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Sago Pondweed Identification

Sago pondweed, Stuckenia pectinata, is a rooted rhizome that produces growth up to 3 feet long. Leaves are long and narrow and can grow up to 5 inches in length. The thin leaves resemble pine needles. The leaves are arranged alternatively along stems. Small clusters of nuts attached to a stem appear at the water surface.

Unlike other members of the pondweed family, sago doesn't produce floating leaves. Growth remains submerged. Stems branch off close to the surface. Both stems and leaves are of similar width.

Sago pondweed is also known as ribbon weed and fennel pondweed. Former scientific names include Potomogeton pectinatus and Stuckenia pectinatus.

Stuckenia pectinata

Where does Sago Pondweed grow?

You can find sago pondweed growing throughout the entire United States. Sago pondweed can grow in water up to 8 feet deep.

How does Sago Pondweed spread?

Most spreading and reproduction is done through rhizomes and fragmentation of the stems.

Is Sago Pondweed invasive?

This is a native submerged weed. Sago pond weed provides habitat for invertebrates and young fish. This aquatic plant is also a great source of food for waterfowl. The root systems of sago provide stabilization from erosion of shoreline areas. Submerged plants like this absorb nutrients like nitrate and phosphate from the water.

As with many pond weeds, there is a difference between weed management and complete kill. Vegetation can be managed by spraying only areas where weeds are not desired.

sago pondweed
ribbon weed

Natural Management Options

Early season application of Pond Dye can limit pond weed growth. Dye must be applied before growth begins and maintained throughout the year to be effective.

Existing weed growth can be removed manually with a pond rake. Manual removal be needed multiple times per year.

Grass carp can be used to control pondweed growth. Grass carp can eat 2-3 times their own body weight in vegetation per day!

Chemical Management Options

  • Aquathol
  • Propeller
  • Sonar
  • Duckweed Destroyer Pack
  • Tsunami DQ

Aquathol K and Aquathol Super K provide excellent control of sago pondweed. This treatment yields quick results. These treatments have no water use restrictions after use.

Sonar provides a long term management solution for sago pondweed. Sonar reacts slowly, taking 30-60 days for results. However, this treatment successfully kills to the roots. 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, Sonar RTU, and Sonar One are all available options

Duckweed Destroyer is a great fast-acting, broad spectrum treatment option. This is a great choice if there are multiple weed species needing controlled. Duckweed Destroyer is also great for ponds that have algae and pond weeds growing in the same area. Duckweed Destroyer consists of Harvester diquat, Cutrine copper complex, and Aquatistick surfactant.

Sago Pondweed Control