Aquatic fern - Azolla caroliniana

Aquatic fern - Azolla caroliniana

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The carolinian azolla is a small aquatic fern with a similar appearance to moss, originating from the tropical and subtropical areas of our planet. This variety of aquatic plant is of modest size, but it forms large and dense clusters of small plants consisting of thin, very branched, fleshy stems, covered by small bluish-green leaflets; the branches at the base of the stem are longer than those at the apex, overall the seedling takes on a triangular shape.
The roots are white, thin, and float in the water; the upper side of the leaves is green, while the lower one is reddish-brown. On the underside of the leaves the spores produced by the plant can often be seen. This fern is widely used as an ornamental plant, but in the tropics it is cultivated as a soil improver in the rice fields, since it lives in symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing seaweeds, useful to increase the fertility of the rice fields.


This kind of aquatic fern has no particular preferences with regard to exposure, thriving without problems both in the sun and in the shade; it is often placed in sunny places because exposure to sunlight allows its leaves to take reddish-brown colors, which turn out to be very decorative.
Usually the carolinian azolla does not fear the cold, although it can happen that it is ruined by intense frost; in places with particularly cold winters it is therefore appropriate to proceed, in winter, to shelter it in a protected environment by placing it in tubs, which must be kept away from frost until the spring period.
The carolinian azolla is a floating plant, so the roots remain free in the water, and are quite delicate; for this reason, it is recommended to keep this variety of aquatic fern in ponds or very calm waterways,
This variety of plants usually tends to cover all the available space, rapidly expanding.


The multiplication of the Carolinian azolla in order to obtain new specimens can also occur through the spores produced by this variety, but, usually, the reproduction of this kind of plant occurs by spontaneous division: the largest branches of the aquatic fern, at the base of the stems , tend to detach themselves from the mother plant once acceptable dimensions are reached, the new plants thus obtained do not need special precautions or foresight and can be placed immediately in the chosen place, simply letting them float on the water surface. The multiplication of this kind of plants does not require particular care and difficulty, indeed, given the ease with which it tends to propagate, this genus can take on an almost infesting character.

Aquatic fern - Azolla caroliniana: Parasites and diseases

the carolinian azolla is a variety of very hardy and resistant aquatic plant, which, for this reason, in normal conditions, is not normally attacked neither by pests nor diseases. If placed inside an articulated system in which there are different types of plants, some of which may be more delicate and subject to the attack of pests and diseases, it is good to proceed with preventive treatments with broad-spectrum insecticides, commercially available with different formulations, which will guarantee the necessary protection.