Types of Weed Algae To Know About

If you have a lake or pond on your property, you will need to take proper care of it to keep it healthy and looking good. This not only includes removing trash and utilizing floating BioHaven islands but also properly weeding your body of water.

There are some weeds that work wonders on keeping your water clear and healthy, some algae can be killing the life in your pond. The first step in caring for your lake or cleaning up lake algae is knowing what is in it and how it is impacting the lake ecosystem, as Karina Lakefront Maintenance advises.


Types of Weed Algae to Know About

Some of the main things to be looking out for in your ponds or lakes includes:

Submerged and Floating Weeds

Designed to be rooted into the base of the lake or pond, these plants are mainly underwater or barely breach the surface. There are hundreds of these types of weeds, but some of the most common are:


The leaves on this particular weed are quite small, with no stem visible. It can look like filamentous algae from a distance when the plants cluster together.


The leaves of this weed have numerous bladder-like structures on them. They are branching weeds, with dense leaves at the tips. The flowers that grow from this weed have a yellow color and sit on the surface of the water.


Often confused with chara, coontails are weeds that can be either long and sparse, or rather bushy. The leaves that spiral around the stem have a more serrated appearance, with space between spirals apparent.



These leaves are incredibly small, coming in at only two millimeters wide and 1.5 millimeters tall. While small, the leaves hold between 18 and 100 teeth per side. The overall plant is around three feet in length, and the flowers are small and unassuming to the eye.

Curly Leaf Pond Weeds

These leaves are thin with finely serrated edges, making them curl at the end. The stems of these weeds branch off, with upper leaves looking crispy and waxy in appearance. There are also flowers that can be born on these weeds, which will float to the surface.

Large Leaf Pond Weed

Submersed leaves are large, tapered at the stem, and oblong in shape. They are also rather wavy in appearance and can be seen both under the water and floating on top. You will be able to see parallel veins in the leaf and will rarely see any branched stems.

Emerged Weeds

Emerged weeds are going to be on top of the water, and will be more freely rooted like air plants. These weeds respond best to glyphosate-based herbicides if you so choose to get rid of them.


Water Lilies

While a weed, this plant is often sought out as a sign of beauty. The leaves are circular, with a slit coming to the center, with a thick, fleshy root. The single flower is the most distinguishable part of the plant, with rows of petals and several color variations.


Another well-known weed is cattails. The tall stems with the brown, hot dog-like top stand feet in the air over the water. The top is actually a type of flower, though not an overly pretty one. The flower is also green in the early summer before turning brown. The insides of the flower are white and fluffy, where the seeds are. There is also an extensive root system. These weeds are particularly hard to stop from growing.


The leaves are smooth on the edges and oblong in shape, with the stem alternating arrangement. The flowers are either white or pink.

Purple Loosestrife

With heart-shaped leaves, this weed has bright purple flowers. The leaves are typically arranged in pairs and have many of them near the type. The stem is rigid with four sides and fine hairs to it.



Algae has many names, including moss, hair-like algae, scum, slime, green water, algae mats, and pond scum. Some of the most easily identified algae in ponds and lakes include 


Chara is frequently misidentified as weeds and grows on the bottom of ponds. It grows in large pillows and has both a musty odor and a crunchy texture. While it will not grow above the surface of water, you may see large bunches in your water under the surface.


Also referred to as black or blue-green algae, you will see this on the pond floor. This algae gives your pond a reddish-purple tint and looks like hair.

Planktonic Algae

While not visible to the eye, this type of algae greatly impacts the color of your water. These microscopic particles will turn your water into a color resembling pea soup. There are also instances where it can look brown or reddish in color.

Filamentous Algae

Filamentous algae are hair-like algae that can be found on pond floors and rocks. While this is where the algae thrives, it can break off in clumps. These clumps can break apart and float to the surface of the pond, creating thick algae mats.



Knowing what is in your lake or pond is a step in the right direction to promoting a healthy ecosystem. Identifying the types of weeds and algae will allow you to both maintain a healthy body of water, but know exactly when something goes awry.

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