Choose your garden ponds plant with care

Selection of your garden ponds plant is a major consideration. Some of the factors you might consider are:

  • Balance with rest of your garden
  • Suitability to local climate
  • Controlling growth
  • Permanent or temporary plantings
  • Floating, submerged, marginal or bog plants

Balance. Pool plants can provide the vertical balance to your pool as well as adding a profusion of color and a variety of texture. Creeping plants among the rocks at the waters edge in the foreground can be balanced by larger plants forming a backdrop if viewing is generally from one direction. Plants chosen for your water garden should complement your existing garden plants.

Local climate. The influence of cold local winters on aquatic plants (especially of tropical origin)can lead to some gardeners even removing their garden ponds plant from the pond and holding it over to spring. Others prefer to use new plants every spring.

Check with your nurseryman whether the plants you are purchasing need this care. Some classes of plants, such as water lilies, offer both tender and hardy varieties for your choice.

Controlling Growth. Some plants tend to grow wildly in and around pools and the challenge of controlling their growth is best tackled before planting.

Many a garden ponds plant has a vigorous spreading root system which can be controlled by having it confined to a pot submerged at the appropriate level in your pond. Different levels can be obtained by placing the pots on bricks, crates, inverted terracotta pots or similar.

Permanent or Temporary Plantings? Temporary plantings are where your garden ponds plant is held in a container – preferably plastic or some other lightweight inert material – allowing plant and pot to be removed, or moved to another site within your pool to achieve a different effect.
Cover the soil in the containers with a layer of gravel to prevent the soil from washing out and fouling the water.

 Floating, submerged, marginal or bog plants. Floating plants are water purifiers that take their nutrients directly from the water. They float on the surface, adding color, texture and variety. They also provide shade and shelter for fish. Take care not to let floating plants completely cover the water surface and block out all light.

Choose your garden ponds plant with care

Submerged plants mostly live completely underwater. They oxygenate the water and by competing with algae for nutrients they help to keep your pond water healthy and clear. They also provide sheltered areas for fish.

 Marginal plants are usually classified as either ‘shallow’ or ‘deep’ marginal plants depending on the depth of water in which they grow – shallow to say 12″ (30cm). They can provide extensive foliage above water level.

Bog plants can survive long periods with their roots water covered but prefer a boggy or moist soil.