Aquatic Plants play an extremely important role in a water garden. They aren’t just there to provide beauty and naturalization; they also serve the very important function of helping to balance the pond ecosystem. Their valuable biological filtration helps remove nitrogen, ammonia, nitrates, and other minerals that algae would otherwise feed on. In addition, the plants provide food, shade, and protection for the fish and wildlife that live in and around the pond.
What types of aquatic plants are suitable for a well-balanced ecosystem pond?
- Water lilies pads float on the surface of the pond while providing shade, cooler water and beautiful blooms. They are planted deeper than the marginal plants and feed on nutrients at a deeper level.
- Marginal plants typically grow around the edges or “margins” of a pond or lake which thrive in wet soil from zero to six inches. This by far is the largest plant group and should be in ponds too.
- Floating plants reproduce quickly thus use enormous amounts of nutrients.
- Submerged plants are rooted with most of their vegetative mass below the water surface, although some portions may stick above the water. They produce oxygen and provide shelter for fry.
Plants can be taken out of the pots and planted directly in the gravel where the roots can absorb nutrients directly from the substrate of the pond where fish waste and other organic debris settle and begin to decompose. Lotus is the exception to planting directly in the gravel because they may become invasive.
Pond owners who have a bog should be particularly careful when choosing plants for this area. The bog is the area with the highest amount of nutrients in the entire ecosystem, so plants grow faster and larger here. Tropical aquatic plants are perfect in a bog because you want them to grow quickly, just for the season and not have them become an invasive nuisance. Tropical plants such as Taro, Canna, Banana, Papyrus and many others look spectacular in the bog and other areas of water features too, but grow at least five times faster with additional nutrients. The real bonus here is that by plants using nutrients, water quality and clarity are achieved quickly with little effort! This is a WINNING COMBINATION in our Pond World. Tropical plants can be added as annual plantings approximately in mid-May and will provide exceptional color through October, and are much more interesting than a flat of Petunias!
The Turpin Landscaping Team aims to not just meet, but to exceed your expectations by adding beauty and value to your home. Please call Turpin Landscaping at 610.380.1119 for your pond maintenance.