Arrow Arum: A Native Aquatic Plant for Your Pond

Arrow Arum: A Native Aquatic Plant for Your Pond

If you are looking for a native aquatic plant that can add beauty and functionality to your pond, you might want to consider arrow arum (Peltandra virginica). Arrow arum is a perennial herb that grows in wetlands and shallow water. It has large, arrow-shaped leaves that can reach up to 30 cm long and 15 cm wide. The leaves are glossy green and have prominent veins. The flowers are small and greenish-white, arranged in a cylindrical spike that is enclosed by a hood-like spathe. The fruits are berry-like and contain many seeds.

Arrow arum is native to eastern North America, from Canada to Florida. It can be found in swamps, marshes, bogs, streams, lakes, and ponds. It prefers acidic, organic-rich soils and full sun to partial shade. It can tolerate water depths of up to 60 cm. Arrow arum is hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9.

Arrow arum has many benefits for your pond. It can help filter the water by absorbing nutrients and pollutants. It can provide shelter and food for fish, frogs, turtles, birds, and other wildlife. It can also prevent erosion and stabilize the shoreline. Arrow arum is easy to grow and maintain. It can be propagated by seeds or division of rhizomes. It can be planted in containers or directly in the soil. It does not require fertilization or pruning. It is resistant to most pests and diseases.

Arrow arum is a great choice for your pond if you want a native aquatic plant that can enhance the natural beauty and ecology of your water feature. Arrow arum can create a lush and attractive backdrop for your pond, while also providing valuable services for the environment.

How to Care for Arrow Arum

Arrow arum is a low-maintenance plant that does not require much attention. However, there are some tips that can help you keep your arrow arum healthy and happy.

  • Choose a suitable location for your arrow arum. Arrow arum likes full sun to partial shade and acidic, organic-rich soils. It can grow in water depths of up to 60 cm, but it can also tolerate some dry periods. Avoid planting it in areas where the water level fluctuates too much or where the soil is alkaline or clayey.
  • Plant your arrow arum in spring or fall. You can either plant it in containers or directly in the soil. If you use containers, make sure they have drainage holes and are large enough to accommodate the rhizomes. Fill the containers with a mixture of peat moss and sand. If you plant directly in the soil, dig a hole that is slightly larger than the rhizome and cover it with soil. Space the plants about 30 to 60 cm apart.
  • Water your arrow arum regularly. Arrow arum likes moist to wet conditions, but it can also survive some drought. Check the soil or water level regularly and water as needed. Do not let the soil or water dry out completely or become too soggy.
  • Fertilize your arrow arum sparingly. Arrow arum does not need much fertilizer, as it can get most of the nutrients from the water and soil. However, you can apply a slow-release fertilizer once or twice a year, preferably in spring or summer. Follow the instructions on the label and do not over-fertilize.
  • Prune your arrow arum occasionally. Arrow arum does not need much pruning, but you can remove any dead or damaged leaves or stems to keep it tidy and healthy. You can also cut back the flower stalks after they fade to prevent self-seeding.
  • Divide your arrow arum every few years. Arrow arum can spread by rhizomes and form large clumps over time. You can divide your arrow arum every three to five years to control its size and increase its vigor. The best time to divide your arrow arum is in spring or fall. Use a sharp knife or spade to cut through the rhizomes and separate them into smaller sections. Replant the sections in new locations or give them away to friends.

Arrow arum is a wonderful addition to your pond that can provide beauty and benefits for years to come. With minimal care and maintenance, you can enjoy this native aquatic plant in your water feature.