Hydrilla sprouts new plants from fragments containing at least one circle of leaves, or leaf whorl. Once hydrilla becomes established, it is easily spread by waterfowl and boating activities.
Hydrilla forms dense mats of vegetation that can interfere with recreation and degrade fish and wildlife habitat. Hydrilla can grow extremely rapidly, up to one inch per day, until it reaches the water's surface and forms a thick mat that effectively shades any plants below it. Plants have been known to reach a length of 50 feet and produce a biomass of more than 130 tons per acre.