How to Clean a Garden Pond

Protect yourself. If you need to dip your hands and feet, rubber boots and gloves will keep you safe from harmful microorganisms that may be lurking in the pond water.

Trim dead or dying leaves, branches and flowers from the foliage in and around the pond.

Prune, thin or uproot overgrown vegetation. The floating leaves of water lilies and lotuses can totally cover the surface of the pond and compromise the fish and other water creatures. Use pruning shears to trim the leaves about 6 inches below the surface.

Scoop out fallen leaves and other debris from the surface of the water. Use a fish net or a rake to gather the debris.

Scoop out floating plants like Lemna (Duckweed). Lemna proliferate quickly and can suffocate the pond in no time. Removing them should always be part of pond maintenance. Use a fine-mesh net to gather them effectively.

Pull out invasive and overgrown underwater plants. The hair-like fibers of Spirogyra (Blanketweed) are not only invasive and unsightly; they can also trap fishes and other water creatures and disable filtration systems. Dip a long stick or bamboo cane into the water and twist it to gather and lift out the mass of weeds. Elodea and Anacharis are oxygenator underwater plants, but can also take over a pond in no time. Pull them out with a rake and break off some of the branches to thin them out.

Scoop out dead leaves and other debris that have settled on the floor of the pond. Sunken leaves and branches will rot in the water and could compromise the water quality for the fishes. Use a net to clean out the bottom of the pond.

Check and clean pond equipment like filters and fountains. Filters and hoses need to be cleaned regularly to remain efficient.


  • When pulling out weeds and other vegetation, leave them on the side of the pond overnight to allow trapped water creatures to escape and return to the water, then toss the dried vegetation into a compost pile.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber boots and gloves
  • Pruning shears
  • Fine-mesh net
  • Rake
  • Long stick or bamboo pole
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About the Author

Ruby is a freelance writer by profession. She has written extensively about a wide variety of topics in print and online, but here at eHow, she shares her passion for home and garden. Whether it’s housekeeping, home organization, do-it-yourself restorations, or creative renovations, chances are she’s tried it herself. A big fan of power tools, always eager to get her hands dirty, and happy to answer questions, Ruby’s always puttering around the house or digging in the garden.