These water plants float freely on the surface of the water garden. Floaters help reduce algae by competing with nutrients, shading the water to help keep it cool, and by lowering the amount of light that penetrates into the water. Most floaters are tropical and should be removed from the pond and composted with the onset of winter and the arrival of the first frost.
The most popular floater is the Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes). This rapidly multiplying plant develops a strong trailing root system which removes excess nutrients and pollutants from the pond. Due to their natural filtering ability, they are commonly used for water purification at treatment plants in the southern states. Occasionally hyacinths will develop a lovely orchid-like flower. In addition to hyacinths, you will also see other popular floating plants featured below.