Pond PlantsWhat's a pond or water feature without splashes of beautiful foliage, dripping with color and texture to tease the eye with varied forms and symmetry! A pond without the plant life it's waters sustain would seem naked and barren. For many, water gardening just is not complete without goldfish and Koi that delight young and old alike. These pages will help you learn about both facets of water gardening.
Pond plants come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. Pond plants are normally classified by the level in which they grow in the water.
Marginals, submerged, floating, lily and lily-like. It's amazing to learn about each class of plant and how they contribute to the pond with their unique form and function that has evolved over the millennia. CLICK HERE to link to a page with hundreds of WATER PLANTS listed by common name including pics and descriptions! Easy to use Alphabetical list!!
Marginals such as: HORSETAIL / REED/ TARO / CAT TAIL / THALIA
These plants grow along the shallow to mid water depths of the pond perimeter. Strong root systems anchor these often large and vertical aspiring plants. Often these members of the pond plant family are referred to as BOG PLANTS.
Submerged such as: CAMBOMBA / ANACHARIS / HORNWORT/ FOXTAIL
These plants grow completely underwater in the mid to deep portions of the pond. These plants have a shallow root system that finds it's grip within the mud and rocks. These plants offer a safe haven for fishes and aquatic creatures as well as offer a direct plant to water oxygen exchange. Also referred to as OXYGENATORS.
Floaters such as: HYACINTH / WATER LETTUCE / SALVANIA / DUCKWEED
These plants remain buoyant and float upon the waters surface at the mercy of the wind and current that carries them around the pond. These plants often have a amazing reproduction and growth rate and can quickly overwhelm a pond. For this reason, many states prohibit the possession of said plants, as they quickly congest and overtake natural waterways choking out natural plants and destroying places of water recreation. Invasive yet very beneficial to pond environments, these plants offer fish and pond creatures safety, food, and quickly absorb harmful chemicals and pond nutrients.
*****Click Here***** to review a list of all illegal/invasive plants prohibited in the state of Texas.
Lily-Like plants such as: FROG BIT / FLOATING HEART / SNOWFLAKE
These plants often grow at or slightly above the surface of the water. Often having the same characteristics of a normal size lily, their delicate and miniature pads and small delicate flowers attract their presence in large and small ponds alike.
Lily Plants - The most popular of pond plants as just about everyone makes some kind of connotation to natural bodies of water with the unmistakable vegetation with the flat, broad , green pads that offer a perfect floating perch for frogs and dragonflies alike. Coming in a never ending list of colors flowered varieties and pad sizes this plant definitely is a must have. Lilies are then classified into 2 categories.
Hardy or Tropical.
Hardy lilies characteristics involve a typical flat color green pad. The pads are small to mid size, with soft rounded edges. Many varieties are day bloomers that close as the sun begins to set. From red to white, these lily types grow from a tuber and can withstand temp ranges from being sunk into the cold depths of the pond bottom during winter for their brumation, to soaking up the hot sun in full summer's heat.
Tropical lilies often can be found in mid to large sizes with interesting sharp and triangular shaped pads. Splashes of maroon color on the pads often are another tell tale sign of a tropical. Certain species of this variety have even adapted to have their blooms open at night to take advantage of nocturnal pollinating insects not found during the day.
Be sure to check out the amazing variety of information brought you by some of the best in the LILY WORLD from: www.victoria-adventure.org
Click on the links below to check out their awesome website and info!
Potting Waterlilies - by Kit Knotts
Waterlily Planting Instructions - by Sharyn Munn
Growing From Seed - by Kit Knotts
Growing Tropicals From Tuber - by Kit Knotts
Tropical Waterlily Tuber Propagation by Sean Stevens
Tuber Production of Tropical Waterlilies - by Walter Pagels
Viviparous Waterlilies - by Kit Knotts
Repotting Overgrown Tropical Waterlilies - by Kit Knotts
Dividing Tropical Waterlilies - by Kit Knotts
Overwintering Tropical Waterlilies - by Rich Sacher
Thinning Night Blooming Tropicals by Kit Knotts
- by Kit Knotts
How to identify and control the larvae that afflict waterlilies
Growing Waterlilies In Dixie Cups by Sean Stevens
STRING ALGAE - The One Plant You'll Never Want!
String Algae takes over when nutrients in the water come to an all time high. Without other plants and proper filtration to reduce this source in nutrients in the water- string algae soon takes advantage and grows at a feverish pace. Many resort to tactics from ALGAE chemical killers to placing barley straw in the water.
One alternative is using hydrogen peroxide. Below is a fantastic write up by WATER BUG DESIGNS.
Hydrogen Peroxide is used by some ponders to do several different things from reversing potassium permanganate treatments to de-chlorinating water to increasing oxygen in an emergency. It's also used by some to control string algae. This page covers my experiences using HP (hydrogen peroxide) to control string algae.
How do I get HP?
It's the same stuff you find in the drug store. 3% solution, about $.75 a pint. Normally comes in a brown plastic bottle.
Is HP safe?
There's no data on long term effect on fish no matter how much HP is used. Could be safe, could cause problems. Most experiences discussed on the web are about single event type doses. Controlling string algae requires weekly doses or at least repeated doses because the string algae will keep growing back.
HP in high enough concentrations can damage tissue. Pouring HP directly onto to the gills of a fish would probably do a lot of damage, maybe kill the fish. When placed in the pond it breaks down into water and oxygen. How fast the break down happens is difficult to say. It does need something it can react with like catalase, an enzyme in some bacteria, plants and blood cells.
Whether you should use it only you can answer. Some ponders would never add anything but water to a pond. Some ponders have such a bad string algae problem they're considering filling in their pond.
Is string algae safe?
In reasonable amounts I believe string algae is great. It can clear green water, I believe, and provide food and shelter to fish. But it can grow to the point of completely filling a pond so that fish have no place to swim. When large amounts of string algae die it can really cause problems. It can float to the surface reducing the transfer of oxygen to the water at the same time using a great deal of oxygen as it decomposes. String algae that is on the surface really needs to be pulled out of the pond as soon as possible.
Normally pulling string algae out of a pond is the best method of control. But it needs to be done weekly in most cases. In small ponds that have lots of plants string algae can really be a problem to remove manually.
Does HP kill string algae?
There are hundreds of different kinds of string algae. I've had at least 2 kinds in my pond and HP killed both kinds. Some people on the web have said it didn't work for them although few details are ever given.
Dumping some HP directly on some string algae should tell the story. It should turn gray or white within hours or at least within a day. Some times it seems to disappear completely but that's not normally the case.
It does not work on green water. I have no idea why not. Maybe it does on some kinds of unicell algae or maybe at higher doses. But from my experience it had no effect.
Some people report results using as little as 1pt/1,000gal (1 pint per 1,000 gallons of pond water). Some people see no results using 1pt/500gal. The highest amount I ever used was 1pt/50gal and there was damage to Pennywort (plant) stems but the plant lived. There were Mosquito Fish in the pond and they seemed unaffected, at least none died that day or in the following year. I backed off to 1pt/100gal as my max dose.
The most commonly quoted amount on the web is 1pt/1,000gal. Unfortunately this is repeated 95% of the time by people who have never used HP to control string algae. I believe this half truth started by people who read Doc Johnson on KoiVet.com saying 1pt/1,000gal was safe. But he was talking about using HP to raise oxygen in an emergency, not weekly doses.
I used HP in a single small pond, about one hundred gallons, for almost 2 years. The pond had a waterfall, stream, plants and Mosquito Fish. I started out with a lot of string algae in the pond and added 1 pint of HP. I saw some reduction in string algae in hours but a lot remained. After 5 days I added another pint. 5 days later another. At this point there was little living string algae. From then on I varied the dose anywhere from 1/4 pint to a pint once a week to keep the string algae under control.
The last place the algae would die and the first place it would grow back was on the waterfalls. I don't know why it's stronger there but this seems true for most ponds. So I used the amount of algae on the waterfalls as a gauge for how much HP to add. I believe string algae keeps water clear by killing unicell algae (causes green water) so I don't like to kill 100% of it, just control.
If you decide to try HP I suggest you continue weekly treatments even if you don't see string algae. If you wait for it to appear or get out of control and then kill it you will get a build up of dead algae which can be a problem to remove. Best to remove as much as you can before the first treatment so the HP used will be more effective and less dead algae has to be removed. It's much easier to remove string algae before it dies than after.
Because of the amount of HP needed each week it's probably an unreasonable treatment for ponds larger than a few hundred gallons
Andrew Davis and his great portfolio of high quality pics of water plants. Excellent way to grow accustomed to plant varieties for your pond. Click on the pics to link to his site !
Lotus come in many sizes and colors. They add a new dimension to your pond with their large green pads that ascend vertical towards the sun.
There are several different tricks and tips that increase the success rate of your lotus. Knowing what a lotus is all about and understanding it's growing requirements is essential to the survival of such a wonderful plant! From making sure you plant your lotus in a ROUND container so the roots don't get trapped to planting it in a shallow container to prompt the plant to send up aerial leaves.
The VICTORIA ADVENTURES website has much more information about this fascinating pond plant.
One of my all time most favorite sites on the net! This site is well laid out with excellent info on water lilies, patio ponds, water lily cultivation, carnivorous plants, aphid control, etc.
This picture is just a sample of some of Sean's beautiful plants that benefit from his amazing array of plant knowledge.
Click on the link or picture to the left to check out some of the best info you'll find on the net about aquatic plants!