Your pond will become lively when you add a series of aquatic plants. Pond plants are important for oxygenation and they absorb residual nutrients that are too much for your fish to consume. Furthermore, they will be a beautiful addition to your pond!
The waste that your fish produce contains ammonia. The bacteria in your pond turns this waste into nitrates. Nitrates are just one of the several things that plants can use to grow, and plants will also aid in reducing the amount of waste in the pond. In addition, algae is something that also uses nitrates and relies on them to grow. With pond plants competing with algae, you can control the amount of algae you get in your pond. So as you can see, pond plants are a key player in your pond’s nitrogen cycle.
Now that we have determined that plants are an essential part of the ecosystem of your pond, which ones should you choose? There are several and are categorized into four separate groups – submerged, floating, marginal, and bog.
To provide all areas of your pond with the benefits for your fish and the quality of your water, you will need at least the first two and one of the latter two. Now let’s go over the details on each type of pond plant!
Submerged plants are just that – they live completely underwater. Just like your typical land plants, these are rooted plants that require soil. You can use plant baskets and place the submerged plants in the deepest part of your pond. A bonus feature is they make a great hiding spot for your fish when they need a place to take cover from unexpected visitors. A few notable submerged plants are: Hornwort, cabomba, parrot feather, eelgrass, and anacharis.
As the name suggests, these plants float on the surface of the water. Some floating plants are rooted at the bottom of the pond, and some float freely on the surface. Like the submerged plants, floating plants can provide shelter for fish away from predators, and they also can provide shade. The shade will help keep your pond water cool while still allowing sunlight to filter through. A few notable floating plants are: white snowflake, water poppy, mosquito fern, water hyacinth, and fairy moss.
Marginal plants, also known as emergent plants grow along the perimeter of the pond. This area of the pond is the best place to receive both air and soil, as well as avoid the continuous force of water from pond pumps. These plants have their stems and flowers above water and their roots underwater. A few notable marginal plants are: Marigold, water lily, cattail, lotus, and papyrus plant.
Many pond and outdoor experts put bog plants in the same category as marginal plants. They too have underwater roots with their above water heads and stems. However, their roots are more complex as they absorb more nutrients than marginal plants. A few notable bog plants are: Purple pitcher, Rodgers flower, blue flag iris, rush, and creeping jenny. All pond plants require sunlight to grow, even the submerged plants. Sunlight that can the deepest levels of your pond will benefit any pond plant with and abundant amount of light. Pond plants are essential for the health of your fish and pond water, but you need more than one type of plant to start with that will cover the underwater area, the center, and the edge of your pond.