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Water plants

Water plants

How to Select Plants for a Water Garden or Fish Pond

There are 6 main types of pond plants ...Water lilies, Marginals ... shallow (also called bog plants) medium depth and deep water marginals), Floating plants and Oxygenator plants described here.

Waterlilies in garden ponds and how to use them

 

One of the most famous collections of waterlilies is in the Pampelmous water gardens in Mauritius.
And everyone at some stage or another has seen Monet's waterlilies even though they are on canvas. waterlilies are easy to grow. Waterlilies needs deeper water and do not like flowing or splashing water. 
 
Water lilies are best suited to ponds about 3 feet deep. They need deeper water to flourish in general. Waterlilies are strong aquatic plants that root firmly in soil and debris at the bottom of natural ponds. Leaves float on water surface. Some water lily types only flower at night, while others are highly scented.

Waterlilies and Lotus are type 1 aquatic plants

  • Waterlilies are available in many different colours.

  • Waterlilies colour is probably the most important choice factor although size, scent and water depth are other characteristics of the waterlilies.

  • The lotus flower is another name for waterlilies. These waterlilies are often referred to as a deep water marginal plants.

  •  Waterlilies would tend to be planted in water 60cm deep and more. However today many varieties of waterlilies are available that can be planted in half barrels. Some waterlilies however require depths greater than 1 metre to fully develop. It is better to plant waterlilies shallower rather than deeper water if this is a constraint.

  • The most popular varieties of waterlilies are Carnea (pink waterlilies) and Alba (white waterlilies).

  • Do make sure that at least 1/3 of the water surface is left uncovered. Waterlilies can be very vigorous growers.

Other deep water aquatic plants which are not waterlilies but enjoy the same environment are:

  • Water Hawthorn

  • Brandy Bottle

  • Golden Club

  • Floating Heart

Oxygenators (pond plants: type 2 also called oxygenating aquatic plants)
 
The most important type of aquatic plant from the point of view of the pond's creatures. These plants do as the name suggest . They add oxygen to pond water. Oxygenators are totally submerged water plants. These aquatic plants can never exist out of water. They root in soil or float rootless under water.
 
Aquatic plants like normal garden plants do better if placed in the correct spot. Some water garden plants are happy in the bog plants (muddy) area. Oxygenator plant material is important in any garden pond.

oxygenators aquatic pond plants

Oxygenators are those plants that are totally submerged normally and would die if allowed to dry out. Some root into soil and other just float around in the water - without roots. To allow water garden plants of this type  to remain better submerged attach the bottom of the plant to a pebble using an elastic band or something similar.

Oxygenators as a class of  water garden plants assist in keeping plant water clean and clear by absorbing nutrients. Potted oxygenators include Water Crowfoot, and Water Violet. Monkey tail, Hortwort, Parrots feather are also typical water garden plants that act as oxygenators.

Other categories of water garden plants differing from the oxygenator class can be broken up as follows: 

Marginal water garden plants such as Iris, and Arum Lily which like to stand in water up to about 15cm (6). Some can grow quite tall and be blown over by the wind so you may have to weight the pot or crate down with stones.

Shallow water garden plants or water garden bog plants like Marsh Marigold, Iris, Water mint. These plants like water about 5 cm (2) deep and are good examples of water pond plants.

Deep water garden plants the best known of which is the water lily.
 
Floating water garden plants with their hair-like roots that protrude into the water and need no soil at all. These plants certainly assist in keeping water clear since they absorb nutrients from the water and do a good job of oxygenating lilly ponds. Water Hyacynth, or the water soldier plant are examples of this type of water garden plants.
 
Floating (water plants: type 3)
 
Some floating pond plants have become real nuisances in large waterways ... eg the water hyacinth. These aquatic garden pond plants are small to medium and move freely in the pond. They can grow at prodigious rates when a body of water contains lots of nitrogen and phosphate nutrients.
 
Aquatic plants like normal garden plants do better if placed in the correct spot. Some water garden plants are happy in the bog plants (muddy) area. Oxygenator plant material is important in any garden pond.

oxygenators aquatic pond plants

Oxygenators are those plants that are totally submerged normally and would die if allowed to dry out. Some root into soil and other just float around in the water - without roots. To allow water garden plants of this type  to remain better submerged attach the bottom of the plant to a pebble using an elastic band or something similar.

Oxygenators as a class of  water garden plants assist in keeping plant water clean and clear by absorbing nutrients. Potted oxygenators include Water Crowfoot, and Water Violet. Monkey tail, Hortwort, Parrots feather are also typical water garden plants that act as oxygenators.

Other categories of water garden plants differing from the oxygenator class can be broken up as follows: 

Marginal water garden plants such as Iris, and Arum Lily which like to stand in water up to about 15cm (6). Some can grow quite tall and be blown over by the wind so you may have to weight the pot or crate down with stones.

Shallow water garden plants or water garden bog plants like Marsh Marigold, Iris, Water mint. These plants like water about 5 cm (2) deep and are good examples of water pond plants.

Deep water garden plants the best known of which is the water lily most people spell it water lilly. Please forgive me if I skip between the lilly ponds and the lily ponds, the water lily and the water lilly.

Floating water garden plants with their hair-like roots that protrude into the water and need no soil at all. These plants certainly assist in keeping water clear since they absorb nutrients from the water and do a good job of oxygenating lilly ponds. Water Hyacynth, or the water soldier plant are examples of this type of water garden plants.
 
Partly emerging (pond plants: type 4)
 
Water pond plants like these root into mud and show strong growth and flowers project out of the pond water. There are many kinds of aquatic plants fitting this description
 

Similar plants to these grow in swamps and moisture loving water saturated areas. They like the edges of ponds where the depth is about 6 inches or so. They include reeds right through to low growing ground cover many with lovely flowers and variegated foliage.

Marginal plants normally come potted up ready to place on the pond's marginal shelves. Tall marginal pond plants should be prevented from blowing over by weighting the pots down with bricks or heavy stones.

Here is a useful marginal pond plants list for the average garden pond ...

Acorus calamus variegatus .... Striped scented rush

Callea palustris .... Bog arum

Caltha palustris plena ... Double marsh marigold

Glyceria variegatus ... Striped water grass

Hydrocotle vulgaris ... Pennywort

Iris laevigata ... Japanese iris

Pontederia cordata ... Pickerel plant

Sagittaria japonica ... Japanese arrowhead

Scirpus zebrinus ... Zebra rush

Zantedeshia aethiopica ... Arum lily
 
 
Marginals (pond plants: type 5)
 
The edges around a pond are called margins. It is a point (in a natural waterway) where water floods on occasions and is generally moist to very wet and even continuously covered in shallow water. Certain plants love these wet shallow areas. Marginal plants create the longest list of water or aquatic plants. These water garden pond plants generally do not like drying out.
 

Pond plants like normal garden plants do better if placed in the correct spot. The most common water garden plant is the marginal aquatic plant.

marginals aquatic plantsMarginal water garden plants such as Iris, and Arum Lily which like to stand in water up to about 15cm (6). Some can grow quite tall and be blown over by the wind so you may have to weight the pot or crate down with stones.

Marginal water plants as the name implies are those that occupy the shallower areas around the pond. Most of these plants do not like to dry out. Marginal water garden plants are also able to be considered as bog plants - ie those plants happy to grow in wet mud.

The Marsh Marigold, Reed Mace, Pickerel, Water Buttons, Bog Primula are typical examples of marginal water plants.

Other categories of water garden plants differing from the marginal class can be broken up as follows: 

Oxygenators as a class of  water garden plants assist in keeping plant water clean and clear by absorbing nutrients. Potted oxygenators include Water Crowfoot, and Water Violet are typical water pond plants.

Floating water garden plants with their hair-like roots that protrude into the water and need no soil at all. These plants certainly assist in keeping water clear since they absorb nutrients from the water and do a good job of oxygenating lilly ponds. Water Hyacynth, or the water soldier plant are examples of this type of water garden plants.
 
Bog plants (pond plants: type 6)
 
If a garden has a low lying point where rain tends to collect then this is a prime spot for bog plants. Similar to group 6 water garden pond plants. Wet mud is all that is required for these water or bog type aquatic plants to do well.
 
Common bog or moisture loving garden pond plants

Moisture loving or bog plants prefer boggy ground which can be defined as that ground having an inch or two of water covering it at times. It should not dry out but it is best to keep the area wetted at least.

These tend to be colourful water garden pond plants and include many of the irises, lobelias, and candelabra primulas. Others are the day lily, goatsbeard, water avens, harlequin, clematis iris, yellow star flowers and lobelia cardenalis the scarlet flowers.

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