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Parrot's feather is a versatile plant for ponds and water gardens. Grow it underwater to oxygenate water, provide fish a place to hide, and reduce on algae. Or let parrot’s feather float on the water to provide shade. It can also be grown in wet soil at the water's edge. It earned its moniker from its dense plumes of fine-texture foliage. Parrot’s Feather has both submerged and emergent foliage. The emergent stems will root near the shoreline via rhizomes.
Check local restrictions before planting parrot’s feather because it is considered an invasive species in some areas. It can reproduce rapidly in natural areas, clogging waterways and crowding out native species.
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garden plans for Parrot's feather
Parrot's Feather in Water Gardens
Plant parrot's feather with papyrus; its upright growing habit looks good with a carpet of low-growing parrot's feather at the base. Or place parrot's feather near water lily's big, flat pads and attractive blooms to contrast with the fine texture of parrot's feather.
The plant is especially useful for improving water quality: It efficiently absorbs excess nutrients, ensuring water purity and helping reduce the growth of unsightly algae. Unfortunately, it's also valued by mosquitoes, who like to lay eggs around the plant as it floats in shallow water.
Parrot's Feather Care
Parrot's feather grows fastest in full sun (6 to 8 hours of direct light per day), but it tolerates sites with only morning sun. The less sun it gets, the slower it grows and the less efficiently it improves water quality.
In water gardens, plant its delicate rhizomes in soil in shallow water. It will quickly root and begin to spread. Its ability to root also makes parrot's feather a good transitional plant for shorelines.
In cold-winter areas, parrot's feather dies back to the rhizomes, so it should be pruned to the ground or water level after hard frost so the dead foliage doesn't decompose over winter.