Floating Plants for the Garden Pond
Hottonia palustris – Water Violet
Although officially a water plant, this subject does well in the wet margins of the pool. Growth can be anything between one and two feet and the stems, which rise from the tufts of deeply cut leaves, bear whorls of pink or lilac A good oxygenator and, therefore, very useful in fish ponds.
Utricularia vulgaris – Bladderwort
This floating plant produces clusters of bright yellow flowers which stand 6 inches above the surface. After blooming, the plant submerges. This plant will assist in shading the pool and reduce the likelihood of algae growth.
Ranunculus aquatilis – Water Crowfoot
Another good oxygenator with finely divided underwater foliage, much suited to fish protection. Does well in pools where some water movement is induced by fountains or waterfalls. A vigorous grower that may need keeping in check.
amphibium – Knotweed
This is an extremely vigorous grower which will run wild in any moist. Not to be recommended except for the larger water garden.
Aponogeton distachyus – Water Hawthorn
A hardy plant with attractively scented flowers and shiny lanceolate leaves, green or purple, that spread themselves flat on the water. Pure white flowers grow an inch or so above the water surface displaying soot black anthers. The roots should be covered with 12 to 18 inches of water. Treat similarly to Water. Easily propagated from seed.
Eichornia crassipes / Eichornia speciosa
A floating plant with foot long roots – ideal as cover for spawning fish. Not frost hardy – the plants are best wintered indoors or in a greenhouse where they can be kept moist. In frost-free locations, it may need to be controlled as it is a vigorous grower.
A flower spike rises from the centre of a compact tuft of leaves. Hardy and easily grown with little maintenance. The plant remains submerged most of the time, surfacing only at the flowering time in mid-Summer.
Nymphoides peltata / Limnanthemum peltatum
A vigorous grower with yellow flowers in Summer. Root growth may need to be kept in check by trimming. Heart-shaped leaves arise from meandering stems which root and form new crowns at each node.
Hydrocharis morsus-ranae – Frogbit
The floating leaves and attractive white flowers provide interest for small pools. Easily grown, and self propagating from buds which fall from the plants, remaining dormant until the water warms up in Spring, at which time they float to the surface, where they develop into little plants.
Nuphar lutea – Brandy Bottle
The common Yellow Water Lily, roots easily when planted in water lily baskets, immersed to a depth of about 12 inches. It seems to have acclimatized to the smaller pool, especially where fountains are employed, although in nature it fares better in the larger lakes and moving water.