Gardening with Floating Pond Plants
Floating pond plants can be an excellent addition to any garden pond, providing both pleasing aesthetics and valuable function. When used in combination with other forms of pond plants, they can help transform an average pond into a vibrant water garden that can act as the cornerstone of a garden landscape. For more information on the other various types of pond plants available, please see our page on plants for ponds. Keep on reading below for the benefits of floating plants in a pond, as well as some helpful hints when choosing your plants.
Use Floating Pond Plants to Benefit your Pond
As we hinted at above, floating plants are very beneficial to your pond for a couple reasons. The first is they provide much needed shade for the water below. This in turn helps keep the pond water cooler in the summer, which translates into a healthier pond with happier fish. Shade also helps inhibit algae growth, which usually thrives in direct sunlight due to photosynthesis. Plant life in a pond also acts as a natural biological filtration system, absorbing harmful nitrates, metals and phosphates from the water, in addition to using nutrients that would otherwise promote the growth of algae. In the end this will hopefully create a healthier, and easier to maintain pond. To learn more about pond maintenance read our guide on water garden care.
Use Floating Pond Plants of Varying Heights
When you are choosing floating plants for your pond, it is important to think about the heights a plant will grow. A pond can look much more organized if you keep the taller plants at the back and gradually work down to the shortest plants.
Don't Forget to Choose for the Adult Size of the Plant
When looking for and buying plants, it is important to remember that some can grow quite large in size. Some, like the Jumbo Water Hyacinth, can grow to 12 inches in diameter, which can quickly take up space in your pond. If you are planning a small garden pond, or just wish to keep your plants under control, be sure to have an idea of a plant's growth rate and maximum size before you introduce it into your pond.
Arranging Floating Plants
As with any good landscape design, choose an assortment of pond plants, and try not to cover more than 75% of your pond with floating plants to allow for clear viewing of fish, or other life in your pond. In addition, you may want to limit the number of types of floating plants to a couple different varieties that work well, and look good together.
Use Local Sources if Possible
As with any type of plant selection, keep in mind that it is important to choose plants native to your area and climate. As well, before ordering a plant from somewhere other than a local source, be sure to check if the plant is restricted in your area. Some floating plants, such as the Water Hyacinth are invasive and have been banned in some areas.