Chara is often called musk grass 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.
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.
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.
Selecting the Right Product
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Chemical Application Best Practices
Anytime you use chemicals treat weeds and algae, please keep in mind the following:
- Treat your pond in sections. Treat only half the pond's surface at a time. During hot weather or when treating heavy growth, it is important to treat no more than 1/4 of your pond at a time and wait the full 14 days before re-applying. This helps lower the risk of fish loss during hot weather or when treating heavy growth.
- Once the weeds have browned & died, use a weed cutter & rake to remove as much dead material as possible. This prevents an accumulation of dead plant material and muck.
- Take a proactive approach to pond management. Use PondClear, MuckAway and Pond Dye to keep your pond looking great. For more information, see our article on the Airmax Ecosystem.
Ask an Expert
If you are unable to identify your pond weed(s) using our Weed ID Guide, follow this article to email us a photo.