What Is Burning My Water Lettuce In The Pond?

Ponders in the Northeast? My water lettuce is exploding due to days and
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Water lettuce, or Pistia stratiotes, is a floating aquatic plant that is known for its ability to absorb excess nutrients in ponds, making it a beneficial addition to any water garden. Unfortunately, it can also be susceptible to burning, which is a term used to describe what happens when it turns yellow and wilts. But what is actually burning the water lettuce in the pond?

Excessive Sunlight

Although water lettuce loves sunlight, it is still possible to have too much of a good thing. If the plant is exposed to too much direct sunlight, it can cause the leaves to become discolored and eventually burn. Moving the plant to a shadier area of the pond can help reduce the chances of burning due to excessive sunlight.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Water lettuce needs a few essential nutrients in order to thrive, including nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. If any of these nutrients are lacking in the water, the plant may become stressed and start to burn. Regularly testing the water and adding nutrient-rich fertilizers can help ensure that the water lettuce gets the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.


Water lettuce is a fast-growing plant, and it doesn’t take long for it to spread throughout a pond. This can be a good thing if you’re trying to reduce the amount of algae and other aquatic weeds, but too much of a good thing can be bad. If the water lettuce is overcrowded, it can lead to a decrease in water circulation and an increase in competition for resources. This can stress the plant and cause it to burn.

Pest Infestations

Like any other plant, water lettuce is susceptible to pests. The most common pests are aphids, which feed on the plant’s sap and can eventually cause the leaves to yellow and wilt. To get rid of aphids, you can spray the plant with a pesticide or introduce beneficial predators such as ladybugs or lacewings.

Lack of Oxygen

Water lettuce needs oxygen to survive, and if the water doesn’t have enough of it, the plant may start to burn. This can be caused by an accumulation of organic matter or a decrease in water circulation. Adding an aerator to the pond can help increase oxygen levels and prevent the water lettuce from burning.

Incorrect pH Levels

Water lettuce prefers a slightly acidic environment, with a pH level of around 6.5 to 7.5. If the pH levels are too high or too low, the plant may become stressed and start to burn. Regularly testing the water can help you keep an eye on the pH levels and make sure they stay within the optimal range.

Too Much Fertilizer

Although fertilizer can be beneficial to water lettuce, too much of it can cause the plant to burn. When applying fertilizer, it’s important to follow the instructions on the package and never apply more than the recommended amount. This will help ensure that the plant gets the nutrients it needs without getting too much of a good thing.


Water lettuce can be a great addition to any pond, but it’s important to understand the causes of burning. Excessive sunlight, nutrient deficiencies, overcrowding, pest infestations, lack of oxygen, incorrect pH levels, and too much fertilizer can all lead to burning and wilting of the leaves. By understanding the causes and taking steps to prevent them, you can keep your water lettuce healthy and happy.

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