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#553371 11/08/22 12:43 PM
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I have planted two types of eel grass with varying success. The first apparently was Vallisneria Americana 'Gigantea'. It had long leaves about 3/4" wide, red or brownish in color. We planted 20 one gallon pots, of which only one survived for an extended time and now it appears to be disappearing. I transplanted some of it to pots and they aren't growing either. Turtles decimate it if not caged, and even if you do in some cases.

The other variety I believe is Vallisneria Americana common. It has straight bright green leaves about 4" to 8" in length. It puts up tiny thread like stalks to the surface for tiny blooms about pin head size. I had one little bunch from an eBay buy that I potted. It sat by my dock in the lake for a couple of years doing nothing much. I finally planted it on a sandbar in the lake, caged it, and forgot about it. I checked a couple of months later and it had filled the cage up to where the turtles keep it groomed off. It seems very well behaved so I'm taking plugs of it and transplanting around the lake.

I have noted that the plants expand from their cages in the winter when the turtle activity is slow, then when spring warms the water one day it will look like someone took a weedeater to them. This happened last winter and spring to my Illinois pond weed.

Last edited by RossC; 11/08/22 12:44 PM.

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RossC #553380 11/08/22 06:05 PM
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Thanks for the update Ross.

Good info to add to the forum!

RossC #553382 11/08/22 06:47 PM
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would love to establish in my northern pond. I see sellers on Ebay and I believe I know of waterways between lakes north of town with tons of eelgrass in it. It is sold as an aquarium plant. Any idea if I can put it in my pond and see if it will survive?

RossC #553384 11/09/22 05:24 AM
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RossC #553385 11/09/22 09:57 AM
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As noted above it can sometimes be hard to get eel grass established due to things present in your pond that will eat the new plants. It seems to grow in sand or clay bottoms. Numerous animals like to eat it. Grass carp will eat it but not as a preferred item. Eel grass as with all plants will spread to larger areas. Amount of spread depends on numerous things and situations. In good conditions I have seen it growing 6ft tall in 16ft of clear water. Eelgrass can tolerate low light conditions. It can grow pretty thick dense, although fish can still hunt through outer margins of the patches. IMPORTANT. Notice the dense growth in the picture of it growing on the habitatnow website linked above. It does not become dense tangled and intertwined like some submerged plants. Vallisneria americana, the US native plant, can at times grow to 6ft tall in clear water good conditions. I consider it a warm season plant that does not grow in early spring. Ribbon like leaves can reside over winter and then decay real early spring before the new shoots develop when water is close to 70F. IMO I would not plant Jungle eel grass because it has 1" wide leaves and grows 6ft to 8ft tall and spreads pretty fast.
There are some exotic species of aquarium eel grass varieties that are short and grow primarily 6" to 24" tall. However these varieties to my knowledge do not tolerate extended cold water and ice cover. They should grow well in southern areas.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 11/09/22 10:06 AM.

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RossC #553386 11/09/22 11:15 AM
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Bill do you think if I take a 12" full plant with root tuber and set it in my pond in the shallows with dirt/gravel over the root ball that the roots will take hold yet this fall? I don't mind if leaves fall off over winter and we start over with new growth in spring. If you think best to just buy and plant in spring I can do that too.

RossC #553388 11/09/22 03:02 PM
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FYI - I plan to plant most of the bulbs in chicken-wire enclosures.

RossC #553394 11/09/22 08:23 PM
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canyon - If you get some dirt with the roots as mostly undisturbed then for sure they will stay alive and grow in May. If you are dealing with bare root plants then it is iffy for continued growth in spring. Are you buying plants or digging native plants?

Last edited by Bill Cody; 11/09/22 08:33 PM.

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RossC #553400 11/10/22 07:32 PM
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Thanks for the private message

I at first was thinking of buying them online from an aquarium source. I'd prefer to buy them from someone's pond in my geographic area to know they will thrive in the cold.

Does anyone have eelgrass pictures to post?

RossC #553403 11/10/22 08:13 PM
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CC, keep the Canada geese away from it, they love to eat it.


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
RossC #553404 11/10/22 08:48 PM
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Thanks for the tip! We aggressively remove all Canada geese with every means availalable, (dog barking, humans yelling, airsoft guns blasting, sticks being thrown, water cannon etc) They only come in the spring when it is time to find a nest and they usually leave the next day and never come back. We did have it once where a pair with young came to the pond and they would not leave as long as it was light. I even used strong flashlights to flash them after dark and generally make their stay unpleasant. They were gone by the next daylight. I assume the little ones could not fly and so they all walked out somewhere...

But I think bill and I will work on this project in the spring when we can assure better root growth.

RossC #553417 11/11/22 11:22 AM
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This is the variety that didn't do well for me. The leaves were even wider as they got taller.
https://www.ipmimages.org/browse/detail.cfm?imgnum=5400902

This is closer to the variety that is doing well for me. Bright green leaves, shorter, narrower leaves.
https://www.toprybicky.sk/rastliny/vallisneria-americana-var-natans/

After further reading it appears that Val. Americana doesn't care for acid water, which we have. Maybe after we lime we'll have better luck with it.

Also, in my first post, the large Val. is common Americana apparently, and the smaller is some other variety, likely natans.

Last edited by RossC; 11/11/22 11:40 AM.

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RossC #555218 01/29/23 04:23 PM
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Pictures of the eel grass in my pond. Note how everything is groomed back inside the cages by turtles. Third pic is Illinois pond weed also groomed back.

Attached Images
eel grass 1.jpg eel grass 2.jpg pondweed.jpg

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Turtles did that? Shocks me, tbh. I could understand grass carp or crawfish, but turtles...


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RossC #555223 01/29/23 07:15 PM
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I am going to try one last time this spring. Great plant because it makes good food for wildlife, but that is likely why its so hard for me to get it established.

anthropic #555234 01/30/23 09:16 AM
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Crawdads wouldn't be stopped by the cage. Grasscarp couldn't groom 2-3" inside the wire.


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