Pond plants are such an important part of almost any pond. Selecting the best pond plants adds beauty to the pond and aids in maintaining a healthy environment for fish. In addition, plants provide food and shelter for the creatures that may reside in the fish pond. Any in-depth discussion of pond plants will include deep water plants, oxygenating plants, marginal plants, floating plants and bog plants.
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When you are choosing the best plants for your pond, you should take into consideration how large the plants may be when grown. This is important in order to make sure your pond will not be too small to hold the plants you plan to grow in it. You should also check to see if the plants will be winter well outside in your area. After all, keeping pond plants alive in your home until the warmer days of Spring arrives is a messy task...if possible at all. The information you should need to make your decision will possibly be on the plant label, but, if not, talk to your local nursery or pond expert.
If your pond is on the small side, you may want to use plants in pots to avoid having problems with plant roots. Fabric pond pots or mesh pots are best. Fabric pond pots allow air to pass through, which allows the plants to grow in a natural and healthy way although in a pot. Soil won't leak through these pots, if they are of good quality, so your pond will remain clear. Mesh pots allow the roots of the plants to receive enough water to remain healthy.
In order to properly plant your pond, you should choose plants for each layer of the pond. This is because, in addition to their natural beauty, each type of plant has a different function and purpose.
Deep Water Plants
Deep water plants generally help remove waste from the pond by using it as a natural fertilizer.
Deep water pond plants will grow quickly with help from aquatic plant fertilizers, lots of oxygen and lots of sunlight. Good deep water plants are Lotus, Water Lilies and Water Hawthorn. Lotus and Water Lilies prefer water that is at least two feet (60 cm) deep. Water Hawthorn will do well in water from 3 to 24 inches (8cm to 60cm) deep.
Oxygenating plants provide the creatures in your pond with oxygen, food and shelter.
These plants also compete with algae. They do this by absorbing nutrients and carbon dioxide that algae need to grow. Oxygenating plants also help maintain the water quality of the pond and also provide spawning areas for any fish you may introduce to your pond.
Some good choices for oxygenating plants may include Hornwort, Water Milfoil, Water Violet and Water Buttercup.
Floating plants, as you can guess from the name, float on the surface of the pond and help provide shade for the creatures living in the pond.
Some of the best choices for floating pond plants include Water Chestnut, Water Hyacinths, Water Soldier, Bladderwort and Water Lettuce. You should avoid introducing Duckweed into your pond as it grows quickly and will easily cover the entire surface of the pond. This will prevent photosynthesis from taking place, decreasing the amount of oxygen available for both the plants, and the fish to survive.
Marginal Pond Plants
Again, as you might guess from the name, marginal pond plants grow in the shallower edges of the pond.
They typically grow in 2 to 12 inches (5cm to 30cm) of water. Some good choices for marginal plants for your pond include Sweet Flag, Marsh Marigold, Golden Buttons, Pickerel, Iris, Golden Sedge, Japanese Arrowhead, Bog bean and Lobelia.
Cattails help offer shelter, provide food, and prevent erosion along the edge of the pond, among other things. Unfortunately, they also tend to grow quickly and may be difficult to control. Avoid cattails unless you have the time, energy, and resources, needed to constantly prevent them from getting out of hand.
Bog Pond Plants
Bog plants require a great deal of moisture and normally grow bet around the edge of the pond.
Bog plants do well in mud. Bog plants help prevent pond water from turning green. This is because they filter out surplus nutrients that algae need. Good choices for bog plants include Primula, Astilbe and Lysimachia.
For more information specific to Fish Ponds, go to Fantastic Fish Ponds.
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