The Water Lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) is a floating aquatic plant that is easy to grow in your ponds. It is well suited for beginners and will quickly cover your pond (Just like the Water Hyacinth) if you don’t maintain it regularly.
Water Cabbage is another name given to this plant.
The Water Lettuce is an invasive plant and is considered as a weed in many countries. Remember that you should never throw away your plants and fish in the nature.
Being an easy plant, the Pistia stratiotes will grow easily in your pond provided your temperature is 15 and 35 degreesC. However the optimal temperature is between 22°C and 30 °C. Keeping the water lettuce indoors require a much better lighting and more
fertilisation. Your water lettuce will keep its green colour if it is kept in the shade. Too much lighting can cause the leaf to become yellow but will however make them grow quicker.
Water lettuce should not be allowed to cover the whole surface of your aquarium or pond. Oxygen exchange to the water could be inhibited and submerged plants won’t get enough light.
Water lettuce makes an easy breeding substrate for livebearers. Just make sure the plant is clean before adding it to the breeding tank.
Propagation of water lettuce is also very easy. This plant propagates by seed or vegetatively. Vegetative propagation involves production of offshoots from the mother plant connected by short stolons which causes the plant to grow into a dense mat. This type of propagation is also the quickest.
The flowers of the water lettuce are very small and are generally hidden among the leaves. The flowers develop on a single stalk and then produce a green fruit.