What Causes Duckweed?

Growing Duckweed Duckweed In Backyard Ponds And Aquariums
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Duckweed (Lemna Minor) is a tiny aquatic plant that looks like a bright green leaf floating on the surface of the water. It has been around for centuries, but in recent years has become a major problem in ponds and other bodies of water. The plant grows quickly, and can quickly form a thick mat of vegetation that can block out the sunlight and kill other aquatic life. It can also cause a decrease in oxygen levels, making the water inhospitable for aquatic species. So what causes Duckweed to become a problem?


One of the main causes of Duckweed is overfertilization. People use fertilizer for their lawns, gardens, and golf courses to make the grass and plants look lush and green. But when the fertilizer runs off into the water, it can cause an excessive growth of nutrients in the water. This leads to an overgrowth of Duckweed, which can lead to a decrease in oxygen levels and a decrease in biodiversity.

Warm Temperatures

Duckweed is a warm-weather plant, and as such, thrives in warm temperatures. In the summer, when temperatures are warmer and the water is warmer, Duckweed can grow quickly and take over a body of water. If the temperature is too cold, the plant will not grow as quickly and will not be able to form the thick mats of vegetation that it needs to survive.

Lack of Natural Predators

Another cause of Duckweed is the lack of natural predators. Ducks and geese love to eat Duckweed, and will help to keep the plant in check. However, if there is a lack of these animals in the area, Duckweed will not have any competition, and can quickly take over a body of water. Other animals such as turtles and frogs can also help control Duckweed, but if these animals are not present, the plant can quickly spread.


Pollution is also a major cause of Duckweed. If a body of water is polluted with chemicals, such as oil, gasoline, or pesticides, the water can become toxic and inhospitable for aquatic life. Duckweed is very resilient and can survive in polluted water, and will quickly spread if it is not controlled.


Eutrophication is another cause of Duckweed. This is when the water becomes over-enriched with nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus. This can cause an overgrowth of algae and plants, which can lead to decreased oxygen levels in the water. Duckweed is a fast-growing plant and will take over a body of water if it is not controlled.

Lack of Flow

Finally, a lack of flow in a body of water can cause an increase in Duckweed. When a body of water is stagnant, there is no flow and the nutrients in the water stay put, allowing Duckweed to quickly spread.


Duckweed is a fast-growing plant that can quickly take over a body of water if it is not controlled. Overfertilization, warm temperatures, lack of natural predators, pollution, eutrophication, and lack of flow are all causes of Duckweed. If these problems are addressed and remedied, then Duckweed can be kept in check and not become a major problem.

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