A well balanced pond would not be complete without aquatic pond plants. They are a vital component to the entire ecosystem of a pond. Not only do they offer huge aesthetic value, but their importance is much greater than that.
Pond plants release oxygen, which can be used by the fish. They also utilize the fish waste by using it as a fertilizer for their own needs which also helps to compete with algae. Many plants offer shade to help regulate water temperature, as well as, protection from the natural predators of fish. Many other plants offer filtration by removing excess nutrients from the water. It’s easy to see how pond plants are a necessity to achieving a complete and healthy ecosystem for your pond.
There are four main categories of aquatic pond plants. Each offering several great benefits for your pond so getting a variety of plants from different categories can only increase your chances for that well balanced pond.
4 Main Categories:
- Marginal or Bog plants typically grow around the perimeter of a pond or lake, thriving in rich, organic wet soil and preferring water depths up to 10 inches. Common marginal plants include Horsetail, Cattail and Water Iris.
- Submerged (Oxygenators) plants grow completely submerged. They are beneficial because they act as natural filters by removing excess nutrients in the water that alga otherwise would consume. Their foliage offers protection and spawning areas for the fish. Oxygenators, as their name implies, help to oxygenate the water. Tiny air bubbles can be observed coming from the leaves of the plant. Common oxygenators include Elodea, Hornwort and Parrots Feather.
- Floating plants float on the water’s surface while their roots dangle in the water absorbing nutrients, which help to filter the water. Common floating plants include Water Hyacinth and Water Lettuce.
- Deep Water plants including Water Lilies and Lotus are among the most popular aquatics. While both offer great visual appeal to your pond but water lilies also offer shade which helps to regulate water temperatures and provides protection from natural predators that like to prey on our beloved fish.