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Aquatic Plants

 

Aquatic Plants

Bog, Marginal and submerged (oxygenating) water plants.

Bog

By its name these varieties a best suited to damp, generally semi-shaded areas. In most cases they cannot tolerate drying out however it depends on the specific variety. They can though cope with the odd case of flooding so temporary saturation is tolerable.

Marginal

This range of plants is not far off the bog range. The difference is the sitting continually in water where some of the bog range may not cope with constant water contact. This aside there are many types which will cross over into the bog.

Submerged (oxygenating) water plants

These varieties are the most commonly asked about. They will grow permanently under water with the majority of the foliage submersed. Many plants however will have leaves and in some cases flowers that will float on the surface.

  

A common name used for these plants is “oxygenators”. This name is somewhat confusing as they do oxygenate the water by day but they also produce carbon dioxide in the water at night.  We prefer to call them submerged plants.

Glenbogal Aquatic plant list

For a more detail list of plants and descriptions click here (PDF file): Glenbogal Aquatic Bog, Marginal & Submerged plant list

Aquatic Plant Care

All plants are beneficial for the pond environment. Many little points around the care and upkeep of pond plants will help you get the best out of your plants.

The general rule for plants outside of the focal group ( Waterlilies, lotus) is to provide cover, habitat and hygiene to the pond.

Cover

This means protection from wind, sun and predators. Great examples of this are taller margin plants like pond pickerel or the Louisiana Iris. These plants have enough height to shade margin areas of the pond breaking wind gusts to aid protection to fish and other pond life.

Habitat

Most finer leafed submerged plants are ideal for fish to spawn in also providing vegetation for goldfish to graze on with added benefit of hiding places for fry fish. Many other plants create excellent homes for species like frogs and dragonflies.

Hygiene

All plants, in particular large root mass plants like Cyprus prolifer and hyrgophilia Augustifolia (Blue hygro), are gross feeders of unwanted waste product in ponds.

When planted in a specific aquatic basket with low nutrient aquatic soil (see picture) they quickly go to work drawing nutrient from the water by pushing their roots out of the basket holes. This process is done by all pond plants if potted correctly. Other positive results are long frilly roots create great spawning matter for fish.

Planting - Aquatic baskets

Pond plant baskets are available in many sizes and shapes. 

Nearly all pond plants are seasonal with the odd exception. During the late summer months the plants will start to show the signs of dormancy. Reductions of flowers, leaf fall and less re-growth are all very common. This is standard with ponds and includes waterlilies and lotus. Don’t panic! Treat your pond much the same as the rest of the garden with light pruning and removal of dying foliage. This helps to keep the organic loading on the pond low as well as reducing the frequency of filter maintenance.

Late winter to early spring is the time to consider all pond preparation. One task not given much thought is the care required to get the best results out of all pond plants. Waterlilies tend to get plenty of care, where the rest of the pond plants usually get forgotten about.

Not all plants will require yearly division or even that much care but it pays to check. Plants out growing their basket are the most common concern however this can be advantageous as the plant is working hard to find food. If it is growing well and you like it, don’t be afraid to try division to increase quantity. The general rule for pond plants is the more the better, with the exception of so many there is no room for the fish.

Some other more delicate specimen plants may require a simple re-pot and trim just to provide it the ideal start to the season.

Fertilising may be required but you must be a little cautious not to overload the pond before the plants have really shot away. If you use too much of the wrong type of fertiliser algae may take hold before the plants.

Using a good quality fertiliser like Aquahydotech/Ecopond Plant food Plus not only supplies a balanced diet to all aquatic plants it also inhibits the growth of algae using Barley straw extract.

Tablet fertilisers, like Glenbogal Aquatic spikes and tabs provide added nutrient to the plant through slow release in the aquatic soil.  Tablets provide added nutrient for plants lacking in the correct nutrients.  These should be used sparingly as the preference is for your plant to feed from the water and reduce algae problems.

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