The right plants around the edges of your pond can take the space from fine to fabulous. Here are the basics of pond plant care.
Aquatic plants that grow around the edges – or margins – of your water garden are known as marginal plants. These plants come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They look great and they do important work in the pond ecosystem. Marginal plants filter pond water and remove elements that can feed algae. They can also attract and protect wildlife.
How to plant
You can usually place marginal plants directly into the gravel, where their roots will grow on top of the pond liner. This is their sweet spot, and helps them filter the water more effectively. But you do need to consider the preferences of individual plants. The big one is how much water the plant can handle above its crown. And like all plants, you need to look at sun exposure and location, too. Choose a variety of plants so you have different heights, colors, and foliage types.
Once you’ve selected your plants, it’s time to put them in the pond. Wash most of the soil off the root system, but don’t go to town – you don’t want to damage the roots in the name of getting rid of every speck of dirt. Next, move the gravel aside and place the plant in the pond. Put the gravel back, around the root system. All set – no fertilizer needed.
Good plants can be bad neighbors. If you’ve got a plant that you know is aggressive, consider leaving it in a pot. This will help stop the roots from spreading. Remember that most marginal plants have shallow roots, so they prefer wide spaces over deep spots.
Planting an aggressive marginal plant in a pot is easy enough. Get an aquatic pot that doesn’t have a hole. Put fertilizer and two or three inches of topsoil in the pot. Place the plant in the pot and fill soil around the roots. Top with more soil and a half-inch to one-inch layer of gravel.
Caring for marginal plants is pretty simple. Remove any dead, discolored, or extra plant material. In the winter, cut plants back to two or three inches above water level. In the spring, remove all dead plant material.
You don’t have to fertilize these plants unless they are in pots. You might, however, need to trim and thin plants so they don’t take up more than their fair share of space.
Marginal plants help make your pond blend into the scenery and provide a stunning layer to your landscape. Caring for these plants isn’t hard, but if you’re not sure where to start, Good Earth Water Gardens can help. We’re happy to help you select and care for your marginal plants. Give us a call at 913-749-8090 or connect online today.