Ponds serve more than just aesthetic and therapeutic purposes to the homeowners who place them in their gardens. They provide essential life materials to the area wildlife. Essentials such as providing water for frogs, birds, and other animals in the area. Because of this, it’s important what species of plants you put in a garden pond because the variety will determine how well the pond will thrive.
There are three main categories of water plants that you should consider for your garden pond and it’s best to include plants from each of the three categories to balance out the ecosystem of the pond. These 3 categories are: submerged plants, marginal plants, and emergent/floating plants. For your garden pond, here are the best water plants from each category.
Submerged Plants – Cabomba
When people think of pond plants, they tend to automatically picture the part of the plant that can be seen on the surface. However, there is a great deal of the plant underneath the water. Submerged plants are those that you never see from the surface. These plants completely grow underwater. They serve an important function for the ecosystem of your pond above and below the surface. Not only do submerged plants provide hiding places for fish, but they also improve the health of your water.
One of the best submerged water plants is Camboba, a plant that’s also considered to be an oxygenating plant. They work to pull the carbon dioxide from the pond water, making it less toxic for any fish living there. Cabomba takes that carbon dioxide and releases it back as oxygen after photosynthesis. Once you’ve planted Cabomba on the pond bed, you’ll never have to do anything with it again. It will never require any fertilizers, as it naturally takes nutrients from the pond. It’ll also grow through the natural sunlight it gets. It’s very important to have a submerged plant such as Cabomba, especially if you plan to keep fish in your pond. Without these plants, your fish will have difficulty surviving.
Marginal Plants – Cattails
These plants grow just around the rim of your pond. Not only do they provide height to the overall look of your pond, but they serve an important purpose as well. They are typically lush and grow either in the shallow water or in the wet soil just outside of the pond water’s edge. Cattails are the best examples of marginal plants.
Cattails are familiar looking. They’re quite common in natural ponds and even larger lakes. These plants are considered to be heavy root feeders. They take nutrients from the soil, which then takes nutrients from the pond water. Nevertheless, cattails will not deprive other living species in the pond. They only take the excess nutrients that might prove to be more detrimental than helpful to the overall balance of your garden pond. The best way to plant cattails is to take into consideration the size of your pond. If it’s going to be on the smaller side, you won’t need too many stalks; otherwise, you might end up with a dead pond.
For larger ponds, consider placing cattails in multiple sections to have even distribution. Not only will it look good, it’ll also spread nutrient distribution throughout your pond. If you’re quite unsure how much cattail to place in your pond, you can always contact a landscaping professional to get an opinion. Cattails are pretty, but it wouldn’t hurt to look into mixing with other marginal plant varieties as well.
Emergent / Floating Plants – Lotus
Finally, these are the plants that you generally see floating on the surface. They are beautiful, serene, and represent many of the things we all like about garden ponds. Emergent plants are those water plants whose roots go deep into the bottom of the pond, while floating plants have roots that just float underneath the surface. Both types help to filter out the pond water, improving its overall clarity and quality. The roots of these floating plants also provide underwater animals with shelter from predators and shade from the sun.
One of the most beautiful emergent plants is the lotus. Lotus leaves are generally flat on the surface of the water, and they provide resting places for smaller animals such as frogs. They also provide shade for any animals underneath the surface of the water. The lotus flower is a spectacular view, with its typical colors of white and pink bright against the darkness of the pond water. The lotus flower will add a finishing touch to your garden pond, making it even more peaceful, more beautiful, and more enjoyable.