Aquatic Plants

Water Garden Plants

Next to a backyard waterfall, the water garden plants are the most effect on the overall feel and aesthetics of any garden pond or water feature.

On top of that fast growing aquatic plants serve a very useful purpose. They filter the water. In fact, water garden plants gobble up all available nitrate and therefore finishing the nutrient cycle. With correct pH,adequate circulation, pond plant, and biological filtration, the system will out compete algae.

When choosing which aquatic pond plant to include there are a few basic things to consider. Knowing your ‘hardiness zone’ will help you decide which water garden plants will thrive in your area. The plants that filter best are those that tend not to be big bloomers. For instance, water lilies, grown specifically for their beautiful blooms are not the best filtering plants.

They often need fertilizer tabs to even bloom, defeating the purpose entirely. They do have a place in the water garden though, as water surface shaders, detering heat gain and algae.

The aquatic pond plant, bog plants like cattails, rushes, and other larger fast growers are the best overall filter plants. It is necessary to thin them out every spring, but as you do you are eliminating the nutrients that had entered the water garden over the last year. Floating plants, though beautiful and very functional as filterers are not ideal. They will constantly end up in any skimmer and grow so rapidly they may cover the entire surface of the water. Not to difficult to scoop out of course. Also, floating plants are typically only hardy until frost, thus needing to be replaced every year or brought inside for the winter.

Plant aquatic plants in gravel not in soil. Soil will add unnecessary nutrients into the system. By planting in gravel only it forces the plants to feed on available nutrients within the water garden keeping water quality crystal clear. See:Swimming Ponds for more information and ideas relating to this.

I�d also like to take the opportunity to mention the importance of diversity. The strength of any ecosystem is its diversity. If one species fails there are others to take up the slack, if you would. Concluding that a well designed, diversely planted backyard pond or garden waterfall will simply thrive all on its own.