Having created our pond, lake, stream or bog-garden, the next step is the planting, and the most exciting part is that no two water gardens need to ever look the same; you can create something stunning, beautiful and unique. I have written this article to guide you and boost your own confidence that we all have the capability to be creative, and that water-gardening is not a hobby only for green fingered experts, but also for the un-experienced novice.
I have listed eight basic categories of water plants, when I say water-plants I mean anything from totally submerged to moist perennials, depending on your design you may only want to include plants from one or two categories or if you are adventurous and creating your very own Wisely Gardens you may wish to incorporate plants from every category.
- How to choose the Right plants for your Pond :
Pond plants are categorized as submerged plants, marginal or bog plants, floating plants, and deep water emergent plants. Before selecting pond plants, research your desired varieties to determine their needs, growth habits, and ultimate size
Alpines and rockery plants
British wild aquatic and bog-garden plants
Marginal and bog-garden plants
Moisture-loving perennial plants
Oxygenating, deep-water and submerged plants
it a impossible task to plan on paper (planting schemes) a design of planting, I find I can only achieve this when the plants I have purchased or using from my nursery are stood out in front of me, trying to work from planting schemes is far more difficult and less fun than choosing the right plants from the collection you have just purchased. I have listed below the seven most important factors when placing plants in their desired place.
Position (sun or shade )
Complementation ( toning )
Formal, informal or wild
You will need to consider the position before you purchase your plants; you won’t have a healthy happy garden if you buy plants for semi or full shade and your water-garden is in full sun.
If you are planting a large pond, stream or lake you will want taller plants as a backdrop and a mixture of short, medium, and few large growing varieties in the foreground, if you are planting a small back garden pond, you will be better sticking to small and medium sized plants.
Color, flowering times and complementation ( toning )
Choose a color scheme that suits you, it’s all down to individual taste, personally I like yellow, blue and white, it’s all about colors that complement each other, another one of my favorites is a mixture of pastel colors planted with dark-reds, if your favorite color is orange, you may want to plant amongst some brown or olive-green rushes, we are not just talking about flowering plants but incorporating a mixture of rushes, sedges, grasses and other foliage plants to compliment and soften edges.
Try to compliment plants to give different tones and textures, place all your plants before you actually plant anything, you will soon see if a plant for example with broad-leaves looks out of place next to a plant with narrow leaves, another thing to remember is orange and red flowers always seem to clash,
And lastly choose plants that flower at different times throughout the year, Caltha’s look fantastic in the spring and schizostylis will brighten up your bog-garden or moist border in the autumn, let your imagination run away and get creative.
A very important collection of plants that can be used to soften edges and tone in different areas of the water garden, groundcover plantsform dense carpets of leaves and flowers and some of the smaller carpet-spreading varieties will mould their way around contours and rocks and grow across excess pond liners right down to the water’s edge, creating a very natural look and exit for amphibians and other wildlife.
Formal, informal or wild
Formal can look great, imagine a square pond surrounded by paving with four large clumps of water iris planted in each corner; personally I would mix up the iris colors to give four dense clumps of pastel colors. If you are planting informal or wild try and plant in odd numbers, there is also no reason why you can’t have the same variety of plant in two or three places in your pond, but don’t plant opposite and if you have for example planted seven pots one side plant 3 or even just one on the other side.
On the wild side I would recommend you only use clump-forming or slow-growing native plants for small wild ponds, invasive plants should only be planted where they can be invasive without causing harm to ecosystems or natural habitat.
- Planting A Pond: A Beginner's Guide :
What Is A Pond Plant?
Pond plants are traditionally divided into four categories – marginal plants, oxygenating plants, floating plants, and deep-water plants. There is some overlap between the categories, but they are still useful.
Marginal plants grow around the edges, or margins, of the pond where the water is shallow. They usually have their soil and their crown (their growing point) underwater, and sometimes their lower foliage as well. They are generally placed on shallow planting shelves within the pond, but if you don’t have shelves their pots can be stood on things such as house bricks to raise them up to the correct height. In order to be considered a true marginal pond plant, the variety must be able to tolerate fully waterlogged soil or water over its crown all year. A plant which will tolerate permanently moist soil but will not tolerate water over its crown or foliage, is considered a marsh plant. There is a huge range of marsh plants available, but a much smaller range of true marginal plants. Unfortunately, many attractive marsh plants are sold by unscrupulous sellers as marginal plants, but they will not survive in a pond in the long term.
Marginal plants usually have recommended planting depths - these refer to the depth of water over the crown, or growing point, of the plant (which is about the same thing as the depth of water over the soil level). So a plant with a recommended planting depth of 0 - 4 inches, should be grown anywhere from waterlogged soil (0 inches) up to 4 inches of water over its crown. You can actually grow most marginals in less water than this if you need to, provided that their soil is not allowed to ever completely dry out. However, you should never grow them in deeper water than the recommended maximum.
Good examples of marginal plants would be water irises and marsh marigolds (Caltha species). Most people consider marginal plants as essential to make the pond look natural and attractive, and they also provide cover for all kinds of wildlife.
Oxygenating plants are plants that have all their foliage under the water. They may live on deeper shelves or on the bottom of the pond, or even float suspended in the water – they will grow at any depth where there is light. They are the plants that are sometimes called 'pond weed'; they usually have fine, delicate foliage. A good example would be marestail, Hippuris vulgaris. They are typically fast-growing and can take up food through their leaves as well as their roots, which means that they are good at absorbing excess nutrients from the water. This can help 'starve out' algae and blanketweed and keep water from going green. These plants also provide important habitats for aquatic invertebrates, and spawning sites for amphibians and fish. In addition, because all plants give off oxygen, their submerged vegetation will increase the oxygen levels in the pond during daylight hours. This is where the name comes from, although because the oxygen is lost at night this is actually not an important function. They also give a very natural and pleasing look to the pond, with their luxuriant underwater foliage.
Floating plants, as the name suggest, are any plants that float freely in the water and do not have true roots. Some of these plants are also oxygenators (having fine foliage under the water, such as hornwort, Ceratophyllum species), while others are more like waterlilies (such as frogbit, Hydrocharis morsus-ranae) and have all their foliage on the water surface. Floating plants are quick to put in to the pond because they don't need potting, and quick and easy to remove if they ever need thinning out. They also provide shade for the pond and, because they take up their nutrients directly from the water, they will compete with algae and blanketweed and help keep these in check.
When Should I Plant My Pond?
People often contact us asking if it is too early or too late to plant up their pond, but in fact you can plant up your pond at any time of the year. The optimum time for most pond plants is late winter/early spring, as this means that they go in their new pots with fresh soil and food just before they start to grow, so they get the most benefit from this. However, this is preferable, not essential, and it also depends on what qualities you have chosen the plant for. For example, if you have chosen a plant which flowers in very early spring, it may be better to get it planted up and established the previous autumn so that it is not moved and trimmed while the flowers are forming. Or if you are planting a natural pond with a soil bottom, it will be pleasanter to plant, and the plants will establish faster, if you plant in late summer or early autumn when the soil and water are warm.
Floating plants are not usually available in the winter as they disappear down to small buds or shoots on the bottom of the pond and we don't sell them as we think people might be disappointed with how they look. If you want these plants, you will usually have to buy them between April and September.
All of our plants are used to living outside in the British climate, and can be put into your pond at any time of the year.
How Many Plants Do I Need?
This is really up to you and your budget. If you add lots of plants and fill up most of the available space, your pond can look mature and established almost immediately, but you will probably need to start thinning some of them out within about three years. If you space them out more, it will take longer for your pond to look full, but it will cost less. Apart from running out of space, it's not possible to add 'too many' plants. If you are trying to combat green water or blanket weed, add as many plants as you can, in order to really fight the algae.
How Do I Choose?
People often ask us what plants they should have for their pond. If you have fish, then having plenty of oxygenating plants and plants with floating leaves (such as waterlilies or Aponogeton, the water hawthorns) will improve the environment for them and also help significantly to combat algae and green water (which are much more common in fish ponds). In this case, try to have between one-third and two-thirds of the water surface covered with a mixture of oxygenating plants and floating leaves. But if you don’t have fish, then you can really choose whatever plants you like.
To make the pond look pleasing, you might want to consider choosing plants that give different colour flowers and/or flowers at different times of the year (Caltha for yellow flowers in spring, Lythrum for pink flowers in early summer, Pontederia for blue flowers in late summer etc). Foliage is also important – try to choose one or two things that are evergreen, such as Acorus, or Equisetum, so that the pond has some winter interest. For a balanced look, choose both tall slender plants and low bushy plants. If you are trying to hide the edge of the pond, choose plants with creeping stems, such as Menyathes trifoliata (bog bean), Hydrocotyle vulgaris (marsh pennywort), or Mentha aquatica(water mint). Plant heights, flower colour and flowering times are all given on this website on each plant's page.
If you want to use plants to encourage wildlife, the single most important thing is to choose plants from each category so that you have a range of habitats within the pond - plants with underwater foliage, such as oxygenating plants, plants with floating leaves, and marginal plants around the edge. It is also helpful to emphasise British native plants, as they are overall more likely to be useful to our local wildlife.
If you specifically want to encourage dragonflies and damselflies, make sure you have some marginal plants with tall stems that the larvae can crawl up as they emerge from the pond before flying away. If you are interested in butterflies and bees, try to choose plants that are on the RHS 'Perfect For Pollinators' list, such as Lythrum salicaria (loosestrife) or Myosotis (forget-me-nots) - search this site using the keyword "pollinators". Finally, try to place some of your marginal plants and marsh plants around the pond’s edge in such a way that it blends with the vegetation of rest of the garden, to give cover so that small animals can enter or leave the pond without coming out into the open.
The above picture is courtesy to : www.unwins.co.uk/how-to-grow-pond-plants
Choosing The Right Pond Plants For Your New Pond
Posted on March 12, 2018 by visualsoft
Choosing pond plants is an essential and exciting stage in setting up your new garden pond. The process of choosing the right plants can be a little overwhelming, especially if this is your first pond, so we’re here to demystify the process for you.
Why Do I Need Pond Plants?
Aquatic plants bring a great range of benefits to your garden pond. From a purely aesthetic perspective, plantlife greatly enhances the natural beauty of your pond by adding colour, texture and attractive foliage. But the benefits of pond plants go far beyond aesthetics; they help keep your pond water clear and algae-free through reducing water light levels, they provide homes, breeding opportunities and shelter for wildlife and pond fish and they oxygenate your water to keep pond life healthy.
All you have to do is pick the right plants to suit your pond. Here’s how:
Choosing Pond Plants: Things to Consider
Several factors will affect which plants you choose for your pond. Make sure you take the following into consideration before choosing your plants:
Pond size, Depth and Position
The size of your pond has a big effect on how you should choose and arrange your plantlife. It may sound strange, but the ecosystems of smaller ponds are actually slightly harder to maintain than those of larger ponds. This is because they tend to be shallower, making them more prone to drying out or fluctuating in temperature, which in turn can harm your plantlife and wildlife. Smaller ponds also provide less room for plant growth, so they have to be carefully maintained.
However, if you don’t overcrowd your pond with plants you can still create a thriving ecosystem with a little care and attention. The larger and deeper your pond, the more varieties of plants you will be able to introduce, so this is worth taking into account if you have yet to build your pond.
The position of your pond also affects which plants you should choose and where you plant them. If your pond is in a shady spot (under a tree for example) then it won’t get as much light, which means you won’t need to worry so much about preventing algae blooms with larger pond plants. If, however, your pond will be in direct sunlight for most of the day, you will need to choose plants that will reduce light levels in the water.
If your pond will be stocked with fish you need to ensure you pick the right plants and position them in the right way. Fish need plant life for shelter and hiding places, however they also need room to come to the surface, so you will need to strike a balance between clear and planted spaces. Some types of fish also eat certain types of plantlife, so you need to research which types of plants your fish eat to ensure they have what they need.
Don’t forget to also check that the type of planting compost you are using is pond-friendly, as some types may cause pollution which will harm your fish.
Types of Pond Plants & Where to Place Them
Now that you have a good idea of the planting conditions you have to work with, you can start choosing your pond plants. Here are the main types of pond plants and where they should be placed in your pond:
Bog Plants – Zone 1
Examples: Water Iris, Cotton Grass, Water Clover
Where to Plant: Bog plants are moisture loving plants that can’t grow in water but will thrive in the shallow muddy bank areas of ponds. Plant them right on the edges of your pond, being careful not to allow them to slide or fall into the water.
Marginal and Deep Marginal Plants – Zones 2 & 3
Examples: Rushes, water mint, Caltha
Where to Plant: Marginal plants grow around the shallow outer edge of the water and are usually planted in aquatic planting baskets. Tall marginal plants such as rushes and reeds should be planted along the back edge so as not to obscure the view of your pond, while smaller, flowering marginal plants should be placed towards the front for maximum effect.
Water Lilies and Deep Water Plants – Zone 4
Examples: Nymphaea Mrs Richmond, Nymphaea Gonnere, Water Hyacinth
Where to Plant: These should be placed in the deepest regions of your pond, and need large planting baskets to allow room to grow and plenty of nutrition. If you’re planting lilies you will need to place younger plants in slightly shallower regions to begin with, and it is best to avoid adding young plants to established koi ponds, as the fish will destroy the plant before it has time to mature.
Oxygenating and Underwater Plants – Zones 2 to 5
Examples: Lagarosiphon Major, Water Violet, Water Starwort
Where to Plant: Most oxygenating plants thrive when planted fully submerged, so these can be placed anywhere that is deep enough for the plant to sit below the waterline. Oxygenating plants are known for their rapid growth, so avoid planting too many or your pond will become overrun.
Floating Plants – Zone 6
Examples: Water Lettuce, Water Chestnuts, Water Soldiers
Where to Plant: As their name suggests, floating plants are not anchored in pots and free-float across the surface of your pond with their roots dangling in the water. As they are great for sheltering the water and your fish from sunlight, try and place them in the sunniest spots of your pond. It is generally recommended that a third of your pond’s surface area should be covered with floating plants to prevent algae growth, though this can vary depending on the size and depth of your pond.
Once you’ve chosen your plants it’s time to add them to your pond. Check out our range of pond planting equipment including pond baskets, plant holders and aquatic compost.
Check these Links below for the proper selecting the plants :
How to Choose the Best Plants For Your Pond (Petco)
How to plant up a pond :
courtesy to : www.thompson-morgan.com/how-to-plant-a-garden-pond
With so many aquatic plants to choose from, planting up a garden pond can be a daunting task. And what's all this talk about planting zones? Floaters? Oxygenators? The list goes on!
Don't be put off by the terminology of water plants. Planting up your pond is not as tricky as it sounds and getting it right will create one of the most diverse and fascinating habitats in your garden.
Browse our online range of aquatic plants for ponds - you'll be spoilt for choice! Reassuringly, all of our aquatic plants for sale are given a planting zone and planting depth on each individual product page, to help you make the right choices.
Take a look at this guide to pond plants to help you select the best plants for your pond and learn exactly how to grow aquatic plants.
The importance of aquatic plants in ponds
Aquatic plants are vital for providing shade and using up nutrients in the water which would otherwise lead to a build up of green algae. They keep the water clean and well oxygenated, providing shelter for fish and other wildlife. If you are trying to encourage wildlife to your garden then you may prefer to stick with native pond plants.
Pond plants are a diverse group with an infinite range of form and habit. Aesthetically they are essential for softening the hard edges of your pond, adding texture and reflections that will make it a real beauty spot in your garden. Why not add a few evergreen pond plants to keep your pond colourful all year round.
Choosing the right plants for your pond
Different aquatic plants require different depths of water, so it is well worth doing a little research and choosing plants that will best suit the conditions that your pond offers. Most ponds will have a variety of water depths created by shelves built into the edge of the pond.
Think of the pond as 5 distinct zones...
Zone 1: Moisture loving/ bog plants
This diverse set of plants bridge the gap between water and dry land. Although most of these species are not actually aquatic plants, they will enjoy reliably moist or even boggy soil around the edge of ponds, lakes and watercourses. These plants should not be submerged in water as they are likely to rot in such circumstances.
Zones 2 and 3: Marginal aquatic plants
These plants thrive in the shallow waters at the inside edge of your pond and are often referred to as emergent plants. Some prefer the shallowest shelves (zone 2) while others can cope with slightly deeper water (zone 3). Check the depths of your pond margins to help you choose the right plants.
Zone 4: Deep water aquatic plants (including Water Lilies) and submerged oxygenators
Deep water aquatics (including Water Lilies)
These deep water pond plants flourish in the deeper recesses of the pond. With the crown fully submerged beneath water, many (such as Water Lilies) produce foliage on long stems that floats at the waterâ??s surface. Check our top tips below for advice on planting deep water aquatics.
Once planted, you will rarely see these plants but they are some of the most important. Submerged oxygenating plants will create a healthy pond with well oxygenated water which is essential for fish and wildlife to flourish. Many submerged aquatic plants are sold as bunches of stems that can be weighted or planted into pots to anchor them at the bottom of the pods. Try to aim for 4 to 5 bunches per square metre of water surface.
Zone 5: Floating aquatic plants
Floating pond plants create cover for wildlife and shade across the water's surface. They don't require planting - simply place them on the water's surface and leave them to float there.
Top Tips for planting aquatics
When - Between spring and early summer when the water is warming up and the plants are springing into life.
Compost - Use a heavy loam which won't float to the surface of the pond. You can buy specialist aquatic compost or use heavy garden soil, provided that it is free from fertilisers and contaminants such as herbicide.
Aquatic containers - These special containers have mesh-like walls which allow free movement of water and oxygen. Most gardeners will prefer to plant into containers as this controls the spread of the plants and makes maintenance easier. In larger ponds you can plant directly into the silt at the bottom of the pond.
Anchorage - Add a deep layer of stones at the bottom of the container for extra stability and to help anchor the plant in place. This is particularly useful when planting tall pond plants or when planting into flowing water.
Grit - Apply a thin layer of grit or fine stone across the top of the container to prevent the soil floating out
when you submerge it. Saturating the soil with a hosepipe prior to planting will also help to keep the soil in place.
Planting Deep Water Aquatics
Planting: Water lilies and other such plants need time to adjust to deep water. When newly planted they will need raising on bricks wrapped in some spare pond liner, or a submerged temporary platform within the pond. Gradually lower them in stages until they reach their final positions - at each stage the foliage must have grown to reach the surface before they are submerged to the next depth.
Positioning: Unless you have very tall wellies or don't mind a dip then it can be hard to position deep water aquatics in the pond. However it is possible without ever getting your feet wet! Find a friend to help you, and thread some twine through the mesh sides of the container. Take one end of the twine each and gradually lower the plant into position, before gently tugging the twine from the container.
Written by: Sue Sanderson :
Plants and gardens have always been a big part of my life. I can remember helping my Dad to prick out seedlings, even before I could see over the top of the potting bench. As an adult, I trained at Writtle College where I received my degree, BSc. (Hons) Horticulture. After working in a specialist plantsman's nursery, and later, as a consulting arboriculturalist, I joined Thompson & Morgan in 2008. Initially looking after the grounds and coordinating the plant trials, I now support the web team offering horticultural advice online.
Pond Plants guide
The above picture is courtesy to : www.pfaf.org/user/cmspage.aspx?pageid=163
by Derek Lambert (Author)
Further Reading :
Many books you can find in the Internet based libraries and bookshops like Amazon.com ( Click Here ) ..
But first look for the best prices at Book Finder.com
by Derek Lambert (Author), Graham Quick (Author), Philip Swindells (Author)
- Pond Life: A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Plants & Animals Living in or Near Ponds, Lakes & Wetlands (A Pocket Naturalist Guide) 2nd Edition
by James Kavanagh (Author), Waterford Press (Author), Raymond Leung (Illustrator)
by Philip Swindells (Author)
- Garden Ponds, Fountains & Waterfalls for Your Home: Designing, Constructing, Planting (Creative Homeowner) Step-by-Step Sequences & Over 400 Photos to Landscape Your Garden with Water, Plants, & Fish Paperback – June 27, 2011
by Editors of Creative Homeowner (Author), Landscaping (Author), Kathleen Fisher (Author)
by Dr. Ted Coletti (Author)
- The Tub Pond Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Creating and Maintaining Patio Ponds, Container Water Gardens, and Tropical Fish Breeding Tubs (2nd Editon Color Paperback)
by Dr. Ted Coletti (Author)
- Backyard Water Gardens: How to Build, Plant & Maintain Ponds, Streams & FountainsPaperback – April 8, 2013
by Veronica L. Fowler (Author)
by Helen Nash (Author), Steve Stroupe (Author), Perry Slocam (Photographer), Bob Romar (Photographer)
by Greg Speichert (Author), Sue Speichert (Author)
by Helen Nash (Author), Steve Stroupe (Author)
by Peter Robinsn (Author)
by Aquascape Lifestyles Books (Author)
by Helen Nash (Author), Steve Stroupe (Author), Perry Slocam (Photographer), Bob Romar (Photographer)
by Perry D. Slocum (Author), Peter Robinson (Author), Frances Perry (Author)
by Peter Robinson (Author)
by Philip Swindells
by Helen Nash (Author), Steve Stroupe (Author)
Pond Plants guide
Ponds Plants Types:
Pond Plants guide
Ponds Plants Types: