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Water hyacinth is a friend or foe, depending on where it is growing. A vigorous water plant, water hyacinth is invasive and is illegal to plant in many states, primarily Zones 9 to 11. So be sure to check local regulations if you’re interested in planting water hyacinth. In areas where it is legal, the plant is a colorful and texture-rich addition to water gardens. Water hyacinth plays a helpful role in water gardens, where it provides shelter and spawning area for small fish. The dense foliage also inhibits algae growth and helps keep water clear.
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Water Hyacinth Colors
Pair water hyacinth's glossy green rosettes of foliage with upright water plants, such as sweet flag, cattail, and Louisiana iris. Water hyacinth has a strong tendency to take over a water garden, blanketing the surface with its glossy rosettes of green leaves. Prevent planting companions from being overtaken by actively pulling out and composting excessive water hyacinth plants.
Water Hyacinth Care
A frost-tender aquatic perennial, water hyacinth is grown as an annual in Zones 8 and below. It is easy to grow in still water and full sun. Plant it in spring by scattering small bunches of plants on the water surface after the last frost date. Be mindful because they spread quickly in warm water via stems from the main plant, producing numerous new plants. Remove excess plants as needed.
Overwinter these frost-tender plants by removing them from the water garden and planting them in containers of moist loam in late fall. Place the container in a bright sunny spot where temperatures stay between 60 and 70-degrees. Many gardeners prefer to grow water hyacinth as an annual by purchasing new plants each spring.