Achieving Pond Nirvana – Six Plants For Your Pond

There are five different types of plants that you will want to add to your pond to provide beauty and help you achieve an ecological balance in your water garden.


Submerged Plants

Submerged plants such as Anacharis, Vallisneria, Cabomba, Hornwort and Red Ludwigia remove nutrients from the water so algae can’t thrive. Submerged plants do not need soil. Just plant them in one-gallon pots or plant baskets filled with pea gravel and place them in the bottom of your pond. Or purchase plant anchors with your plant order, and simply wrap the weights around the bunch of plants and they will sink to the bottom of the pond.


Floating Plants

Water Hyacinth, Water Lettuce, Frog Bit, Parrot’s Feather and Azolla are all members of the floating plant family. Floating plants are very useful in keeping the pond water clean and clear. These are simple plants that free-float and do not need to be potted. You simply toss them into the water garden where they are extremely beneficial to the pond. Floating plants shade the surface and with their roots dangling in the water they pull nutrients from the water essentially starving the algae. They tend to be quite prolific and provide hiding places for baby fish and other water garden inhabitants.



Deep Water Plants

Otherwise known as water lilies, they grow in pots placed 12 to 36 inches deep and have foliage and flowers that bloom on top of the water’s surface. Water lilies provide shade for the fish and add coverage to the water’s surface. Water lilies are available in many different colors and sizes.


Lotus are also considered a hardy water plant that can also be planted deep in your pond and its flowers and leaves will help provide shade and coverage.


Shallow-water Plants

Plants such as the hardy canna (Thalia dealbata) grow in mud or 8 to 12 inches deep in the water. Arrange them on platform shelves on the edge of your pond to conceal the water garden’s artificial edges. Plant bog and marginal plants in plastic pots, then place the pot under the water and let the plants grow in the open air. When the plants are young, use care and gradually lower them deeper as the plant matures.


Bog Plants and Marginal Plants

Marginal and bog plants grow in damp soil just outside a pond. They are good transition plants between land and water. Some tolerate completely waterlogged ground and others will not tolerate more than moist soil, check each plant’s requirements carefully.

2 thoughts on “Achieving Pond Nirvana – Six Plants For Your Pond

  1. Michael says:

    Hi Barb,
    Do submerged plants need to be planted or can plants like Anacharis be left to just float around without being anchored? I have always just let them float around freely.


    • dragonfly says:

      Hi Michael, In all the literature that I have read submerged plants are somehow anchored to the bottom of your pond but I know of no reason why they can’t float in the water as long as you are getting the same result from them. The purpose of submerged plants is to aid in creating and maintaining an ecosystem suitable for fish and aquatic life plus they draw nutrients directly from the water, abosorbing nitrates and phosphates through their leaves as well as their roots. They are important to water quality and clarity. They help filter unwanted nutrients and add important oxygen to the water during the day. Then at night the plants reverse the process and remove oxygen from the water helping to keep your water at an equal balance. Most either put anchors on them and drop them to the bottom of their pond, put them in a basket and either fill it with sand or small stones to keep the plants contained and put the basket on the bottom of the pond. I would say if it works your way and you don’t mind them floating around then let it be. There really isn’t any reason why they have to be anchored as long as they are doing the job.

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