Pickerelweed Facts, Care & Planting Guide (Pontederia cordata) – Everything You Need to Know

Pickerelweed, scientifically known as Pontederia cordata, is a beautiful aquatic plant that is native to North America. It is commonly found in wetlands, marshes, and along the edges of ponds and lakes. With its striking blue-purple flowers and long, lance-shaped leaves, pickerelweed is a favorite among gardeners and nature enthusiasts.

One of the most interesting facts about pickerelweed is its ability to attract a variety of wildlife. Its flowers are a major source of nectar for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, making it an excellent addition to any pollinator garden. Additionally, the thick foliage and underwater stems provide shelter for small fish and other aquatic organisms.

Caring for pickerelweed is relatively simple, as it thrives in both full sun and partial shade. It requires moist soil and can tolerate being submerged in water up to 6 inches deep. Regular watering is essential, especially during dry periods, to ensure the plant’s health and vitality.

When it comes to planting pickerelweed, it can be done in both containers and directly in the ground. If planting in a container, a mix of loam soil and compost is recommended. For direct planting, ensure there is enough space for the plant to spread, as pickerelweed can grow quite vigorously. Consider adding a layer of mulch around the plant to help retain moisture.

“Pickerelweed is a versatile and attractive plant that adds beauty to any aquatic garden or natural landscape. Its vibrant flowers and ability to attract wildlife make it a must-have for any gardening enthusiast. With proper care and planting, pickerelweed will thrive and become a stunning addition to your outdoor space.”

Pickerelweed Facts

Pickerelweed Facts

Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata) is a perennial aquatic plant that belongs to the Pontederiaceae family. It is native to North America and can be found in wetlands, ponds, and streams. Here are some interesting facts about pickerelweed:

1. Habitat

Pickerelweed thrives in freshwater habitats, especially in areas with slow-moving water. It can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions, including both full sun and partial shade.

2. Appearance

2. Appearance

This plant has broad, lance-shaped leaves that are glossy green in color. The leaves are arranged in rosettes and can grow up to 12 inches long. Pickerelweed also produces tall, erect spikes of purple flowers that bloom during the summer months.

3. Importance to Wildlife

3. Importance to Wildlife

Pickerelweed is a valuable plant for supporting wildlife. Its flowers attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies, while its leaves provide shelter and nesting sites for amphibians and birds. The plant’s submerged portions also offer food and habitat for various aquatic organisms.

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4. Medicinal Uses

4. Medicinal Uses

In traditional medicine, pickerelweed has been used to treat various ailments. Its roots were used by Native Americans to make poultices for wound healing. The plant’s leaves were also infused to make a tea believed to have diuretic and laxative properties.

5. Plant Care

5. Plant Care

To grow pickerelweed, it is best to place it in a water garden or pond with a depth of 6-12 inches. The plant can be propagated by dividing the rhizomes or by collecting and planting the seeds. Regular watering and fertilization can help promote healthy growth.

Overall, pickerelweed is a beautiful aquatic plant that is easy to care for and provides important ecological benefits. Whether you want to enhance the biodiversity of your garden or create a natural habitat for wildlife, pickerelweed can be a great addition to any water feature.

What is Pickerelweed?

Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata) is a perennial aquatic plant that belongs to the Pontederiaceae family. It is native to North America and is commonly found in marshes, wetlands, and along the edges of ponds and lakes.

The plant gets its name from its resemblance to the pickerel fish, with its long, spear-shaped leaves that emerge from the water. The leaves have a heart-shaped base, giving rise to its scientific name “cordata,” which means heart-shaped.

Pickerelweed produces thick, erect stems that can grow up to 4 feet tall. At the top of these stems, the plant produces dense spikes of small purple or blue flowers, which bloom from summer to early fall. The flowers are attractive to bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.

Not only is pickerelweed aesthetically pleasing, but it also has several ecological benefits. It provides food and habitat for a variety of aquatic and terrestrial animals, including birds, amphibians, and insects. Its dense growth also helps stabilize the soil and prevent erosion along shorelines.

In addition to its ecological benefits, pickerelweed is popular in ornamental gardening. It adds a pop of color to water gardens and can be used in naturalistic planting schemes. It is relatively easy to care for and can be grown in both containers and directly in the water.

Overall, pickerelweed is a versatile and beautiful plant with both ecological and ornamental value. Whether you want to enhance the biodiversity of your garden or create a vibrant aquatic display, pickerelweed is an excellent choice.

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Benefits of Pickerelweed

Benefits of Pickerelweed

Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata) is a versatile aquatic plant that offers numerous benefits. Here are some of the key benefits of growing and caring for pickerelweed:

Benefit Description
Water Filtration Pickerelweed has a strong root system that helps to filter and purify water. Its roots absorb excess nutrients and pollutants, improving water quality in ponds and wetlands.
Habitat Creation By growing pickerelweed, you can create a valuable habitat for various aquatic animals and insects. It provides food and shelter for fish, frogs, turtles, and birds.
Erosion Control The dense root system of pickerelweed helps hold soil in place, preventing erosion in wetland areas. It stabilizes the soil and reduces the risk of sediment runoff.
Aesthetics Pickerelweed produces beautiful, vibrant purple-blue flowers that add visual appeal to ponds and water gardens. Its tall, upright foliage also adds texture and interest to the landscape.
Pollinator Attraction The nectar-rich flowers of pickerelweed attract a variety of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. By planting pickerelweed, you can support local pollinator populations.
Phytoremediation Pickerelweed is known for its ability to absorb and break down certain types of pollutants, such as heavy metals and pesticides. It can help detoxify contaminated water bodies.
Nutrient Cycling The decomposition of pickerelweed leaves and stems adds organic matter to the water, contributing to nutrient cycling. This enhances the overall health and productivity of aquatic ecosystems.

Overall, pickerelweed is a beneficial plant that offers environmental, aesthetic, and ecological advantages. Its natural properties make it an excellent choice for those looking to enhance their water features or restore and improve the health of aquatic habitats.

Growing Conditions

Growing Conditions

Pickerrlweed, also known as Pontederia cordata, is a versatile and hardy aquatic plant that can thrive in a variety of growing conditions. Here are some important factors to consider when planting and caring for pickerelweed:

1. Sunlight:

Pickerelweed requires full sun to partial shade to grow properly. It is a sun-loving plant and needs at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day to thrive. However, it can tolerate some shade as long as it still receives a fair amount of sunlight.

2. Water:

As an aquatic plant, pickerelweed naturally grows in wet or marshy areas and requires plenty of water to thrive. It prefers to grow in shallow water with a depth of 6-18 inches (15-45 cm). Make sure the water remains consistently moist, but not overly saturated.

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3. Soil:

Pickerelweed thrives in a variety of soil types, including clay, loam, and sand. However, it prefers soil that is rich in organic matter and well-draining. If planting in a pond, use a mixture of heavy loam and organic compost to create the ideal growing medium.

4. Temperature:

Pickerelweed is a hardy plant that can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. It can survive in USDA hardiness zones 3-10, making it suitable for growing in most regions of the United States.

5. Maintenance:

Pickerelweed is a relatively low-maintenance plant. However, it may require occasional pruning to remove dead or damaged foliage. Regular watering and fertilizing can help promote healthy growth and blooming.

By providing the right growing conditions, you can enjoy the beauty and benefits of pickerelweed in your garden or pond. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced gardener, pickerelweed is a great addition to any landscape.

Care and Maintenance Tips

Care and Maintenance Tips

Pickerelweed is a low-maintenance plant that thrives in wetland environments. Here are some care and maintenance tips to help you grow and maintain a healthy pickerelweed garden:

  • Planting: Choose a location with full sun to partial shade and water access. Plant pickerelweed in rich, loamy soil that is well-draining.
  • Watering: Pickerelweed enjoys moist soil, so water regularly to keep the soil consistently damp. However, avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot. Monitor the moisture level and adjust your watering schedule accordingly.
  • Fertilizing: Pickerelweed does not require much fertilization. A light application of a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in the spring can help promote healthy growth. Avoid using high-nitrogen fertilizers, as this can encourage excessive foliage growth at the expense of flowers.
  • Pruning: Trim back any dead or damaged leaves and stalks as needed. This will help maintain the overall appearance of the plant and prevent the spread of diseases. Remove any spent flowers to encourage continuous blooming.
  • Dividing: If your pickerelweed becomes overcrowded or starts to decline in health, you can divide the plant every 2-3 years in early spring. Dig up the clump and separate the healthy sections, replanting them in fresh soil.
  • Managing pests: Pickerelweed is relatively resistant to pests and diseases. However, keep an eye out for common garden pests such as aphids, slugs, and snails. If necessary, use natural or organic pest control methods to protect your plants.
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By following these care and maintenance tips, you can enjoy a beautiful and thriving pickerelweed garden that will attract pollinators and enhance the natural beauty of your wetland landscape.


What is pickerelweed?

Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata) is a perennial aquatic plant that belongs to the Pontederiaceae family. It has long, lance-shaped leaves and produces spikes of blue or violet flowers.

How and when should I plant pickerelweed?

Pickerelweed should be planted in a location with full sun and rich, moist soil. It can be planted in early spring or late summer, and is typically propagated by dividing existing clumps or by planting seedlings.

What care does pickerelweed require?

Pickerelweed requires regular watering to keep the soil consistently moist. It also benefits from a layer of mulch to help retain moisture and suppress weeds. Additionally, it may need to be divided every few years to prevent overcrowding.

Can pickerelweed be grown in a container?

Yes, pickerelweed can be grown in a container as long as the container is large enough to accommodate the plant’s root system and has good drainage. It should be placed in a location that receives full sun or partial shade, and the water level should be kept consistent to mimic its natural aquatic habitat.


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I found this article on Pickerelweed quite informative and interesting. As a gardening enthusiast, I always love learning about different species of plants, and Pickerelweed caught my attention. The article provided a comprehensive guide on the facts, care, and planting of Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata). I learned that Pickerelweed is a perennial aquatic plant that grows well in wetlands and near bodies of water. The article also mentioned that it is known for its beautiful blue-purple flowers and attractive foliage. The care instructions were quite helpful, as they covered the ideal growing conditions, such as full sunlight and moist soil. It also mentioned the importance of planting Pickerelweed in containers or baskets to control its spread, which is something I will keep in mind if I decide to add it to my garden. I appreciated the step-by-step planting guide, which provided clear instructions on how to plant Pickerelweed successfully. It was great to know that it is a low-maintenance plant once established and that it attracts beneficial wildlife like butterflies and dragonflies. Overall, this article was a great resource for me to learn more about Pickerelweed and how to care for it. I will definitely consider adding it to my garden as it seems like a beautiful and beneficial addition. Thank you for sharing this valuable information!

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