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Weed ID Series: Coontail

Coontail is a common native freshwater plant that stays completely submersed. This plant is free floating, but the leaf structure will modify to allow the plant to attach to the pond floor, which makes the plant appear rooted. Its common name comes from the bottle-brush shaped growth. This plant is often misidentified as milfoil; however, milfoil leaves are feather like and coontail leaves are rigid.

Because Coontail is a native freshwater plant it isn’t a terrible addition to your pond. Like any other growth, too much can soon become an issue. Coontail can become so thick that it stunts fish and inhibits recreational activities like fishing, swimming and boating.

Because the plant reproduces by seeds and fragmentation, cutting only spreads the coontail. If the problem is excessive you will need to use aquatic grade herbicides to get the growth under control. For a 1 acre pond you will want to use 2 gallons of Tsunami DQ. If the 2 gallons will not spread far enough to cover all of your growth, add a couple gallons of water. The water is not a diluter it is simply helping you spread the product. Spray in areas with growth. Depending on severity of growth an additional application may be needed 7 days later. Coontail is best treated in water temperatures above 60°F. For prevention of coontail, we recommend high doses of pond dye and pond bacteria. The only manual removal option we recommend is raking.

Check out our other blogs within our Weed ID Series:

Curly Leaf
Sago Pondweed
Creeping Water Primrose