How to Plant your Pond Plants
If you are considering ways in which you can decorate your garden pond with plants, then you may have a couple of questions you need to answer before you get started. Like how do you even plant pond plants? Or are pond plants even necessary to have? To find out the answers to these questions and more, keep reading the Pond Planet essential guide to pond plants today and don’t forget to have fun exploring our wide collection of pond planting products.
Do Ponds Need Plants?
Although optional, firstly, let’s cover the basics of why your pond could benefit from plants. Not just for aesthetic appearances, pond plants help to prevent the build-up of green algae in your pond water. They’re also important for consuming nutrients and providing ample shade in pond water. The shade that they offer limits the sunlight available for photosynthesis and other nutrients required for algae blooms to thrive and grow. You will also see an improvement in your pond water quality with the addition of pond plants as the plants will use the sunlight for their photosynthesis process and then will release oxygen back into the pond.
Different Types of Pond Plants
Now that you know why pond plants are important, it’s time to get started thinking about how you may want to incorporate them into your pond. To better understand the different types of pond plants available and how you should plant them, we believe it is easier to break pond plants down into different ‘zones’ or areas of your pond. This way you understand exactly what types of pond plants you should choose and where you should plant them.
Bog Plants – Zone 1
Bog plants are most commonly used to frame the surrounding area of your pond, otherwise known as zone 1 in this instance. They are not technically aquatic plants, but they are moisture-loving and for this reason, they are perfectly located and planted in the land at the edge of your pond. Plus, bog plants are a great way to encourage wildlife to visit your pond as they offer plenty of shade and cover.
We recommend planting bog plants at a depth of 0-15cm directly into the soil surrounding your pond.
Marginal Plants – Zone 2
Moving away from bog plants and into zone 2, this is where we expect to find marginal plants. Marginal plants add depth to the shape and border that we have initially created with the planting of bog plants and make the overall appearance of the pond structure appear more natural. Typically, marginal plants are planted in the shallow waters of your pond and are often referred to as emergent plants due to the way the flowering parts of the plants emerge out and above the water.
As these plants are best used in shallow waters, we recommend a planting depth of 0-15cm using smaller pond baskets.
Deep Marginal Plants – Zone 3
Just like the plants mentioned in zone 2, deep marginal plants emerge out of the water to stand above the waterline. They are suited to varying depths of pond water and can tolerate a greater depth of shallow pond water where they are planted in zone 3. They should be planted just lower than marginal plants used in zone 2.
The planting depth that we recommend for deep marginal plants is 15-40 cm in high-quality pond baskets.
Deep Water & Oxygenating Plants – Zone 4
These plants are the deepest you can use in your pond and may either be fully submerged beneath the water or in some cases just slightly emerging or floating on the waterline. Oxygenating plants are also the most important pond plants to use for ensuring healthy pond water as they do the most work in terms of removing excess nutrients in the water and replenishing it with oxygen. You should make sure that you have deep water plants in your pond, especially during the summer months as this is when dissolved oxygen levels are naturally lower.
Plant deep water and oxygenating plants at any depths over 40cm using specialist pond planting products.
Floating Plants – Zone 5
Finally, we have floating plants which do not require any planting at all. As the name suggests, these plants simply float across the top of the water of your pond, with no underwater stem leading to a pond basket. This is a low-maintenance option for adding plants to your pond and also a very popular option for their attractive appearance. However, more than this, floating plants are a great way to provide shade for fish swimming in your pond, as well as providing wildlife, like frogs or newts, a place to rest outside of the pond water.
Our Pond Planting Tips
When Should I Plant my Pond Plants?
Just like with other plants, aquatic plants tend to thrive best and develop the most throughout the spring and early summer seasons. This is because they benefit from the increased sunlight exposure and the warmer temperatures.
Please note that this does not mean that you can’t or shouldn’t plant your pond plants in autumn or winter months, but you should expect them to remain dormant until spring when the weather is more encouraging. Plus, we think you’ll have a much more enjoyable experience planting your pond plants when the weather is a little bit nicer!
Keep On Top of Pond Maintenance
To save yourself from excessive maintenance work, we recommend that you always keep on top of your pond to keep it blooming. Ideally, when it comes to planting deep water plants you do not want fish and wildlife digging up your freshly planted pond plants. Therefore we advise topping the planted pond baskets with gravel or large pebbles to prevent this from happening. This will help ensure they remain stable and resistant to any damage from fish and other pond inhabitants.
Once your pond is planted, you should regularly maintain the plants that are established by trimming excess foliage. This will stop dead plant materials from adding to organic waste.
Choose the Right Plants and Materials
Of course, one of the most important tips we can give you is to make sure that you do your research when selecting pond plants and accessories. Find out which plants will be the most suitable for your pond’s size and location so that you improve the pond’s natural balance, and not disturb it. For example, if you have a koi pond then you may want to keep deep and submerged plants to a minimum so that your fish do not damage or dig up your fresh new plants.It is also vital that you only choose high-quality pond planting products and accessories, such as baskets, soils and fertilisers from reputable brands that will only enhance your pond and not diminish its quality. At Pond Planet, you can explore a wide range of pond baskets, soils and fertilizers available to help you make the most out of your pond plants and ensure a thriving green environment.