Plants add a beautiful aesthetic to any pond but there’s more than meets the eye. Plants also help to create and maintain a healthy balanced ecosystem to any water garden. Discussed below are the benefits of aquatic plants in your pond.
Pond plants play a large role in keeping a balance of beneficial nutrients, providing oxygen, natural filtration, and shade, and also prohibiting the growth of algae. Aquatic plants limit algae growth by providing shade that blocks excess sunlight, which limits the photosynthesis of algae. The shade also cools down water temperature, offers hiding places to protect aquatic life from predators, and creates a breeding ground for good bacteria to grow. Water plants with deep root systems act as a natural filter by trapping dangerous toxic compounds and carbon dioxide before breaking down these pathogens and excess nutrients that feed algal blooms. Then the plants release oxygen back into the pond keeping the water properly aerated. Aquatic plants that have high nutrient uptake will be extremely helpful to clear up your pond and help with water clarity.
As discussed in Best Plants for the Perfect Water Garden, there are many different types of plants you can use in your pond. You can have floating plants, deep-water emergent plants, marginal or bog plants, and submerged plants. Each serves its own purpose in maintaining a healthy ecosystem.
Floating plants, like Water Hyacinths and Water Lettuce, have roots that drift below and act as filters. They are easy to care for, provide plenty of shade for aquatic life, and reduce algal growth by absorbing nutrients, blocking light, and cooling the water temperature, all of which prevent algae formation. They also remove a lot of the existing nitrogen and phosphates in the water and thus act as an excellent form of filtration. Many floating plants also produce flowers that create an aesthetic appeal while cleverly disguising filtration or other elements.
Water Lilies and Lotus are beautiful plants commonly used in ponds. These deep-water emergent plants have roots that grow deep underwater in planters. They have the ability to bloom leaves and flowers that spread upon the surface, providing fish and other inhabitants with shade and cover from predators.
Marginal or Bog plants, such as the colorful, lush Cattails and Irises, grow in shallow water or in saturated soil on the rims or margins of the water garden. They improve water quality by removing excess harmful nutrients from the pond environment before they can accumulate.
Submerged Plants, like Anarchis, are usually grown in pots then placed at the bottom of a pond growing completely underwater. They are commonly referred to as oxygenating plants because they do a good job of removing excess nutrients from the water such as nitrites and carbon dioxide as well as adding oxygen to the water after photosynthesis. These aquatic plants do not require fertilizing as they use the excess nutrients already present in your pond water. They also provide great hiding places from predators.
Plants, regardless of type, offer a simple, natural solution that strengthens your pond’s ecosystem and heightens its beauty.