Pond plants - The solution to algae problem and beautification of your water garden
25th November 2018
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Algae are a nuisance for water gardens. Algae outbreak causes a spiraling down of the overall health of the water garden. However, if you select the right pond plant, you can balance and restore your water garden restore. What's more? Pond plants remove algae, and thus you have a pristine and beautiful pond to be proud of. A balanced pond shouldn't depend solely on the mechanical filters and chemical agents when there are natural solutions available.

While choosing for pond plants online, you need to keep in mind a few critical aspects of preferred types. The pond plants have different features like oxygenation and filtration. There are differences with respect to cold and warm season plants, and choices can vary between submerged, shallow water and floating. Let’s have a look.

Getting the basics right

There are a few key pointers that pro gardeners adhere to all around the world. These suggestions work as a general rule of thumb when it comes to selecting pond plants.

  • A mixture of warm and cold season plants along with perennial pond plants
  • Inspect and remove any broken and leaning foliage from the pond as this is a food source for the dreaded algae
  • Avoid chemicals for cleaning at all costs; keeping things neat, tidy can maintain the freshness of the water pond
  • Pump or filter is essential to circulate the water thereby increasing oxygenation and the natural ability of the plants to uptake nutrition; the movement also aids the trapping of sediments

The mechanism

Pond plants filter the pollutants and sediments; very similar to how terrestrial plants remove the excess carbon from the atmosphere. Plants are essential for oxygenation of the environment, be it the air we breathe or the dissolved oxygen in water including your water garden. Pond plants consume nutrition from the pond in the form of nitrates thereby providing competition for algae.

A sufficient number of pond plants can minimize algal population by 90%. It allows for other aquatic species like fishes to survive in the water garden.  You should also keep in mind how the various types of plants affect the health differently. Floating plants like Water Lilies and creeping plants keep the temperature of the water down and limits the sunlight, submerged plants like the “Coontail” consume nutrition direct from the water and not by their roots. The mechanism and the extent of the removal of the algae outbreak are subject to this species variation of the pond plants.

Pond plant benefits

Pond plants are the natural enemies of algae. The plants will compete with the algae for nutrition and decrease the number of the opportunistic nuisance. The plants will increase the oxygen levels of the water and maintain a healthy habitat that the fishes will enjoy. Moreover, if you invest in pond plants you not only make your pond beautiful, it is economical as well in the long run. Going natural is a great alternative to expensive toxins and chemicals that might be harmful to the health of the water body. However, you must remember that complete removal of algae is not possible anis not advised as well.

Experts point out that some percentage of algae population in streams and at the surface is essential and reasonable. The key is to limit the abundance which leads to water toxicity. Pond plants are incredibly beneficial for the associated wildlife in the pond environment if any. Fishes and frogs thrive in the presence of pond plants. More plants mean more oxygen, which in turns signifies a healthy habitat. A symbiotic relationship is evident between Bog Beans and frogs, Turtles and Water Poppies, Frog Bits, etc.  Submerged plants like Spatterdock are ideal for fishes to hide from predators.

Pond plants are broadly categorized into four subtypes. They are as follows –

       1. Floating plants

The bloom floats on the surface, and the undergrowth acts as a hiding place for the associated wildlife. The roots are usually anchored to the bottom. Floating pond plants are beautiful and are the ultimate weapon for keeping the water garden healthy. Water Lilies are an extremely popular choice.

        2. Bog plants

These are shallow water plants, e.g., rush. The bog plants thrive in a water depth of 5-10 inches along the edge of the pond. These marginal plants need the saturated soil to grow and are root feeders, unlike the submerged pond plants. The bog and shallow water plants remove excess nutrient from the ground.

       3. Submerged plants

These grow in pots placed at the bottom of the water garden. As the name suggests, these plants need to be completely submerged. The submerged plants remove excess nutrients with the help of their foliage as they are not root feeders and produce the highest amount of oxygen among all the other major types of pond plants. Eelgrass is a popular choice for submerged pond plants.

        4. Prohibited plants

There are certain plants like the water lettuce that are not permitted due to their invasive characteristic. These are usually dominating in nature and can compete to take over any other existing species. So please be careful before discarding your pond plant in the nearby lake or public water body.

About the climate

Pond plants are generally highly specific to the climate. You would want to choose plants that ideally thrive in the climate conditions you live in. You might have to invest in more than one type to keep the algae away all around the year. Typically, algal bloom occurs in early spring and late summer, during pond plant resting phases, so you need to plan and make it foolproof.

Cool season pond plants start growth during the winters and are active in the early spring. The resting period of such plants is in the summers. These include water hawthorn and water celery. Warm season pond plants start growing during the spring and are active through the entirety of the summer months. The resting period is from winters to spring. Examples of warm season pond plants are Water Wisteria and Mermaid Plants.

Going natural is ideal to beautify your water garden. Algaecides, UV clarifiers, and ion generator usage can be minimal if used along with pond plants. Being patient and letting nature take its course is the key.

About the Author

Trudy S

Member since: 3rd November 2018

Trudy is a Business Tech Analyst. He is very responsible towards his job. He loves to share his knowledge and experience with his friends and colleagues.

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