Common name: Water bindweed
Water bindweed (Ipomea aquatica) is a perennial aquatic plant belonging to the Apiaceae family. It is characterized by its small, round, floating leaves which form a dense carpet on the surface of the water. The creeping stems of water bindweed can reach several meters in length.
Water bindweed grows mainly in fresh water, such as lakes, ponds, marshes or slow-flowing streams. It prefers sunny locations, although some varieties can tolerate light shade. The ideal temperatures for its growth are between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius.
Planting water bindweed can be done from cuttings or pre-established plants. Prepare a container large enough to accommodate the plant and fill it with a substrate composed of special soil for aquatic plants. Plant the water bindweed cuttings or seedlings by gently pushing them into the substrate, making sure that the floating leaves are on the surface of the water.
Growing water bindweed requires little maintenance once established. Be sure to maintain a constant water level and renew the water if necessary to prevent it from becoming stagnant. Regularly remove faded or damaged leaves. In case of excessive growth, it is possible to limit the spread of water bindweed by pruning it regularly.
Water bindweed is usually not harvested, but it can be used as an ornamental plant to enhance bodies of water. If you want to remove it, it is best done manually making sure to remove all parts of the plant to prevent it from spreading further.
Diseases and pests:
Water bindweed is generally disease and pest resistant. However, it can sometimes be subject to attacks by aphids or slugs. Carefully monitor the possible presence of these pests and take appropriate measures to control them if necessary.
Water bindweed is easily propagated by cuttings. You can take a healthy stem from the mother plant of your water spinach crop, cut it into segments, and plant them in a new container filled with aquatic plant substrate. Make sure each segment has at least one floating sheet. New cuttings will quickly root and form new water spinach crop plants.
To maintain vigorous growth of water bindweed, you can add fertilizers specially formulated for aquatic plants to the water. Do not use fertilizers containing phosphorus or nitrogen, as this may encourage the excessive proliferation of water bindweed. If you want to control its growth, it is best to prune it regularly to prevent it from becoming invasive.
Also, keep in mind that water bindweed can become invasive in some bodies of water. If you plan to introduce it into a natural ecosystem, be sure to check local regulations and obtain the necessary permits for your future water spinach crop. It is important to prevent the spread of this plant to areas where it is not native, as it can upset the ecological balance.
In conclusion, water bindweed is an attractive aquatic plant that can beautify your water features. By following planting, care and growth control tips, you can enjoy this plant while maintaining a balance in your aquatic ecosystem. However, be sure to monitor its spread and take appropriate measures to prevent it from becoming invasive.
Feel free to explore further the possibilities of using water bindweed in water landscaping projects or consult local experts for additional advice tailored to your specific area.