Pond Plants: Getting to the Root of Things
There comes a point in every gardenerís life that they wonder what
their backyard would look like with a pond. Now some satisfy this
urge with a small, understated pond while others go all out and
build a huge koi pond. Whichever you choose to do, you will likely
start thinking about filling your pond up with plant life. After all
- itís just another place to garden! Knowing what to plant and
when, is the secret to a successful garden pond.
The difference between pond plants and regular plants.
Before we go into the different types of pond plants available, we
should spend a little bit of time discussing pond plants in general.
In fact, if you look hard enough, you may be able to see tiny little
bubbles coming off the leaves of certain pond plants. The main
purpose of these types of plants is to convert carbon dioxide in the
air into oxygen in the water. So if you plan to stock your pond
with fish, pond plants are a must! They increase the oxygen level
in the water, and help your fish thrive and grow.
Pond plants also work by consuming nitrogen in the water. This
naturally occurring chemical can be abundant if your pond has fish
in it, and an oversupply of nitrogen can result in an overgrowth of
algae. So by planting certain types of pond plants, you will end up
with a clearer, healthier pond.
Types of Pond Plants
There are basically 5 different types of pond plants available to
you. You will want to choose plants that are both pleasing to the
eye and suitable for your particular pond type. Below you will find
a brief description of the different types.
CAUTION: Some plants are poisonous to fish, so make sure to
research before purchasing!
lilies- these are hardy plants that root in the bottom of your
pond, and the leaves float on the surface. They are a flowering
plant, and come in a variety of different colors. These are
probably the most common choice for most pond owners.
these plants only live under the water's surface. They can either
root in the pond floor or float under the water.
plants- these will float on the surface of the water.
these plants like to be planted in 3-6 inches of water. They tend
to be flowering plants and work great on an inner shelf in your
these plants are best to plant around the exterior of your pond.
All they need is moist soil or mud to thrive.
Tips on Planting Your Pond Plants
When setting up your pond plants, it is important to remember that
they will get larger as time goes on. Your best bet will be to
plant only a few plants to begin with, and then add on over time.
Certain types of plants, like surface floating varieties can spread
very quickly and cause an overgrowth in your pond in just a few
short weeks. So allowing your plants time to acclimate themselves
is always a good idea.
You can choose to plant your pond plants (except those that are
floating varieties) in specially designed aquatic baskets. These
usually have a type of aquatic compost that is low in nitrogen, and
will allow your plants to stay submerged in the bottom of your
pond. You can also plant your plants in plastic pots, and then use
large rocks to keep them anchored to the pond floor.