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.
When to Plant: Mid- to late spring
At Their Best: Summer
Time to Complete: 30 minutes per plant
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.
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.
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.
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)
Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything
© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010