Aside from fish, plants are what make a pond look naturally beautiful. Not only do they make the pond more pleasing to the eyes, but they play a very important role in keeping it healthy as well. If you are a pond owner or are thinking about having one, then you need some fish pond plants to give it a natural and organic appearance.
Plants are essential to your pond in several ways. For one thing, they can can help filter the water and keep it clear and clean. Secondly, they produce oxygen, which is vital to keeping the fish healthy. Furthermore, plants can provide shade to the fish, protecting them from direct sunlight during the hottest months. Indeed, plants can transform an otherwise boring landscape into an exciting environment that is full of life.
Benefits of Adding Fish Pond Plants
As mentioned earlier, there many benefits of adding plants to your pond. First of all, plants make great natural filters. They can absorb ammonium, nitrates, phosphates, and certain metals from the pond water. Secondly, they can help keep unwanted algae at bay. Without plants, the algae will multiply quickly, since they will not have to compete for nutrients. More importantly, plants are able to absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, which is very important for the fish and other plants to survive.
Types of Fish Pond Plants
Basically, there are four major types of plants that you can add to your pond: oxygenating plants, marginal pond plants, deep water plants, and floating pond plants. Each type of plant plays a significant role in the ecosystem of the pond. For greater diversity, you should consider planting at least one of each type in your pond.
As the term implies, growing oxygenating plants in your pond means you are adding natural oxygen producers in your water. Sure, you may have bubblers, fountains, waterfalls, and other mechanical devices that aid in aeration. However, plants can further increase the oxygen level in your pond, making it possible for your fish to survive and thrive.
Furthermore, an abundance of oxygen can help prevent algae from dominating your pond and absorbing important nutrients. Oxygenating plants are also useful for absorbing decaying matter such as leaves and waste produced by the pond fish.
Marginal Pond Plants
As you may have already guessed, these plants are ideally placed around the margin of the pond. Typically, pond owners place them in planting pots, which are submerged only two inches from the surface of the water. Most parts of the plant will be visible above the water. Aside from making your pond look awesome, marginal plants are also excellent natural filters.
Before you add marginal plants, though, you need to build a shallow ledge or shelf in your pond. This is where you will put the planting pots carrying the marginal plants. If your pond does not have a shelf yet, then consider making one or think of other ways to elevate the planting pots. Moreover, take note that shallow shelves make it easier for raccoons and other predators to catch your fish, so you will need to build them carefully.
Irises and cattails are some examples of marginal plants that you can grow in your pond. Since these plants can absorb nutrients, they are actually able to help enhance the overall quality of the water.
Deep Water Plants
As the name suggests, deep water plants should be placed in the deeper parts of your pond. Most people mistake them for floating plants because they can grow above the surface of the water. Lotus and water lilies are the most common examples of deep water plants.
Just like marginal plants, deep water plants are also rooted in planting pots. The main difference is that they are placed in the deep end of the pond. As the deep water plants grow, their flowers and leaves spread on the water surface, protecting the fish from predators as well as providing them with more shade.
Floating Pond Plants
Basically, floating pond plants sit on the surface of the pond as their roots drift to the bottom, acting as filters. Just like other fish pond plants, they can absorb nutrients and keep the algae population in check. The most popular examples of floating pond plants are water lettuce and water hyacinths.
Since floating pond plants simply sit on the surface, they are useful for providing shade and keeping the water from overheating. Floating pond plants also serve as a natural protection; they make an effective hiding place for the fish, keeping them safe from predators. Likewise, you can also use them as a natural cover or disguise for filters, bubblers, and other mechanical devices.
Tips for Adding Fish Pond Plants
When adding plants to your pond, do not forget to use planting pots or baskets. Initially, you can place them near the surface, but as the plants grow, you will have to move them deeper. In addition, top your planting pots with rocks or pebbles. The pebbles help create a more natural appearance. They can also prevent deep water plants from getting uprooted by the fish or by strong water currents.
Meanwhile, if you have irises, remember to separate their roots every year. If you don’t divide their roots systems regularly, these will overgrow the planting pots. Furthermore, consider using a fishing line to anchor your floating plants to a rock at the pond’s rim. This applies to ponds where the water is constantly moving and there aren’t any still areas. Another option would be to keep them inside a floating barrier.
One more thing that you should remember when adding fish pond plants is to use a variety of plants. Do not stick to just one type of plant; do not be afraid to try different varieties! In the long run, plant diversity will greatly improve the overall appearance and health of your pond. What’s more, a pond that has different kinds of plants is definitely more exciting to look at!