How to Cut a Water Hyacinth Plant

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The watery hyacinth (Eichornia) is a flowering water plant. Originally from South America, the water hyacinth is popular in water gardens and ponds across North America for its large purple and pink flowers. The water hyacinth is hardy, low maintenance and fast growing, with some types growing twice their size every couple of weeks. Aquatic gardeners can cut their water hyacinth to propagate new plants, as well as to boost the health and growth of their established water hyacinths.

Moderately Easy


things you’ll need:
  • Water hyacinths
  • Scissors or pruning shears
    1. Prune the water hyacinths to increase their health. Use scissors or pruning shears to trim back all dead, wilted or yellow leaves and wilted runners.
    2. Cut the water hyacinth’s old roots to a length of 2 inches, but leave the new roots at their current length. This encourages the water plant to grow newer, more vigorous roots and also prompts new plant foliage growth. Old roots can be identified by their dark black color and hairy appearance, while newer roots are typically white or beige and smooth.
    3. Collect all the trimmed pieces and set aside to dry. Discard when dry, or add to your garden compost. Avoid leaving cut pieces in the water, as they will decompose and increase the risks of an invasive algae or moss bloom in your pond or water garden.
    4. Cut the water hyacinths if you want to start new water hyacinth plants in a different section of your pond, or in a new water garden. Select several of the largest and most established water hyacinths plants.
    5. Use your hands to separate the main water hyacinth plant. You will find that it is made up of several large clumps of foliage connected by runners. Take the pruning shears or scissors and cut the runners connecting the clumps. Transfer each clump to a new section of your pond or water garden. It will quickly grow its own runners and turn into a new network of water hyacinths.

Tips & Warnings

  • For easier maintenance and access while cutting, use water garden baskets to contain your water hyacinths in a single part of your water garden or pond.

  • The water hyacinth can quickly become an invasive pest due to its fast growth and hardiness. Be careful when releasing it into large ponds or waterways, as it can quickly grow out of control and be difficult to eradicate.

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