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Step By Step Guide To Planting Pond Plant Baskets

Follow our step by step guide to successfully planting or replanting pond plants. Before we start, we will answer a few frequently asked questions.

What are pond plant baskets

Aquatic pond plant baskets have been designed with mesh to help retain the soil. The use of an additional hessian liner will further reduce any soil leaching. The hessian liner will rot in time, but the plant's root structure should hold the soil together by then. The roots will eventually grow through the mesh, absorbing natural nutrients from the pond.

Do pond plants have to be planted in pond baskets?

Most garden ponds are built with planting shelves at various depths to suit different pond plant types. If your pond has plant shelves, we recommend planting baskets. They are convenient and allow easier pond plant husbandry in the future.
If your pond has been built with planting areas such as marsh areas or is a natural pond planting baskets may not be necessary.

Do pond plants need aquatic soil?

To avoid disappointment, always use the correct soil and containers in your pond, as this will promote the growth and flowering of your plants.
Using general bedding compost could potentially have fatal effects on fish as it has high fertiliser content designed for quick release. Aquatic compost has a slow-release fertiliser, thus avoiding pollution, as the plants will absorb the nutrients as they are released from the soil. The soil texture is also essential; a heavy loam is best as peat-based soil could simply float away!

Aquatic planting baskets

Step 1 - Preparing the basket

When choosing the basket size consider the ultimate size and height of the pond plant - Tall marginals will need larger baskets to counter balance them and avoid being blown over. Line the mesh aquatic basket with a hessian or foam liner - Fine Mesh baskets do not need to be lined although it is beneficial.


Step 1 How to plant pond plants

Step 2 - Part fill the aquatic basket

Fill the aquatic mesh plant basket about two thirds full with aquatic soil. Create a hole in the soil larger enough for the root ball. Then to remove the plant from it original pot gently loosen any roots protruding from the base and gently tap the base to realise so it lifts out easily

Step 2 How to plant pond plants

Step 3 - Planting the aquatic plant

Gently loosen the root ball and then place into the prepared basket. Now surround the plant roots with the soil and top the basket up to about 4cm from the top with more soil, Remembering you will need to top the basket off later with gravel.

Step 3 How to plant pond plants

Step 4 - Water in the pond plant

Gently water in the plant so the soil gradually dampens down to become saturated.

Step 4 How to plant pond plants

Step 5 - Topping off the pond basket

If the soil reduces down below about 6cm, top the basket up slightly with soil. Taking care not to damage the plant or bury the leaf's. Then cover the soil a layer of aquatic gravel (DO NOT use limestone gravel).

Step 5 How to plant pond plants

Step 6 - Positioning the plant

Water in the plant again. and then gently lower the plant into its final position. Some water lilies will need to be lowered to their final position over a period of a few weeks.

Step 6 How to plant pond plants

Guide to pond plant depth

Different pond plants will tolerate different depths of water. However, as a guide, we have created this pond planting zone guide
Pond planting depth zones

Pond planting zones - Check individual plant requirements

Bog Plants:

Damp moist soil above the water level 

Marginal Pond Plants:

0cm to 15 cms deep

Water Lillie's & Deep Water

  • Small Water lilies 30-60 cms deep
  • Medium Water Lilies 30-90 cms deep
  • Large Water lilies 30-150 cms deep
  • Deep Water Plants 10-100 cms deep

Oxygenating Pond Plants

  • Bunched - Anchor down up to 100 cms
  • Planted  - 15 cms deep to 0 cms

Floating Plants

As the name suggests these plants float on the water surface

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