Pond Plants 101

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In this article, we will provide you with a crash course on aquatic plants for your pond. In our previous article we talked about the important role plants play in your eco-system pond. Now we will discuss the different types of aquatic plants available and where they should be planted. Let’s jump right into it.

There are 5 categories of aquatic plants

  1. Bog plants (water depth 0’’ over crown)- These plants tolerate moist soils, meaning their roots can remain wet. They cannot tolerate any water over the crown. They can be safely planted around the edges of ponds, the very swallow areas of a stream/waterfalls, or in the wetland (bog) filter. 

    Examples of bog plants are pink rain lily, creeping jenny, arrowhead, Iris, Canna, Taro, Tropical Pitcher plants, Marsh marigold, Forget-Me- Nots, etc. 
  1. Marginal plants (water depths 0”-6” over crown)- These types of plants can be planted in the swallower areas of the pond, usually around the perimeter of the pond. The roots and crown of the plant can tolerate being 0-6 inches under water. They do not tolerate being completely dry and will die if dry for extended periods of time.

    Examples of marginal plants are Dwarf blue bells, Cardinal flower, corkscrew rush, blue rush, water hibiscus, parrots feather, taro, canna, etc. 
  1. Deep Marginal Plants (water depths of 6’’-16’’) – What more is there to say? The name says it all, deep marginal plants can be planted in deeper depths of water than other marginal plants. You can safely plant these ponds on the first shelf of your pond in water depths of anywhere 6 to 16 inches.

    Examples of deep marginal plants are Pickerel Rush, Sweet flag, variegated cattail, Thalia Dealbata, etc.
  1. Emergent plants/Submerged plants (oxygenator plants)- These variety of pond plants roots and crown can tolerate being fully submerged in deep water. They can safely be planted at the bottom of your pond.

    Examples of emergent plants are the Lotus and Water Lilly.

    Examples of oxygenator plants are Hornwort and Eelgrass.
  1. Floaters- “Floater” plants are an interesting type of plant. These types of plants have roots, but their roots do not require to be planted in soil like other plants. This group of plants just freely float around on the water surface of your pond.

    Examples of “floating plants” are Water Hyacinth, Water Lettuce, Frogbit and Duckweed.

    ***Important tip to remember***

    Please always research the type of plant you are buying before planting it into your pond, some plant species can be invasive and require routine maintenance or should be planted in a container, otherwise they can take over your pond.