Do Cattails actually die in the winter or can I do something to prevent them from coming back?
Brian – Holland, MI
As grandfather used to say, “never trust a sleeping cattail.” Actually, grandfather never said that. But he should have – because it’s true.
During the winter months, cattail foliage dies off. Leaves and stems turn brown and dry up when the weather gets cold, and optimistic pond keepers dare to imagine their backyard water features without the scourge of unwanted cattails. But deep beneath the pond, cattail roots are alive and well in their dormant state, saving up their energy to come back strong in the spring.
Fortunately, cattails aren’t invincible. Depending on the season, enterprising pond owners can take steps to eliminate cattails, leaving their backyard water features in great shape to host more desirable aquatic plants and fish.
When winter rolls around, and cattails have dried up, it’s worthwhile to cut the dead foliage and remove it. Our Pond Rake and Weed Cutter is specifically designed to make this process quick and easy. While this won’t kill the cattails, it will lay the groundwork for a successful spring offensive.
In spring, summer and fall, when cattail foliage is thriving, it’s time to apply our Shoreline Defense® Aquatic Herbicide. This safe, powerful herbicide is applied directly to all above-water cattail foliage. Once applied, the herbicide attacks and kills the entire plant – including its root system. Once the plant is dead, you’ll want to resume the use of your Pond Rake and Weed Cutter to remove the dead plants and prevent their potential to spread.
While Shoreline Defense® is effective on spring growth, it’s most effective during late summer and fall, when foliage is at its peak.
Pond Talk: Do you clear out dead cattails in the fall to get a jump start on spring maintenance?
Filed under: Aeration, Algae Control, Catfish, Cattails, Chara (Algae), Emergent Weeds, Phragmites, Pond & Lake, Pondweeds, Season-Long Control, Uncategorized, Winterizing Tagged: | cattail, Cattails, lake, pond, pond & lake, pond and lake, prevent cattails, winter pond