Water hyacinth

Main features

The water hyacinth is a floating plant, whose botanical name is Eichhornia crassipes. Crassipes means from the broad foot, and in fact the petioles of the fleshy leaves are enlarged and full of a spongy tissue, which stores air and allows the rosettes of leaves to float on the surface of the water, with the roots not touching the ground. These plants are now cosmopolitan and in many areas of the world have become fearsome weeds. They do not need treatment, since even in our country they live without problems in the wild. However, they must be cultivated in closed basins so that they cannot approach rivers or artificial canals. They love to be cultivated so that they can float freely, so they are recommended to be placed in large and deep basins or vats, where the plants develop as in nature.

Grow water hyacinth

Water hyacinths are easy to cultivate plants that do not require care, apart from being able to splash about freely in the water. They settle directly in the liquid, without the need for soil, or other support to rest on. During the spring and summer months, a short stem develops between the leaves, on which beautiful violet-blue flowers bloom, very reminiscent of hyacinths grown on the ground, from which the common name of the plant derives. The main problem that can be encountered during the cultivation of water hyacinth is overpopulation. In fact the plant develops in two ways: through the small seeds produced after flowering, which sprout directly in water; by vegetative means, in fact the stoloniferous roots tend to produce new rosettes of leaves periodically. For this reason it may happen to have to periodically remove some specimens of water hyacinth present in the tub or pond, to avoid that the available space is insufficient.


The water hyacinths do not need any type of fertilizer, because they have a luxuriant development already in nature, without the need for help from man. They take everything they need directly from the water; they are often cultivated in basins where there are also fish, which with their droppings release sufficient nitrogen into the water for a luxuriant growth of the hyacinth. In the event that the pond, or the tub, in which Hyacinths are grown is free of fish, then it may be appropriate to provide fertilizer for aquatic plants, once a year, but without exceeding. The main problem that can be had with these plants is overpopulation. They are fairly easy to grow plants, although it can happen that, under particularly adverse conditions, they never reach flowering.

Water hyacinth: Pests and diseases

The water hyacinth comes from the Amazon river basin, where it has several predators and parasites. In those areas the leaves are the main food of the manatee and can be attacked by some insects. In Italy, and also in the rest of Europe, there are no animals that feed on it, nor any kind of parasite, fungal or animal, that can attack plants. So they don't need any kind of treatment against insects, fungi or other types of parasites. They are planted in a sufficiently large body of water, at least 40-50 cm deep, to allow the correct development of the aquatic roots. They prefer places in full sun, and fear the constant shadow. They are fairly rustic plants, although temperatures well below 10 ° C can cause death. In case of cold, they can be moved into a tub to be placed in the house, possibly in a stairwell that is not excessively heated.