Home & Garden Tips

Information for Southern Water Gardeners

The South offers unique problems for water gardeners. Terri Dunn’s comprehensive book “Water Gardening for the South” provides helpful tips for the do-it-yourselfer. Here is some of her Southern-specific advice:


Fish are a natural way to deal with mosquitoes – they eat the larvae. Or, if you prefer, a product known as Mosquito Dunks can be purchased that will kill the larvae but not harm pond life. One Mosquito Dunk treats 100 square feet of water.


High humidity will affect the plants in the pond. Problems will include poor flowering and the appearance of fungal diseases.

A Long Growing Season

Maintenance, especially pruning, is important to make sure plants don’t become overgrown. Neglecting fish can
lead to overpopulation.

Pest Plants

If not properly discarded, your water garden plants can turn into pest plants that eventually can clog rivers, streams, reservoirs and lakes. Be sure to put them in your compost pile or plant them where they won’t cause problems

Pest Animals

Herons are a big threat to your fish, and it takes only one bird to empty your pond. Using a heron decoy is the easiest way to keep herons away. Another option is to install a place where the fish can hide, such as a ledge or pipe, when they feel threatened.


Algae can quickly overrun your pond. Conditions that cause the algae to grow are extra nutrients, high water temperature, excess fish food and improper pH levels. Keeping an eye on all these conditions, as well as removing the algae, will keep your pond from looking like pea soup. – Erica Bailey

 – Erica Bailey 

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