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    We are offering a few new plants this year and one is the Water Willow (Justicia Americana).  This hardy bog plant has flowers that resemble an orchid white with splashes of lavender and purple.  The flowers grow in a dense, head-like cluster originating from its slender stalks.

    The plant will grow 12 inches to 18 inches high and about 12 inches wide with flowers that start blooming in April and will continue to bloom thru October.    It requires part shade to full sun and best when planted 0 - 4" below the water surface but will take up to 2' of water.   While it will grow in almost any type of soil its best grown in sandy, sandy loam medium loam and clay loam or clay.

    Hardy Zones 4-11 (Can overwinter in pond and doesn't need submerged)




    Well the holidays are over, the tree is down and all the holiday christmas decorations are put away.  I could probably leave my christmas tree up for months as I always miss it once its put away.  Its hard to imagine the room is exactly like it was a month ago because it looks so bare now. With that behind I start thinking that in just a few months it will be spring again.  My how time flies.  The plants are all beginning to grow nicely in the greenhouses and within a couple months will be ready to plant.  

    No sooner said then the snow began...let's hope February is a quick month and we can all get started on our spring projects and planning our gardens.  Actually January is a good month to start ordering some plants for your gardens, at least I'm getting alot of plant magazines in the mail.  So its getting me in the mood.

    There are iris of almost any color one would want.....of course I want to plant them all around the pond.  Although they only bloom once during the season I anxiously await their blooms.  The Colorific is exactly like its name...blending of colors and quite unique.  This plant only had about three flowers on it this year since it was just planted but next year will have more. 

    Then there is the Clyde Redmond which blooms a little later in the season. Its nice to have different iris blooming at different times of the season. The Wedgwood blue color of this iris adds alot to the pond.

    Other than dividing the iris in the early spring they require little care and the rewards of color in your pond are worth it.

    Variegated cattail, Typha latifolia 'Variegata' is an attractive bog plant for any pond.  The variegation in this cattail is bold forming bright green and white longitudinal stripes.  The Variegated Cattail will grow to 5 feet tall in sun to part shade.  It requires moist soil or water to 12 inches deep.  It does well in Zones 4-11.  The Variegated Cattail doesn't grow as readily as the other cattails and doesn't like to be transplanted.

    The Variegated Cattail is a nice addition to any pond and provides a taller backdrop  for smaller plants around your pond.  In addition, it also is a great pond plant that will attract dragonflies and other wildlife to your water garden.

    Graceful Cattails, Typha angustifolia are similar to your regular Common Cattail other than its leaves.  They are more narrow leafed than the standard and the foliage arches and sways gracefully in the breeze.  An elegant bog pond plant and is suitable for any pond or large container water garden.  They will grow 4-6 feet tall and their catkins are very thin.  The foliage makes an attractive cutting for any floral arrangement. 

    Graceful Cattails grow in sun to part shade in moist soil to water 12 inches deep and do well in Zones 3-11.  They don't mind having water above their crown even during winter months and tolerate freezing temperatures well.  Again Graceful Cattails are the same as other cattails and will propagate quickly from division of the rhizomes or easily grown by seed.

    This is a picture of the floating hearts in my pond.  The floating heart is a water lily like plant that looks and grows much like a water lily.  The miniature size is ideal for small ponds and containers.   I planted mine right in my bog area anchored at the rocks edge.  It grows freely across the pond water in only a few inches of water.

    This is a hardy plant in Zones 5-11.  It is very free-flowering and a fast grower with a running spread.  It ideally grows in 4-24 inches of water.  The leaves are slightly toothed and an even green, sometimes showing a hint of brown throughout the leaves.  It will bloom throughout the growing season with little to no care.

    You can find floating hearts here.

    I planted this bog bean last summer and it really has taken hold in the bog.  It provides a nice dense area for the frogs to hid in.  (See if you can find him)   It does best in 1-3 inches of water but will grow out from the margin and float over the pond.  I didn't plant mine.   I just anchored it underwater with the rocks around the edge of the bog and it grew from there.  I already had flowers but didn't get the picture....busy time of the year.  They were pink clusters that opened up to white, star-shaped blooms.  They were about 5 inches taller that the leaves.  They are suppose to be 2-6 inches above the leaves which gives the plant an overall height of 6-9 inches.

    Bog bean has a highly fragrant scent and will bloom late May through July but the flowers don't last long.   It needs full sun to partial shade and is hardy is Zones 2-7.  It can freeze solid in the winter as long as you leave it in the water and will come back early the next spring.  You can divide it after it has flowered by cutting off the rootstock.

    Its a nice plant for your shallow water along the edge of the pond.

    You can purchase bog bean, buck bean, Menyanthes trifoliata here.

    All irises will perform well if they are given at least six hours of sunlight.  Most irises will not flower if the sunlight drops to less than four hours a day.  If you do plant an iris in a partially shaded area of your pond the best sunlight is that of the morning rather than the afternoon sun.  This will help evaporate the dew from the leaves preventing the risk of fungus or bacteria.  If given too much afternoon sun it can burn up the petals of the lighter irises.

    When you first plant a young iris they require less water until they become established, moist soil, little to no water above the soil line.  Since an iris is considered a marginal pond plant it is best to plant around the perimeter of your pond or bog area.  Most iris will tolerate a range of water depths from moist soil to a few inches of water over their crown once they have become established water plants.  Just make sure the crown of the iris always remains moist or in the water.  The water garden irises benefit greatly from early spring fertilizer and fertilizing throughout the growing season.  You should begin fertilizing irises when the pond temperature reaches 65 degrees and continue to feed them once a month through the growing season, well after they begin to sprout.  You can stop fertilizing them about a month before the last frost free date in your area.  This will allow the iris to harden off for the winter.  If you have no frost in your area stop fertilizing when the plant begins to show signs of going dormant.  This would be when the leaves begin to brown and new growth has stopped.

    Depending on the iris you have determines the winter care for it.   Once the foliage dies back and the water temperatures begin to cool down you can trim the leaves back to about an inch or two above the crown of the plant.  You want to make sure they will stay wet throughout the winter.  They do best just by leaving them on the shelf of your pond or marginal area of your pond.   The main goal is to make sure the iris stays moist throughout the winter.   If you do remove the irises from your pond during the winter months where temperatures don't drop below 25 degrees, make sure you don't let them dry out.  You can place them in a container filled with 1-4 inches of water or enough water to keep their crowns above the water level.

    Buy iris,marginal bog plants here.

    This plant is an excellent water plant for stream beds, bogs or edges of your pond.  It grows to about 6"-12" high out of the water and is a fast grower.  It leaves are usually shiny and can be anywheres from 3 inches to only 1/2 inch in diameter.  This plant is useful in the water garden because of its quick ability to create shade over the pond and grows running stems that will float out over the water surface.  It creates a soft edge between water and taller plants such as the cattails, iris or sweet flags. 

    It will grow well in sun to part shade and is hardy in Zones 5-11.  It grows best in moist soil to water no more than 4 inches deep.

    Sweet Flag is a great plant for streams and filters or planted around your ponds edge.  It grows to 1-4' tall and is hardy Zones 4-11.   It's neat, clear appearance enhances your water feature.  The regular variegated sweet flag provides an upright, architectural accent and the dwarf size has a graceful, arching appearance.  There are flowers that appear during the summer that are cone-like and appear about one third to halfway up from the base of the foliage sometimes being difficult to find and often go unnoticed.

    Sweet flag grows well in sun to shade and requires soil that is constantly moist, and doesn't like alot of water over their crown.   It will tolerate freezing temperatures and even can freeze solid providing they remain in the water while frozen.  Your dwarf sweet flag will keep its foliage throughout the winter where the regular sweet flag will lose it foliage during the winter.

    Another great evergreen type water plant that adds a clean appearance to your water feature.

    Variegated Sweet Flag, dwarf variegated sweet flag found here on our site.