Control of Parrot's Feather

Do's and Don'ts of Parrot's feather control

Parrots feather, photo: Kiowa Fenner


  • Plan your control program, this will save time and money in the long-run;
  • Consider the impact of your control methods on off-target species, especially if herbicides are used;
  • Carefully time your use of herbicide for best results (see Herbicides for Aquatic Weed Control for more information);
  • Coordinate your control program with neighbouring landholders where your weed problem crosses property boundaries;
  • Revisit and regularly inspect the site and ensure follow-up is undertaken.


  • Don't start your control program without first planning your approach;
  • Don't allow an infestation to become established. Get in early!
  • Don't rely on just one treatment: follow-up is essential.

Spread of parrot's feather

  • Only female flowered plants occur in Australia and reproduction of parrot's feather in Australia is solely by vegetative means.
  • The stems are fragile and stem fragments broken off by wave action or mechanical disruption float downstream and regenerate wherever they settle on sediments.
  • Long-distance spread also occurs via people dumping of aquarium material including parrot's feather in waterways.

Physical removal

  • Hand-pulling, subsurface cutting and draglines can be used to clear waterways of parrot's feather for long periods, but do not fully eradicate the weed.
  • When removing the weed, it is important to minimise the movement of stem fragments downstream to reduce the chance of spread.
  • Where possible, an infestation in a small pond or dam can be eradicated by completely removing all water and allowing the parrot's feather to dry out. The removed water must be carefully disposed of to avoid fragments of the weed being transferred to another water body.


  • Infestations in small dams can be effectively controlled by covering the dam with black plastic sheeting for several weeks to 'cook' the parrot's feather.

Chemical control

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