Azolla fairy moss

Surface floating height: 3mm

Water depth: any

Features: foliage

Site: sun

Type: floating

Azolla caroliniana (syn. A. filiculoides) is an introduction from North America. It is only 1-2.5cm (Vi-lin) across, but rapidly forms vast colonics, particularly during a long hot summer when it can take over an entire pond.

The minute fronds of this fern float on the surface of still water, forming a dense pale green carpet which has the benefit of discouraging algae from growing.

In late summer and early autumn it may assume an attractive pinkish red tint. During the winter the plant is submerged.


Scatter fairy moss plants over the water surface in late spring or early summer.

Control by scooping up unwanted plants with a net. Very cold winters can be fatal, so overwinter a few in a jam jar filled with water in a bright, cool but frost-free spot.

Propagation: Buy new stock or transfer from one pond to another wirh a net.

Pests and diseases: Trouble free.

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