Pond plants, or aquatic plants, aren’t just used in water gardens to provide beauty and naturalization. Aquatic plants also serve the very important function of helping to balance the Koi Pond ecosystem. Their valuable biological filtration helps remove nitrogen, ammonia, nitrates, and other minerals that algae would otherwise feed on. In addition, the pond plants provide food, shade, and protection for the fish and wildlife that live in and around you water feature or koi pond. Typically, they are divided into four groups – water lilies, marginals, floating plants, and submerged plants.
Water Lilies are available in hardy and tropical varieties. They both come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Their leaves provide your fish with shade from the sun as well as protecting them from potential predators.
Hardy Water Lilies
The Hardy Water Lily is one of the most desired water garden plants as they produce magnificent blooms from late spring into early autumn. Hardy water lilies are reliably perennials that come in white, pink, red, yellow, peach, orange, and even purple flowers that float directly on the water surface and are open during the day. When the cold weather comes, their foliage dies and the foliage should be removed, but you will leave the actual Lily in the pond throughout the winter. New leaves will emerge again in the spring, and will thrive as you fertilize them. Most hardy water lilies are perennials in zones 3-10.
Tropical Water Lilies are an amazing addition to any size water garden or koi pond. They hold their fragrant blossoms high out of the water and they are available in a number of brilliant colors, and can have multiple exquisite blooms at a time. Their flowers stay open later in the day than the hardy water lilies and they also bloom later into the season. You can spot a Tropical Lily very easily as their leaves are serrated or jagged and their blooms are always high above the water. Tropical lilies come in day blooming and night blooming varieties, which allows you to enjoy your water garden blooms both during the day and at night. Tropical lilies are only hardy to zones 10 and 11, they can be planted in colder zones when the water temperature is consistently above 70F and treated as annuals or over-wintered, if given proper care.
To Pot or Not to Pot?
Go natural when planting your Water Lilies and get rid of those pots! Planting pockets in your water feature or koi pond can easily help you do this. Hopefully these have been excavated into your pond, if not, you can create them with rocks right on the liner. You can also CONTACT US HERE if you need help getting your Koi Pond or Water Feature planted with Aquatics.
Fertilizing Pond Plants
Fertilizing water lilies is absolutely key to giving your Aquatics what they need to thrive! We highly recommend fertilizing all your Aquatics when you plant them and throughout the season. We prefer to use the fertilizer tablets to ensure that the Aquatics are getting the proper nutrients without creating a mess in your Water Feature or Koi Pond.
You Can Also Plant Pond Plants in Aquatic Bowls on your Patio or Deck!
Marginal aquatics are the plants found growing around the edges or the margins of a water garden or koi pond. They add valuable filtration to the pond and they remove elements that would otherwise feed the algae. To create a natural looking pond that is well established we suggest using a good selection of marginal plants. There are hundreds of varieties such as hardy and tropical and they come in all shapes, sizes, textures, and colors. The possibilities are endless. If you are feeling overwhelmed with choosing you can always reach out and CONTACT US for suggestions and we would be happy to create an aquatic package just for your needs.
Floating Pond Plants
Floating aquatic plants are the plants that you see floating on the waters surface while their roots hang down into the water. Most are tropical, but there are a few hardy perennials in climates with hard winter freezes. These plants may be used to shade the water, helping with summer algae control and hiding your aquatic life from predators.
We typically like to use hyacinth and water lettuce, as they do a great job of disguising the open top of the BIOFALLS® filter, while providing excellent filtration. These plant can be tied together using a fishing line and specifically placed or they can also be floated in the pond, however make sure that you check your skimmer regularly as they can tend to end up in there clogging the skimmer.
Submerged Pond Plants
Submerged pond plants are commonly referred to as oxygenators, but this is a false description. These plants do produce oxygen during the day, but at night and on cloudy days, the cycle is reversed and they use oxygen and produce carbon dioxide. These plants are still important allies in creating a well-balanced water feature or koi pond by using nutrients in the water. They also provide great several great hiding places for your baby fish.
Check Out Our Gallery of Pond Plants!
Aquatic plants are both enjoyable and very beneficial to all Water Features especially Koi Ponds. If you are interested in learning more about pond plants and Koi Ponds CONTACT US HERE or call 610.380.1119!