Waterscapes 101

Common Cattail Plant, shoreline reed

Typha latifolia is a common weed found in ponds, lakes, and wetland areas. Common names include broadleaf cattail, common cattail, and cat o nine tails. Cattails produce tall stalks of green blades. They can grow 6-10 feet tall. Their flower spikes are the brown fuzzy catkin at the top of spikes.  Catkin resemble a cigar in shape and color.

A weed that look like cattails is burreed. The burreed is a shorter green blade or reed but has no "catkin". Pragmites is another tall reed that grows in wet areas and along pond or lake shores. The phramites produce a tassle at the top similar to the top of a corn stalk.

cattails in wetland
remove cattails from pond

Cattail growth

Cattails spread easily. They can grow in moist soil conditions and in water up to 4 feet deep. Cattails spread by rhizome and seed.

One cattail seed head can produce 250,000 seeds each year. The seeds are easily carried to other areas by wind or birds. Seeds can remain viable for years after being transported to a new location.

Are cattails good for a pond?

Cattail typha latifolia have many benefits to a pond's health. This tall reed provides habitat for young fish. They also create a buffer for new water entering the pond. They capture unwanted nutrients, metals, and sediment, which improves water quality. 

Cattails can attract undesired wildlife like muskrats and geese. Mosquitoes are also attracted to the stagnant water where cattails grow. 

Are cattails invasive? Left unmanaged, they can overtake a pond, limiting access and reducing water depth. Spot treating cattails to control over-population is our recommendation.

Cattail removal

Removing cattails with a rake or pulling by hand are possibilities. They are both time consuming but safe options. Removing with equipment is faster but can have negative results. Accidentally digging too deep to remove roots can create pond leaks. This is why manual removal is best.

Killing Cattails with Herbicide

The Cattail Killer Pack is the best treatment option to kill cattails to the roots. This kit includes Catt Plex, Cattzilla, and PlexMate. By mixing these treatments together and tank spraying on vegetation, there is better contact & penetration. The Cattzilla speeds up break down time of stalks. There are no water use restrictions after use. Results in 7-10 days.

Catt Plex is an effective aquatic herbicide for cattails. It is important to wait to spray until stalks are at least 12" tall. Tank spray vegetation directly. There are no water use restrictions after use. Results in 7-10 days.

After cattail herbicide kills weeds, follow up with Muck Remover pellets to break down dead waste and muck. Muck Remover cleans shorelines and restores them to their former beauty.

Controlling Cattails