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Using Aquatic Pond Plants Like Water Lilies to Create Shade in a Water Garden Fish Pond

Most ponds are (and should be) positioned in full sun. Without shade this can at times be uncomfortable for koi and goldfish especially in shallow garden ponds. Water plants can be effectively used to create shade and with shade comes an ability to provide the fish in your pond with protective cover against predators such as herons.

The ideal and classical shade providing pond plant is the water lily (Nymphaea family or lotus flower). With their broad and spreading leaves they crate not just perfect pond shade plants but also provide a welcome resting place for other insect and aquatic life that might happen to stop by your pond ... insects like dragonflies and damsel flies. Small frogs love to sunbathe on them to.

Be aware that koi especially and goldfish to a much lesser extent like to rummage and actually eat pond plants or parts thereof. If you plant any aquatic plants in a pond then always place pebbles onto the surface of the planting basket or pot to minimise the disturbance ... the fish will continuously trim the roots and growth that comes out of the holes in the planting basket and this might just inhibit growth of some plants. This is another reason why often a veggie filter is useful.

Suggested Pond Plants For Shade

The water lily although this plant family generally need deepish water to do well.

For shallower areas try Nymphoides peltata or Villarsia. Also called the water fringe lily. This water plant is quite a vigorous grower but can be kept in check easily. The leaves of the water fringe lily are a small version of the classic water lilies. This aquatic plant produces a small funnel shaped yellow flower.

If you have 10cm (4 inches) of water then the water hawthorn, Aponogeton distachyos will do a good job of creating shade.

Marginal style plants that will create shade and fish protection include the following ...

  • Bog bean, Menyanthes trifoliate

  • The pickerel weed, Pontedaria cordata (blue flower in late summer).

  • Mimulus guttatus

  • Mimulu luteus

  • Sagittaria

  • Sauraurus

 

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