Buying Pond Plants
Aquatic plants really bring a pond to life - not only do they greatly enhance the natural beauty of your pond, but they also play an essential role in maintaining the health of its water and inhabitants. Pond plants absorb nutrients which could otherwise feed the algae that turns your water green and allows blanket weed to grow. They also help to reduce light levels in the water, preventing unwanted algae bloom as well as offer your fish shelter and protection, especially when it’s their time to spawn. And the right choice of oxygenating ponds plants can literally breathe life into the water.
It’s important that your pond or water feature has the right balance of plants to provide you with a year-round variety of colour and foliage as well as create a healthy and successful ecosystem in the water. The size of your pond also matters when it comes to the types of plants you choose – vigorously growing pond plants are only suitable for larger ponds, while the slower growing aquatic plants are best suited to a smaller water feature.
Choosing The Right Pond Plants For Your Pond
Not only do aquatic plants enhance the beauty of your pond, but they also play an important role in maintaining the balance of the pond and in keeping it clear. Plants absorb nutrients and reduce light levels in the water, which could otherwise promote the growth of algae, which causes green water. Plants will also provide shelter for fish and natural material on which they might spawn.
Researching pond plants is no different to researching plants for your garden. All the water plants for ponds at World of Water are clearly labelled to show the height they attain, their spread and the depth of water they prefer. Mature pond plant specimens can also be seen in our show gardens and our staff team will happily answer any questions. To find out more about the pond plants for sale from your nearest World of Water Centre go to Pond Plants Near Me
In the meantime, to get you started, here are the main groups of pond plants to consider:
Bog plants – these are perfect for around the edge of your pond, where the ground is damp but not waterlogged, and should be used to add interest to the pond’s border.
Marginal – these fish pond plants should be placed in the outer shallows to bring colour and shape to the edges, especially during the summer months.
Lilies and deep water – amongst the most stunning of all the water plants for ponds, lilies provide shade as well as texture to the deeper parts of your pond feature.
Oxygenators – oxygenating pond plants are a key component to any pond, adding essential oxygen to the water during daylight hours. When searching, look out for oxygenating plants for fish ponds and oxygenating plants for small wildlife ponds.
Floaters – floating pond plants are low maintenance additions for your pond but create both shade and surface beauty to the water.
The key to successfully incorporating plants into your pond is getting the balance right. This means knowing the right amount of each type of aquatic plant you need for your pond’s size to ensure a stunning and healthy water environment. Check out our rough size guide:
Getting the right water position of all your pond plants is also essential to kick start a vibrant and healthy water ecosystem. For example, some plants prefer to be in the depths of your pond, whilst others need to be kept on the surface. It is also important to take into account the potential height of a plant, as some grasses and rushes can grow very tall and eventually obscure a pond if poorly positioned.
To help you with the layout of your pond plants, our illustration shows the ideal planting zones for each type of aquatic plant.
Choosing the right soil
So now that you’ve chosen your plants, it’s time to get them bedded in to your pond and thriving. To give them a head start, you need to use the correct soil and containers specifically for pond plants. Ordinary bedding compost just won’t cut it and can potentially be fatal for your fish due to the high fertiliser content that’s designed for quick release.
For pond plants you will need aquatic compost, which has a slow release fertilizer meaning the plants will absorb the nutrients at a safe rate, leaving no pollution in the water. The soil texture is also important – a heavy loam is best as anything lighter such as a peat-based soil could just float away. For extra soil security under the water, you could consider aquatic baskets, which are a mesh design to keep the soil in place. An added hessian liner in the basket works really well in preventing the soil leaching away. Plus, the basket liner will rot over time, allowing the root structure of the plant to grow through the mesh and firmly knit the soil in place.
General care and maintenance
Once you have your chosen pond plants established, you will just need to keep on top of their maintenance as your stunning new pond gets into full bloom. Most ponds should be easy to keep in shape with regular trimming of excess foliage and removal of dead leaves and surface debris. With the right plants, the correct soil and sufficient light as well as nutrients, and you will have a fabulous natural water feature you can enjoy for many years to come.
Tips For Planting Water Gardens
It is important in any pond or feature to have a good balance of plants that offer a variety of colour and foliage at different times of the year for your enjoyment, and the plants required for a successful ecosystem for the pond.
Research the plants you choose as you would for the garden. All the plants at World of Water are clearly labelled to show the height they attain, their spread and the depth of water they prefer. Mature specimens can be seen in our show gardens and members of our staff will happily answer any questions.
You will find that some plants are very vigorous and are only suitable for larger ponds, and some slower growing plants are best suited for the smaller feature. However if you need quick cover on any pond you can always add some fast growing, spreading plants to offer shade.
Once your chosen plants have matured simply remove them or trim the excess back and transfer to the compost heap. By removing or trimming the plant, excess nutrients are being harvested from the pond, helping to keep the pond balanced and healthy.
Always remember to take into account the potential height of the plant, as some grasses and rushes can grow very tall and would obscure a pond if poorly positioned.