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American Lotus - Part Beauty, Part Eyesore

posted this on Oct 31, 2016

The lotus is the largest native blossom in North America. Photo by Green Deane

If you’ve been to a local lake or pond to do some fishing or to go swimming with your family, you may have noticed during some parts of the year an aquatic plant floating among the surface of the water that appears to be a water lily but unlike them, they may have a stem and a large pretty flower that’s usually yellowish white. This aquatic plant is the American Lotus and while they can be nice to look at, they can grow out of control on a lake or pond and be a source of irritation, getting in the way of those wanting to fish or take a dip in the water and swim.


More About The American Lotus


The American Lotus is an emergent and perennial plant aquatic plant that has floating circular leaves 1-3 feet wide, with stems attached to the center of the leaf underside. They have rhizomes which slender, branched, and rooted in mud. When floating in the water the American lotus lays flat, when they are emergent, they are cone shapes. If left alone, the American Lotus can form large colonies and spread through the body of water where they reside by seeds and large fleshy rhizomes. When flowering, the American Lotus has a solitary large pale yellow flower usually containing 20 petals with a cone-shaped seed pod in the flower center which resembles a shower head.


This plant normally emerges in still or slow-moving waters, or in the quiet waters of ponds in eastern, central, and southern Texas, and most of eastern USA, during the warmer summer months between May and July

These weeds can be hard to control without the proper product. Attempting to remove them by hand can prove to be a difficult chore that will largely be ineffective because when removed by hand, often times the rhizomes will be left behind in the water, which will eventually lead to new weeds sprouting and re-establishing themselves aggressively before long.


Best Methods of Control


Controlling aquatic plants like the American lotus usually consists of using an aquatic herbicide that is either granular or liquid as a way to manage them effectively and rid them from your pond or lake.


The chemicals which work best in treating these water weeds are ones which contain active ingredients 2,4-D , endothall , triclopyr , glyphosate , and imazamox. Solutions Pest and Lawn carried some high quality herbicides which contain these herbicides or a combination of them.

  • Cutrine Plus, available in both granular and liquid form, is a quality option that that is best applied during the early period of spring which is when new growths tend to appear. American lotus perennials that have been well-established in the water will require a heavier dosage and repeat treatments at least 3 to 5 weeks after the initial application in order to kill the entire long-standing root system

  • Ecomazapyr 2 SL Aquatic Herbicide and Fluridone Aquatic Herbicide (Sonar) are a few other effective options which work best when applied mid-season when all the weeds are above the water surface and in full bloom. Again, treatment should be repeated between 3-5 weeks after the first application may be needed to kill the entire root system.


One thing to keep in mind when using any form of chemical control on bodies of water is the high chance of an oxygen depletion after the control product is applied which can be caused by the decomposition of the neutralized plant. Oxygen depletions can create a hazard in the water and can even kill fish in the pond or lake. If the pond is heavily infested with American lotus weeds it is recommended to treat the pond in segmented sections and let each section decompose for about two weeks before moving on to treating another section. Letting the pond or lake aerate, especially at night, a week or so after treatment may help control the oxygen depletion as well and bring the water back to safe manageable levels.


If you need any assistance in choosing the right herbicide or in examining and figuring out what type of aquatic plant you have interfering in your pond, do not hesitate to contact us via phone or email at askapro@solutionsstores.com .

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