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PLANTS IN YOUR POND

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To plant or not to plant ?  Don't even think twice ... The more 
plants the merrier. Plants serve many purposes in the pond. 
Above and beyond being a beautiful highlight in the
pond; plants contribute immensely in the effort to clean 
your pond water by consuming nitrates. Bottom dwelling aquatic 
plants also collect beneficial bacteria which converts harmful
 ammonia' sand nitrates into a less toxic form of nitrate in 
much the same manor as the bio-media reservoir
in a biological filter canister or falls. They also help to shade 
the water from beating sun rays which cause
green-water or 
waterborne algae and
floating /stringy algae. One of the
best plants for
creating shaded water is the water lily. 
The leaves of the water lily spread across the water
surface 
and also serve as 'rafts' for frogs, lizards and dragonflies.

Many annual pond plants like cannas, elephant ears and 
calla lilies are tropical which makes them recognizable 
to those birds like hummingbirds which migrate south for winter. 
Most come in the form of a bulb which can be removed and 
dried for winter storage. Floating annuals such as
water lettuce , water hyacinth and azola are used to assist
 in creating shade. Fish tend to use these floaters as 
a snack between meals ; nibbling on the roots more likely 
out of boredom or habit than hunger. Floaters usually are 
discarded in fall and replaced in spring with a
fresh
supply after all danger of cool nights has past.

Perennial pond plants are very useful as well. These can often be 
built right into the rockery around the edges of the pond 
for years of enjoyment. Many perennial marginal pond plants
can also be planted on the outside of the pond in a surrounding 
garden or in a bog. This enables you to create a 'simulated' 
large stand of plants that appear to be growing right out of the pond.
Some of the more popular perennial pond plants include 
cattail, pseudoacorus (water-iris), variegated acorus, 
lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower), brunnera (water forget-me-not) 
and houttuynia (chameleon plant) just to name a
few. 
Water
lilies are available in both hardy and tropical varieties. 
Hardy water lilies are steady-eddies and can be quite vigorous.
While tropicals come a wider selection of more
vibrant colors, 
they are harder to keep in northern climates as they must 
be lifted and
over-wintered inside. Most all of the aquatic 
plants will need to be fertilized by means of a
aquatic plant food  
tablet which is pushed into the soil at the base of the plant 2 - 4 
times per season. Remember , as natural as your pond looks 
it is still artificial. Plants rely on vitamin and mineral content
of the water supply. Filtering the water for fish or using an 
ultraviolet sterilizer to eliminate green water removes some of 
these nutrients and it becomes necessary to replace them
artificially. Also, the water in a pond must be tested frequently to 
ensure proper levels of pH which directly effects plants and fish alike.

For more information on these and other water garden topics go back to our
'tips & tricks'  page. Or  contact Us.


Water Gardening Tips & Tricks

                                         
 

 

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