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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.