If you have a pond garden, you should plant aquatic plants to keep the water clean and create a home for wildlife.
Not only do plants add beauty to pond gardens, but they also feed on the same nutrients as algae. They will help remove phosphates and nitrates from the water, leaving less for algae to consume. In return, the pond will have less algae and improved water quality.
Here are different types of aquatic plants and their benefits.
Oxygenating Aquatic Plants
Clean your pond water, naturally, with oxygenating plants. These fast-growing aquatic plants will oxygenate the water during the day and filter nutrients resulting in clear, healthy pond water. These plants also provide cover for aquatic life such as frogs, newts and fish.
Hardy Water Lilies
As the stunning centrepiece of the pond, these lilies provide colourful blooms from June to late September. They provide shade to reduce algae and lower temperature of the water. Their various colours characterize them; red, yellow, pink, indigo, white and even shades in between.
Waterlily flowers will float above the water and can be petite (2 inches in diameter) or larger ones which range up to 12 inches or more.
When you are shopping, note that there are hardy (perennial) and tropical water lilies.
Water Lettuce & Hyacinth
These free-floating natural filtration systems filter the water, provide shade, and uptake available nutrients to reduce the growth of algae. The roots make excellent a habitat for baby goldfish. Water lettuce has lime-green rosettes of foliage that look like graceful heads of lettuce. They are quite low maintenance; all you do is let these plants float on the surface of the water. They will produce off-shoots all summer long, that can be shared with friends and family, or moved into container water gardens. They should be treated as an annual, as they are not hardy for most of Canada.
Tropical & Hardy Shallow Water Plants
These aquatic plants are a great way to add depth and colour to your pond. By utilizing nutrients, they reduce the growth of algae. Most people treat these as tropical or annual plants, that be overwintered indoors, or replaced next year. Some of these plants include taro, iris and cattail.
Water Garden Maintenance
If you’re looking for maintenance tips for your water garden, click here.