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Chara

Description

Chara is often called muskgrass or skunkweed because of its foul, musky, almost garlic-like odor. Chara is a gray-green branched algae that is often confused with submerged rooted plants. Chara has no flower, will not extend above the water's surface, and often has a grainy or crunchy texture due to calcium deposits on its surface. Chara has cylindrical, whorled branches with 6 - 16 branchlets around each node.

Mechanical Control

Chara can be removed from the pond by raking. Using Pond Dye will help to limit sunlight into the pond for chara to complete photosynthesis.


Reducing the overall nutrient load in your pond will help to keep chara blooms to a minimum. Use PondClear™ or MuckAway™ to reduce overall nutrients.

Chemical Control

There are several chemical options to control chara. They should be applied when the chara is actively growing. Applications should begin when chara first appears. Over time, the algae or chara will begin to brown and die. Once it is completely dead, use a rake to remove dead algae away to prevent an accumulation of dead algae and muck. Unless steps are taken to reduce the overall nutrient load, multiple applications may be needed for full season control.

Chemical Application Best Practices

Anytime you use chemicals treat algae or weeds, please keep in mind the following:

  • Treat your pond in sections. Treat only half the pond's surface at a time, if the weather is hot, only treat 1/4-1/3 of your pond. Wait 10-14 days between treatments.
  • Once the weeds have browned, use a rake to remove as much dead material as possible. This prevents an accumulation of dead plant material and muck.
  • Treat your pond with the proactive approach to pond management. Use PondClear™, MuckAway™ and Pond Dye to keep your pond looking great.

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