Adding Plants to Your Garden Pond

Choose a variety of different plants for your pond to establish a natural balance that will help keep the water clear, and provide the best habitat for plants and wildlife.

Traditional Pond with Aquatic Garden

Pond with Aquatic Plants

2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - How to Grow Practically Everything View original photo.

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

A variety of aquatic plants and lily pads make for a beautiful and healthy aquatic garden.

When to Plant: Mid- to late spring
At Their Best: Summer
Time to Complete: 30 minutes per plant

Materials Needed:

  • aquatic plant basket or fine-netted pond bag
  • aquatic soil
  • trowel
  • water lily or pond plant
  • pea gravel

Fill a Basket

Choose an aquatic pond basket that has small holes in the sides to stop the soil from leaking out into the water. Place a layer of aquatic soil in the bottom. Don't use garden soil because it may contain nutrients that encourage algae.

Preparing to Plant Water Lilies

Preparing to Plant Water Lilies

2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - How to Grow Practically Everything

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Add the Plant

Carefully remove the water lily or pond plant from its original pot and place it in the center of the basket at the same level. Fill in around the plant with more aquatic soil, firming it down with your fingertips as you go.

Place Water Lily in Aquatic Basket

Place Water Lily in Aquatic Basket

2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - How to Grow Practically Everything

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Mulch With Gravel

Check the plant carefully, and clean off any duckweed (small round leaves) or algae from the stems and leaves. To stabilize the soil surface, add a layer of pea gravel; rinse it first several times to remove any impurities or dirt.

Pea Gravel Stabilizes Soil Surface

Pea Gravel Stabilizes Soil Surface

2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - How to Grow Practically Everything

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Tip: Planting Oxygenators

These vital plants release oxygen, absorb nutrients and obscure light, helping to keep the water clean and clear of green algae. Establish them in baskets on the pond shelves, before sinking them to the bottom. Avoid invasive types, like parrot's feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum) and curly waterweed (Lagarosiphon major). Good oxygenators to choose include:

Water moss (Fontinalis antipyretica)
Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum)
Curled pondweed (Potamogeton crispus)
Hart's pennyroyal (Mentha cervina)

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