If you’ve ever gazed at the fuzzy green water lettuce as it delicately floats in the water garden, you understand the love affair that many gardeners have with this plant.
So, what’s so great about it? Along with other floating plants, water lettuce is an easy care aquatic plant that doesn’t need potting or really much attention at all. It just floats along in your pond, quietly soaking up nutrients helping to prevent the excessive growth of algae. It also shades the water, helping keep it cool while providing a cozy hiding place for the fish that live in the pond.
About the only thing water lettuce requires of you is figuring out what to do with all the extras. All summer long, they will multiply by producing little “babies” similar to a strawberry plant. As the summer heats up, they do this faster than you can find another place to grow them. Who knows, you may even feel compelled to build a container water gardens just so you have a place to put the extras. Don’t worry though. If you have to toss some, they make a great addition to the compost pile.
Water lettuce produces fuzzy, lime-green rosettes of leaves that results in what looks like little floating heads of lettuce. It does best in some shade and is hardy in Zones 9-11. And although it’s difficult to overwinter, it doesn’t mind being inside for a short time before it starts to decline. Creating a little indoor container water garden is a great way to avoid putting all the little water lettuces in the compost when a frost hits.