Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Curly Leaf Pondweed Control

Young curly leaf pondweed plants form under ice cover during late winter, which makes this invasive one of the first nuisance aquatic plants to emerge in the early spring. In the early summer months, curly leaf pondweed forms turions, or hardened stem tips, which over winter and sprout new plants in the spring.

Curly leaf pondweed spreads in many ways: turions, which look like small brown pine cones, are dispersed by water movement; established plants form large colonies from rhizomes; and curly leaf pondweed can also spread by fragmentation.

Curly-leafed Pondweed. Robert Johnson, Cornell University. Ruthanna Hawkins, Cayuga Lake Watershed Network. Used with permission.
Curly-leafed Pondweed. Robert Johnson, Cornell University. Ruthanna Hawkins, Cayuga Lake Watershed Network. Used with permission.

Physical Control

Management activities should be undertaken in spring or very early summer to have the maximum benefit. Physical methods can be effective at controlling the plants in specific areas where they are causing a nuisance such as around docks and swimming areas. Physical control includes raking, cutting or harvesting vegetation, but because curly leaf pondweed can be spread by fragmentation, care should be taken to prevent fragments from being carried away by water. There is some evidence that early season cutting of pondweed at the sediment surface can prevent turion production.