Choosing and Buying Water Garden Plants
Choosing and Buying Water Garden Plants
How to create the perfect garden pond
An enormous range of attractive, colourful plants for garden ponds is offered for sale. It is up to you to choose the right plants and to plant them in the right place so that your garden pond is green and full of flowers from spring until autumn.
- When buying plants, check the flowering times of individual species and varieties if you want to ensure plenty of flowers around your garden pond from spring to autumn.
- When you buy water- do not be surprised by their truly unpleasant smell. Very often, the end of the rootstock has died off and is decaying. This is a perfectly normal process in water-lilies and will not detract from their well-being in any way.
- Do not be deceived by the small size of when buying them. They will soon grow into splendid plants.
- Plant no more than ten specimens of smaller species, and no more than five plants per square metre).
- Do not install very tall species of plants like reeds or broad-leafed reedmace in ponds.
- Use small plants for the part of the pond which is in your immediate line of sight (e.g. from a patio).
- Do not mix plants of different sizes and heights. The small ones will soon become completely overshadowed by the larger ones and will be crowded out.
- Plant small species in groups so that they are not crowded out by larger species.
- Do not plant very tall plants on the sunny side of the pond as they will then overshadow the smaller ones.
- Underwater plants belong in every garden pond as they will improve the quality of the water.
- Do not add additional nutrients to the pond in the form of fertilizer and nutrient-rich , as this will only encourage the growth of algae.
- If you want frogs, toads and newts to colonize your pond, plant one side of the pond with a dense grouping of shrubs in order to create an undisturbed habitat for them.
When to plant in and around your pond
You can install plants in your garden pond from spring to autumn. The last month of spring and the first month of summer are ideal times for new planting or additional planting as the plants will then be able to acclimatize to their new surroundings at the beginning of their growth season and will show themselves off in full splendour during the course of the summer. However, even plants planted in the middle of summer will still grow well, although you will probably not be able to enjoy their beautiful flowers until the following summer.
If you plant in early spring or late autumn, you run the risk of setting plants too close together.
Plants which form overwintering buds, will be unable to do so if first planted in late autumn.
Where to buy pond plants
Garden centres, aquarium suppliers, specialist garden outlets and specialist water plant garden centres usually have a large range of pond plants for sale. You can also order pond plants via plant mail order firms.
Please do not take water plants from the wild as you would almost certainly damage their natural habitat and possibly also break the law in the case of protected species. The vast range of plants offered by the gardening trade makes this latter route quite unnecessary.
What to watch for when buying water plants
Before deciding on a particular plant, make sure that you find out about its requirements as to care. The amount of time spent on care can vary greatly, particularly for the overwintering of water-lilies. Check the plants carefully and watch for the following:
- All pond plants should have young shoots or buds. They should not have too many bent stalks or leaves. If there are just a few, simply cut them off when planting.
- Water plants are allowed to look brown and unattractive to begin with, but should not be decaying (except for water-lilies). They will quickly recover in the right position.
- The rootstock of marginal plants should be vigorous. If the young shoots have progressed too far, they should be cut back.
Transportation of plants
Pond plants should be planted as soon as possible as storing them for a long time may damage them.
Surface plants can be transported in a bucket of water. Use a larger container for a longer journey so that the floating leaves can lie on the surface of the water. A plastic bag will suffice for short distances.
Floating plants can be transported in a bucket of water (for short journies, use a plastic bag).
Submerged, oxygenating plants (underwater plants) should be transported in a large container and covered with water. Store them for a brief period only. If they are kept too densely packed for too long, they will die because of lack of light.
Marginal plants should be transported with their roots. Immersed in water or at least protected from drying out with a plastic bag. If they are stored for a long time, their roots should be in water and they should not stand too close together.
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