Personally, if you ask me, I think one of the charms of a wild pond (even if it’s man-made) is the emergence of native grasses and plants that can come about just because you’ve created a sort of wetland area.
And nothing seems more natural than cattails near a body of water.
To an extent I love them because they provide a natural beauty or accent to a pond. They provide cover for fish and other wildlife, and they can help, as grasses to do, with limiting erosion around the pond.
But like any good thing, cattails can be overdone. Not intentionally of course. What I mean is they can grow out in an uncontrolled fashion and become more of a nuisance pretty quickly.
So it’s no big shock when questions come in about the best way to control cattails.
If cattail and other emergent plant growth is limited, I have no problem in suggesting that manual removal is a great option. It’s chemical-free and pretty effective at limiting regrowth.
But it’s not easy work to do.
If you’re into physical fitness and ironman events, then maybe it’s something you’ll want to try. Heck, you might even like it. But most people don’t.
So if the job of physical removal get’s to be too much, then we turn to an aquatic herbicide for emergent control.
As with any chemical application, we believe in targeting them precisely and limiting their use and coverage as much as possible. This just seems like the sensible and eco-friendly approach to take.
Fortunately for plants like cattails, this is pretty easy to do.
We use a product called Shore Klear and it’s combined with an activator called Cide Kick (which makes it stick to the plant better) and these are sprayed directly on the cattails you want to knock down. You can leave some in place if you wish, and knock out only a portion of them with this approach.
Mix the two products in a typical garden sprayer and apply following the dosage directions. On very thick growth you may need to reapply a second time for complete control but suffice it to say that Shore Klear makes the job a lot easier to deal with.