Water Feature Plants: How To Choose Plants For Your Outdoor Water Features

Published: 28th October 2009
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One of the most interesting functionalities of a water feature is laying out a haven for plants. What if you transform a part of your long and wide patio into a beautiful pond or lagoon? That would be an exciting way to widen your planting enthusiasm with the addition of different water and moisture- loving plants.



Plants have following roles for water features:



They keep the water healthy: The right plants can effectively take the role of a pump, filter or fountain in keeping the water in the pond clean. Plants submerged release oxygen into the water needed for fish. Keeping the right balance in the use of water plants is important to keep the water clean. Too many wide-leaf plants can clog the water, on the other hand too few plants makes the water slimy and green and promotes the growth of green algae, because the sunlight easily penetrates the water.



Plants and Food Cycles in the Water Feature: There is an application of 'Symbiosis' where in which both plants and animals benefit from each other naturally. Plants produce oxygen. (Take note: only green plants produce oxygen and make food for themselves) Plants make food by synthesizing food directly from carbon dioxide using energy from light. Yellowish leaves in green plants indicate insufficient sunlight. Oxygen is needed by living insects and animals. Carbon dioxide needed by plants is produced by living animals and insects, which in turn use oxygen from plants to survive. Now the waste materials from insects and animals are good nutrients for plant growth. While the decayed plants and debris serve as food for snails and other creatures. When one of the parties is dominant in the pond; meaning too much algae, too many snails or overcrowding plants, you have to take the measures to correct the imbalance.



There are three types of plants that you may choose for your water features. They are deep-water plants, marginal plants, and moisture loving plants.



Deep- Water Plants:



Water lilies are often the best choice for deep-water purposes. There are different varieties to match the size of the pond and the depth of the water. Still there are deep-water plants that grow roots under deep water and have foliage growing both on the surface and below the water. Others are just floating, and some grow just below the water. Under-water growing plants can provide the oxygen into the water and serve as food and shelter for small creatures, but what about the beautification aspect when they are just under the water?



How to Plant Deep Water Plants?



Some plants like floaters and oxygenators do not need any special preparations; you can just place them in the water. Bare-rooted plants like water lilies need their roots to be fastened in a plastic planting basket with aquatic compost. The basket would fit on a stack of bricks or large stone at the bottom of the pond. The submerged part of the plant releases oxygen into the water and the leaves controls algae propagation.



Marginal Plants:



You can make the edge of your pond relatively beautiful by planting marginal plants around it. Generally, they have sturdy upright top grown with shallow roots. Some marginal plants grow with their roots in the water but there are some just good in the soil around the edge. Bog plants are ideal for this purpose. Be careful not to get a marginal plant with strong and spiky roots that could pierce plastic pond liners.



How to Plant Marginal Plants?



Planning is needed to assimilate the distinguishing behavior and characteristics of the plants and their visual effect. Some plants do well in mud than in water. Water depth varies from 12 inches to ' inches. Plants with shortest foliage are ideal on the shelved edge of the pond. Place the more sturdy plants in the mud at the water's edge. It is always advisable to test various positions before deciding to put them to where they should stay.



Moisture- Loving Plants:



Moist environment is the best place for moisture-loving plants. Since the surroundings of a pond are damp and humid these plants can be used to connect your pond from a water fall or a lead way to the rest of the garden. There is a difference between bog plants and moisture-loving plants. The moisture-loving plants live best in damp soil but not waterlogged. Although they may tolerate boggy soil more likely they would not be at their best performance.



How to Plant Moisture-Loving Plants?



Set the plant bed putting organic materials; this will promote the growth of the plants. If the soil is sandy adding clay granules would help. Make all necessary measures to prevent water logging. An effective way to test the suitability of a plant is to buy few samples and plant it to see if it would do well in your garden.



To learn more about water features, look into the reference book "Outdoor Water Features: 16 Easy-To-Build Projects for Your Yard & Garden" by Alan And Gill Bridgewater





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Amy is a garden water feature enthusiast. She has created a beautiful garden water feature in her backyard garden by adding a beautiful bamboo fountain. Amy invites you to browse her personal favorite unique bamboo water spout collection to add a charm of unparalleled beauty to your home or garden!




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