After a home owner has completed building a backyard pond it is important not to delay in stocking it with aquatic plant life. Pond plants are vital to creating nd maintaning a healthy balanced ecosystem. A well balanced water garden will feature at least a few different types of aquatic plants to help keep the water garden attractive and healthy. There are plants that can oxygenate water, provide food for aquatic life and even clean up some unpleasant chemicals and take care of bacteria, providing more than enough reason for the average water gardener to keep a plethora of plants in his or her backyard pond. Before you decide to pick up some new additions to your pond be aware that there are three main types of water garden plants;Submerged, Marginal, Floating.
If you have one or two of each category of aquatic plant you should be well on your way to a balanced and healthy pond.
Most people will tell you that the submerged plants live entirely under the water, but this isn't quite true. Instead they are placed in the deeper sections of the pond with the surface of the plant container about a foot or so below the water and the plant will send flowers or leaves to float on the surface of the water. One of the more well known submerged water garden plants is the Water Lily. These are the type of water plant that will help to oxygenate your pond.
These are plants usually found in boggy wetland areas in nature or around the edges of ponds. Marginals prefer to keep their roots in water, but the rest of the plant will sit above the water. They can be very good decorative accents for your pond and when properly placed will help to disguise any man-made edges and corners to your water garden. When planting marginals in place the plant container so the water is close to or a few inches below water level. Cattails are a type of marginal.
Gardeners use these plants in their water gardens to provide shade for the aquatic life living in their ponds or to simply keep the water temperature cooler. In either case floating plants are kind of interesting to have since they don't have roots that set down in the soil. Many reproduce through spores and if they have roots they will just float in the water beneath the plant. Gardeners should be careful about using floating plants in their ponds because many are classified as invasive, meaning they tend to proliferate quickly and push out other plant species.
Waterfern (Azolla) is a floating fern with a beautiful feathery appearance. It is also popular to use because it provides lots of nitrogen and protein for other plants to use as it dies.
Some great water plants to try in your pond include: Bladderwort, Water Lettuce, Taro, Hydrilla, Floating Heart and Buttercup. When placing your new plants in the water garden look for areas where each plant will get the right amount of sunlight and it is placed at the right water depth and they'll grow incredibly quickly. Don't forget to give container plants their fertilizer tabs.