There's nothing more majestic than a pond in your front or backyard to set the tone for outdoor activities. Water features add depth and charm to any outdoor design, especially if you have pond plants. Whether you already have a pond and you're looking for ideas to liven it up a little, or you're preparing for a new pond, plants are essential. Not only do they add color and shade to your pond but they work to keep the water clean and clear. Plus, they offer hiding spots and hangout spots for fish and frogs.
There are several different kinds of pond plants and some are more natural to certain environments than others. That's why, in this article, we're discussing seven different types of plants for your pond. Keep reading to learn more.
Before you can start choosing plants for your pond, you need to know which types of plants do what and why. This will help you select pond plants that are more likely to survive while performing essential tasks in your pond water.
Oxygenator plants live beneath the surface of the water where they feed on the same nutrients that algae need to survive. They clean the water by converting carbon dioxide to oxygen making them ideal for ponds with fish.
You can find these plants living in pond or plant baskets with weights to hold them on the bottom.
As the name suggests, these plants float on the surface of the water providing great protection for fish. They also filter the water and with enough floating plants, you can prevent algae from blooming for lack of sunlight. Floating plants also provide enough shade to keep water temperatures cool.
You won't need to have these plants rooted because they float!
Marginal plants are called such because they tend to live in the margins of a pond. They live in and out of the water in boggy marsh type soil.
Marginal plants filter organic matter from the edges of your pond keeping it crisp and clean. If your pond is large enough, you might even notice small birds nesting in these plants along the outskirts of your pond.
The Marsh Marigold is a British Native pond plant that grows to about 12" in height. It blooms from March through May.
When you bring your Marsh Marigold home from the nursery, plant it in wet mud at the edge your pond with up to 4" of water of the top of the basket. Make sure it's in a sunny but also partially shaded spot.
You can cut back the leaf growth on these flowers in order to allow fresh foliage to regrow. You might expect one last bloom late in the season. The Marsh Marigold attracts hoverflies, bees, and butterflies.
These pond plants enjoy water about six inches deep around the edges of your pond. It is a marginal plant.
Care for these plants is minimal but it's important to remember that crowded plants will probably offer fewer blooms. Look for shady spots where Japanese Iris will grow best. And, they like acidic water.
You can plant them in heavy soil, like red clay mixed with sand and enjoy the gorgeous blue and purple blooms.
Sweet Flag is another marginal plant that grows tall with thick leaves. It likes shallow waters of larger ponds such as muddy marshes. As it grows, this plant will create a dense thicket making it great for edging on your pond.
Plant Sweet Flag about four to twelve inches deep in the water and mud and wait for it to spread. It can grow 12"-48" out.
Spike Rush or Hair Grass
Depending on your region may also depend on what this plant is referred to as. Spike Rush or Hair grass is easy to grow resembling tall grass. It's a marginal plant that you can grow in a pond basket.
Spike Rush or Hair Grass likes shallow water making it a great fit for the outer perimeters of your pond.
Water Hyacinth is of the floating plant variety and very popular for that reason. They bloom from Spring through early Fall with striking purple colors.
It's best to be careful when planting water hyacinth because colonies can double quickly and take over other plants in your pond. In warmer temperatures, they can become invasive.
These plants require full sun and you should thin them back when they reach 60 percent capacity of your pond.
Another floating plant, the Water Soldier looks best grown in clumps for a spectacular decorative effect on your pond. It blooms from late Spring to early Fall with attractive three-petaled white flowers.
The Water Soldier is known as an invasive species in some states so it's important to keep it contained if you're growing it in a personal pond.
Perhaps one of the most popular pond plants is the Water Lilly. There are two different types of water lilies - Hardy and Tropical. The Hardy variety lives well in northern climates while the Tropical plants live in warmer areas.
You can grow your lilies in containers to prevent them from spreading too quickly and they'll provide shade and protection for fish. They require almost no care once planted. Just sit back and watch them float.
Pond Plants For Your Home
Regardless of how large or small your pond is, you can add pond plants for a more natural touch. Especially if you have fish or other live creatures living in your pond, plants will make the water healthier for them. Not to mention that plants will keep your water cleaner, too.
Shop at local nurseries so that you're getting plants native to your own region. And keep your plants healthy with plant food and fertilizers so that they'll last all season long. Some plants require planting baskets and special soil so you'll need to do some research before grabbing just any plant.
If you're looking for pond supplies to keep your pond looking beautiful, contact us.