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Backyard Pond Tips: Adding Aquatic Plants to your Water Garden

Algreen Professional Pond Kit
Algreen Professional Pond Kit

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Why Have Plants?

The quickest, simplest answer is that investing in water garden plants helps to make your pond look more natural and more attractive.

There are, however, many other benefits to using water garden plants:

Which Water Garden Plants Should I Choose?

When selecting which plants you are going to be using in your water garden, you want a wide variety of types in order to create an ecological balance in your water garden. This will help to maintain a balanced quality of water, and will help filter water the best that it can. You will need to select some oxygenating, floating, deep water and marginal plants. In order to select the best plants for your water garden, only buy healthy plants - ones that don't have yellow or brown leaves, ones that aren't damaged, and remember to choose these plants only from a clean facility with a lot of light. Be aware of invasive species!

When bringing your water garden plants home, don't let them dry out. The best way to go about doing this is to wrap it in a damp newspaper.

Oxygenating Plants

Oxygenating plants are very helpful to have in water gardens because not only do they use fish waste as a fertilizer, but they also provide oxygen to the water. They also compete with algae for nutrients, which helps prevent algae blooms in your water garden.

These water garden plants should be planted in the early spring, before other plants have started growing.

Keep in mind that if you do have fish in your water garden, you are still going to need a pond pump, or other aeration media, in order to make enough oxygen for your fish. Examples of Oxygenating Plants are:

Green Tip:

Grow your own vegetables. This will help to reduces carbon from fertilizers, and transportation.

Floating Plants

Floating plants also help to prevent algae, because they cover a large percentage of the pond's surface. These plants also provide shade needed for other plants to begin growing.

Before you plant these water garden plants, be sure that the risk of frost overnight is finished. Examples of Floating Plants are:

Deep Water Plants

The most well-known of the deep water plants is the water lily. These plants provide decoration, shade and shelter. Examples of Deep Water Plants are:

Marginal Plants

Marginal plants have their roots a few inches below the water level, with the remainder of the plant above the water's surface. To help these water garden plants grow best, place them in an area of the water garden where there is very little water flow. Examples of Marginal Plants are:

Complete Guide to Water Garden Plants
Complete Guide to Water Garden Plants

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Taking Care of Your Water Garden Plants

Just as with any other plant, your water garden plants need the proper nutrients in order to flourish. Your plants absorb these nutrients from the water, and every once in a while the water will need to be restocked with nutrients. There are liquid fertilizers that are made specifically for pond plants for this.

Other than plant fertilizer the only other thing your water garden plants will require of you is an occassional pruning.

Winterizing Your Water Garden Plants

In the autumn, you will need to start winterizing your pond. It is going to depend on how you decide to overwinter your plants, as to what steps you need to take. Some of your plants (your deep water plants, for example) will most likely survive the winter if you place them in the deepest part of your pond. Oxygenators should, however, be moved inside for the winter. Learn more.