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Colourful and Majestic Aquatic Plants for the Water Garden Pond

A pond can look really beautiful when planted. You only have to look at a couple of the many books on water gardening to see the effect that can be obtained. There are many types of plants for ponds and it is always best to get local advice on availability and suitability. Be aware that introducing plants from the wild can introduce disease into your pond. The different pond plant categories can be broken up as follows:

  1. Marginal plants such as Iris, and Arum Lily which like to stand in water up to about 15cm (6). Some can grow quite tall and be blown over by the wind so you may have to weight the pot or crate down with stones.

  2. Shallow water or bog plants like Marsh Marigold, Iris, and Water Mint. These plants like water about 5 cm (2 inch) deep. Deep-water plants the best known of which is the Water Lily.

  3. Floating plants with their hair-like roots that protrude into the water and need no soil at all. These plants certainly assist in keeping water clear since they absorb nutrients from the water and do a good job of oxygenating the water. Water Hyacinth is an example or the Water Soldier plant.

  4. Oxygenators assist in keeping plant water clean and clear by absorbing nutrients. Potted oxygenators include Water Crowfoot, and Water Violet.

Plants behave as follows in a pond  ... aquatic vegetation adds real value to the water garden

  • Conversion of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to oxygen in the water.

  • Consumption of nitrogen chemicals (remove nitrates that also encourages blanket weed or string algae) that build up in the water. Water Cress is often used for this purpose.

  • A limited filtering effect.

  • Bear in mind that plants do get bigger so don't over-plant your pond. Lilies do not like splashing water or rapidly moving water.

  • When you plant use specially designed baskets into which specially formulated aquatic compost has been used low in phosphorous and nitrogen. Alternatives to baskets are normal plastic planting pots. Cover the top of the pot with pebbles or gravel to prevent fish disturbing the soil and roots of the plants especially if you keep koi.

  • For marginal planting areas use coco mats or coir as a means to hold the plant in position. You can also place a bit of special compost together with the coir. Place pebbles on the mat to keep it submerged.

Here is a clever trick if you already have a pond and it is fairly deep and you want to place a largish plant in the pond. Get a second person to help and between you hold two ropes in parallel stretching across the pond. Allow the ropes to be placed beneath the ridge of the plant pot as if the pot was in a sling or hammock and then gently lower it into the pond.



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