Bladderwort, Utricularia spp, gets its name from the small bladder-like slimy balls that are attached to the leaves . From the stems, tiny green to brown leaves form in a net-like pattern. Bladderwort also produces a small yellow flower that emerge above the water.
Unlike many other pond weeds, bladderwort is free floating. It easily spreads throughout the pond because there is no root system to anchor bladderwort stems in place. Bladderwort is typically found in calm water.
Fun fact: Bladderwort is a carnivorous plant! Bladders have a small trap to capture micro-organisms in water.
Most aquatic plants are uptaking nutrients for food through their roots. Bladderwort consumes food by capturing aquatic organisms.
Bladderwort can be removed with rakes. Weeds will reproduce through fragmentation. It is important to remove all vegetation. Bladderwort has no root system, so once removed, you don’t have to worry about regrowth from roots left behind.
Grass Carp will control Bladderwort.
Chemical treatment options:
There is not a chemical rated as an excellent control method according to US Army Corp.
Tsunami DQ provides fast control of bladderwort. To improve results mix with Cutrine (1 qt Tsunami, 1 gal Cutrine). This is a contact herbicide. Must come in contact in order to kill.
Sonar provides a long term management solution for bladderwort. Sonar reacts slowly, taking 30-60 days for results. The entire pond must be treated for success. This treatment option is only for ponds with little or no flow coming into the pond. Sonar AS, and Sonar RTU are available options.
Propeller is a complete pond treatment for managing bladderwort. Pond volume must be known for proper application. Only for ponds with little to no flow.
Granular herbicides are NOT recommended because bladderwort is not a rooted weed.