Plants give visual interest to a pond, encourage wildlife and can help keep water clear. Choosing the right plants greatly adds to your enjoyment of the pond as well as that of visiting or resident wildlife.
Planting a pond:
Plant marginals with 3 – 15cms of water over the soil surface in groups of 3 – 5 of the same variety.
Small pots should be secured to prevent fish disturbance.
Approximately 30 – 40% of the pond surface area should be covered to provide shade for fish and reduce algae growth.
Short growing oxygenators can be placed on marginal shelves. Deep water varieties are best planted, but can be left loose in the bottom of the pond.
Simply place floating plants on the pond surface.
Plants in solid pots should be transplanted into mesh pots to allow water and oxygen to freely circulate the roots.
Lay out your planting as you would a flower arrangement with tall plants at the back and low plants at the front.
Approximate planting density for pools:
Water Lilies: 1 per 2 – 3m sq.
Marginals: 5 x 1 litre or 3 x 3 litre plants per m.
Oxygenators: 2 – 3 bunches per m sq.
Floating plants: 2 – 3 plants per m sq.
A beautiful addition to any pond.
The leaves shade the water, providing shelter for fish, helping to keep it clear and reduce algae.
Lilies like still water. Do not place near fountains or where water can splash on the leaves.
Depth: The depth for specific varieties is on the reverse of each label. Even miniature lilies are best planted with the crown 10cm below the water surface to protect from frost. Large lilies can go to a maximum recommended depth of 1.2m. If leaves rise up above the surface, remove the old leaves on the surface, allowing space for new leaves to lie down onto the water.
Miniature lilies are very small, so ideal for a barrel or patio pond. They can be planted very shallow, but ensure there is sufficient water to protect from ice in cold winter, typically 10cm.
Small ponds or those that are not too deep – small varieties such as Perry’s Baby Red, Xiafei and Aurora are ideal. Look for “Small lily” on the back of the label.
Medium and large ponds have a wide variety of lilies available to them. Many medium sized lilies can also be used in large ponds by grouping them together or selecting a range of varieties to add colour.
Large lilies should be planted deeper – see the label reverse for details. If the water is too shallow the leaves will rise up above the surface of the water and reduce the number of flowers. Ideally lower into deeper water or alternatively remove old leaves to allow space for new ones to lie down.
The only native water lily is Nymphaea Alba. It does not flower as prolifically as others. Alternatively use Virginalis, Marliacia albida or Gladstoniana for a natural look with a few more flowers.
Deep water aquatics are more tolerant of shade and moving water than lilies. Aponogeton is very unusual as it flowers early and late in the season and will continue to flower all winter until stopped by the first frost and ice. It temporarily stops flowering and dies back in the middle of summer.
Plants For Clear Water:
Plants are essential to set up a natural balance in a pond and help keep the water clear.
All plants remove nitrates – this is the food that is essential for algae to grow. The faster a plant grows, the more nitrates the plant removes and the more it prevents algae from growing.
Native varieties are often among the most effective plants for removing nitrates.
Smaller ponds require slower growing plants to avoid excess growth as there are fewer nitrates to be removed.