A lacy plant with oxygenating benefits
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Common name: Dwarf parrot’s feather
Latin name: Myriophyllum aquaticum minima
Plant type: Water plant
USDA Hardiness Zones: 6-10 (overwinter indoors in colder zones)
Cultural needs: Full or partial sun in water
Plant size: 2″ high and spreading
Dwarf parrot’s feather is one of my favorite aquatics for its lacy, fluffy look and its natural oxygenating benefit. Among other aquatics, the pictured dwarf variety, M.a.minima, with red stems and smaller leaves than its ancestors, started as scattered pinched stems, now spreading. They’ll help shade the water where algae builds up in the sun, as you can see in the pond. This water plant can also be placed in a slotted basket so that leaves float on top of the water, adding an air of softness to the scene. If not restricted as an invasive plant, find this aquatic where pond fish are sold. Anchor potted plants to allow 3-12″ of water over the top of the pot. The roots will grow in the water and the top growth will billow across the surface. The color is a nice silvery-green in the shade, and a brilliant lime green in full sun. Should it start looking straggly, pinch off the tips and throw them back into the pond. In late fall, pinch off tip cuttings and place them in a dish of water that contains a small amount of water-soluble fertilizer. Keep the dish in a sunny window during the winter.