and attractive flowers. Those flowers, by the way, are relatively small and often hidden in the foliage. If you wish to enjoy this plant for its blossoms, be sure to plant it where you can see it up close.

How to Care For Arrowhead

Arrowhead does best in a spot in full sun (at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sun per day). It will tolerate full and part shade, but it won't grow as quickly or produce as many flowers.

It typically doesn't require fertilization to do well. But if you grow arrowhead in a container by itself or a similarly closed ecosystem, it will benefit from use of a water-garden fertilizer. Look for a product at your local garden center and follow directions on the packaging.

There are several species of arrowhead; check the hardiness Zones if you wish to grow this easy-care plant as a perennial in your water garden.

More Varieties of Arrowhead

Broadleaf arrowhead

Native to Eastern North America, this variety (Sagittaria latifolia) features wide leaves and white flowers. It grows 4 feet tall. Zones 5-10

Ruby Eye arrowhead

A small selection, Ruby Eye (Sagittaria montevidensis) bears white flowers with red-and-yellow centers. It grows 30 inches tall. Zones 5-9

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