You finally got that pond in your backyard you’ve always wanted. Or perhaps you’ve had your pond for a while but just haven’t gotten around to adding any plants to it. It’s time to get right on this task, as even a backyard pond can become an important ecosystem when plants are part of it. Not only will plants contribute beauty to your pond, but they are absolutely essential to creating your very own “wetlands” right in your very own yard. Plants are very beneficial to your pond in several ways. They provide shelter to the living creatures that inhabit your pond, they limit the growth of algae, they naturally filter water by trapping sediment and breaking down any toxic compounds and pathogens, and they assist your pond in maintaining oxygen through photosynthesis. By choosing the right variety of plants for your backyard pond, you can enjoy a beautiful and productive water environment just a few steps from your backdoor.
Pond plants are categorized in four ways:
* Submerged Plants
* Marginal or Bog Plants
* Deep Water Emergent Plants
* Floating Plants
1. Submerged plants are plants that grow when completely under the water. These kinds of plants, which include Cabomba and Anacharis, pull carbon dioxide from the water and release oxygen, and are terrific hiding places from predators for your fish. Submerged plants do not need any fertilizing because they take in any excess nutrients already in your pond water.
2. Marginal or bog plants, which tend to be quite lush and colorful, grow in shallow water or in the saturated soil that borders your pond. Irises and Cattails, for instance, can improve the quality of the pond water by extracting extra harmful nutrients from the water before they can accumulate.
3. Deep water emergent plants are the most common and well-recognized pond plants. These plants, such as Lotus and Water Lilies, grow deep under the water set in planters on the pond’s bottom. As these plants grow, their leaves and flowers then spread across the water’s surface, providing your pond inhabitants with needed shelter from predators and relief from too much sun.
4. Floating plants, including Water Lettuce and Water Hyacinths, rest upon the surface of your pond, with their roots drifting below. Floating plants contribute to your pond’s good health by removing excess nutrients and battle detrimental algae. Because these kinds of plants typically produce flowers that cover the surface, they make excellent disguises for any unsightly filtration devices you may have installed in your pond. Floating plants are usually easy to care for and fish like to hide in them.
Pond plants do more than enhance the beauty of your pond. They help maintain the pond’s general health and contribute to the safety and well-being of your fish and any other little critters that live in water.