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Plants for Hanging Baskets and Pots as Water Garden Ponds

First of all be aware that a hanging basket close to a pond is not necessarily a good idea. They create debris but more important the hanging basket needs a lot of water and feeding to look good. Nutrients from watering and feeding get washed into the pond from above. These extra nutrients can play havoc with your pond filtration system and your goldfish or koi could suffer badly.

If you do insist upon placing hanging baskets in such a position that "things" get into the pond water then try to avoid plants that flower profusely since the dying petals will go into the water and pollute it. It would be best to use small leaved evergreen plants in such a water gardening environment.

  • Hedera helix 'Glacier' (white variegated)

  • Hedera helix 'Buttercup' (yellow leaves)

  • The yellow variegated Hedera helix 'Aureomarginata'.

  • Silvery grey leaved plant that will trail down a metre or more called Dichondra 'Silver Falls'.

  • Grasses are effective to give height to the hanging basket close to your pond or water feature.

Before adding soil to the hanging basket make sure you prevent "water flow through" by covering, say, the bottom 1/3rd of the hanging basket with plastic sheeting. Line the bottom third of inside of the basket liner with plastic. Add water slowly and in small amounts to prevent what was discussed earlier ... nutrient drainage into the water garden.  Only use large coagulated type pellet form slow release fertilisers in the hanging basket. Phostrogen and Osmocote make this type of slow release fertiliser.

Plants for Water Gardening in a Pot or Barrel

Many people like the idea of a small patio pond and a great way to create these is to use say a half barrel or large pot of which there is a massive choice these days. Even a small pot can be home to a selected range of aquatic plants and 1 or 2 at most small goldfish. A good size is about 3ft high with a diameter of 2ft.

For a miniature water garden use small plants like

  • The miniature Reed Mace

  • 'Pygmy' lilies like Nymphaea pygmaea 'Aba', N.p. 'Helvola', N.p.'Rubra', which can only really be appreciated in a small container.

  • Use a single large feature plant like an Arum Lily.

  • Oxygenating plants (anacharis, milfoil),

  • Floating plants (water lettuce, duckweed ... spreads rapidly)

  • Bog, or marginal, tall accent plants (rushes, canna, horsetail, lobelia, reeds, cattails).

If you don't want aquatic plants in the patio pond then consider a small fountain feature like a miniature bell jet fountain or a small bubbling monolith or drilled pebble.


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