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Choosing Plants for your Water Garden

Water Garden

Choosing pond plants for your water garden should be fun. They are a way to brighten up the space and really turn your backyard pond into a tropical oasis if that is your goal. You can even utilize different aquatic plantsto help keep the fish in your water garden safe. Here we will discuss some of the water plants that thrive with barely needing your attention, to more high maintenance plants that will bring your garden joy and are worth the extra effort.

Let’s start with one of the easier pond plants, the water hyacinth.

People who do not want to put a ton of effort into their water garden plants often choose water hyacinths because they do not require planting or much work. Simply throw them right into the water. If you don’t want them floating around all over the place, you’ll want to anchor them down, but that can be done quickly and easily. This plant typically won’t survive the winter, but you should be able to find them at your garden store each spring.

Water hyacinths offer glossy green leaves and pale purple blossoms. Their roots help prevent algae and blanket weeds as well as help keep pond water clean. But beware of your water hyacinths taking over your pond. They can hog all the oxygen and deprive your other plants if you don’t keep them under control. If your pond contains koi fish you are in luck, they will eat the water hyacinth roots and keep them under control.

Make your koi fish feel right at home with lotus plants.

If you want a beautiful scent and gorgeous blooms, lotus plants are for you. Just be wary that these plants need temperatures that stay above 65 degrees Fahrenheit. A greenhouse made for water plants is ideal for a safe place for these plants when the temperatures dip. Lotus plants are a little more high maintenance than water hyacinths as they require soil and planting as well as ample amounts of sunlight. Aim to plant your lotus flowers in water approximately 2 to 3 feet deep.

Some plants hang out below the surface.

Like the lotus plant, some aquatic plants live below the water line, and can float freely or be planted in small pots on a pond shelf. Some helpful plants to consider include:

  • parrot feather
  • red ludwegia
  • anacharis
  • cabomba
  • hornwart

These plants pull carbon dioxide from the water and release beneficial oxygen back into your pond. They also provide nice hiding places for your fish.

Water lilies are another underwater plant that grow from pots placed at the bottom of your pond (they can be as deep as 18” – 24” beneath the water line). Even if the pond level rises, the lilies’ stems will reach up so that the leaves still touch the surface. Water lilies have lovely blossoms, but remember they may not all bloom every year. In general, underwater plants don’t require any maintenance during the winter, so once they are planted you are good to go.

Try adding any of these flowers to your pond for the added beauty and benefits!