Plant species for garden ponds
Which plant species are the right ones for your pond?
You can choose your marsh zone pond plants, according to your colour preference, but will need to consider some general points about plant selection.
What is beautiful?
Firstly, of course, your personal aesthetic perception is important. Flower colours and shapes and plant growth is completely a matter of your own taste. A sensible approach is to read about the flowering periods of the plants and to establish a planting plan to make sure that not everything is flowering in one go but successively.
Useful pond plants
Even more important than beauty is the benefit you get from the plants. Which plants absorb a higher level of nutrients from the water to keep the algae down? Which plants clean the water and which ones provide shade etc.?
Watermilfoil (Myriophyllum) has an antibiotic effect and decreases the bacterial count in the water to reduce the fish’s risk of infection! It gives them a better immunity.
Cultivation in greenhouses and deliveries in plant containers mean you can plant from spring to autumn nowadays. The only limits are set by frost and autumn withering.
Start by planting the deep zones of your pond. You’ll still be able to walk over the marsh zone without damaging the plants to reach the deeper areas. Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum) is a fast growing underwater plant which also hibernates in the pond bottom.
The watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum), as already described, has an antibiotic and detoxifying effect. The waterweed species (Egeria densa and Elodea canadensis) grow very fast and thus extract a lot of algae-promoting nutrients from the pond water.
Water lilies (Nympaea species) are not only attractive, they are also very useful: They give shade and work against extreme water heating. Always plant water lilies in planting baskets and add a good root fertiliser for the roots to take well ( JBL FloraPond ). Between May and October they are in full bloom.
There are more floating-leaf plants to choose from. The water hawthorn (Aponogeton distachyos) from South Africa is not really hardy but it is still a very beautiful and useful plant with attractive floating leaves.
Some attractive floating plants like the water cabbage and water hyacinths are not hardy and need to hibernate indoors.
Companion pond plants
The mare's tail (Hippuris vulgaris) is a plant which quickly spreads and absorbs a lot of nutrients from the water. Its dense growth houses a huge fauna of small animals.
The water knotweed (Persicaria amphibia) and the fringed water lily (Nymphoides peltata) are beautiful additions or alternatives, too.
Duckweeds, water caltrops and water soldiers are also hardy.
Shallow water plants (5-40 cm water depth): These plant species tolerate varying water levels and even survive outside the water for a short time. Galingale (Cyperus longus), common water-plantain (Alisma plantago-aquatica), dwarf bulrush (Typha minima), marsh-marigold (Caltha palustris) and many others belong to this group.
We know bulrush species from lakesides. They look very decorative in domestic ponds but their spread needs to be prevented before they suppress all other species. This is perfectly doable with planting bowls.