Plants & Placement


Site your water garden where it will receive 4 to 6 hours of sun. A little afternoon shade can help reduce water temperature fluctuations. Place the pond where you’ll enjoy it most. You’ll need to replenish the water level on occasion (due to evaporation), so placing the pond near a water source will simplify that task.


+Water Plants in Containers
Start with any watertight container—a decorative pot, galvanized bucket or can, trough, or whiskey barrel. When using a planting pot, plug drainage holes. With a wooden container, attach a pond liner to the inside before adding water. Larger containers hold greater water volumes, which provide more insulation against fluctuations in water temperature. Fish can’t tolerate extreme temperature changes. You need at least 20 gallons of water to support goldfish.


+Miniature Water Gardens
If the sights and sounds of a water garden capture your imagination but you’re not ready to take the plunge to install a full-size pond, create a container water garden. A miniature water garden fits easily on a porch, patio, or deck and provides an easy way to get your feet wet with maintaining a pond.


Water gardens should include several different types of plants to enhance a pond’s beauty and health. You’ll find each of the different types of water garden plants at Greenstreet Gardens. Use this guide to familiarize yourself with some of the options.


+ How Many Plants?
Avoid covering more than one-third of a pond’s surface with vegetation. Follow this general rule of thumb—for every 10 square feet of water surface.


+Water lilies
Water lilies are one of the water garden’s showstoppers. We sell hardy water lilies at Greenstreet, which return to beautify your garden year after year. Flower colors include pink, red, white, yellow, and apricot. Plants sink roots into a pot on the bottom of the pond; blooms float on the water’s surface.


Floaters aren’t rooted in soil, but simply float along the water’s surface. Roots of floaters clean the water and supplement fish diets. Floaters also provide a hiding place for young fish. Types include water lettuce, which forms a rosette of bright green, felty leaves, and water hyacinth, which opens lavender flower spikes.


Oxygenators are vital to fish health, adding oxygen to water. These plants also help maintain clear water, competing with algae for nutrients. We like the oxygenator plant parrot feather, which roots along a pond edge. Long trailing stems float across water, and feathery leaves provide habitat for pond creatures. Tuck parrot feather into waterfall crevices, where trailing stems can cascade along rocks.


+Marginal Plants
Marginal plants thrive along the water’s edge in 3 to 6 inches of water. Marginals include foliage plants, such as horsetail, rumex, corkscrew rush, and cattails, and bloomers, such as pickerelweed, Louisiana iris, marsh marigold, and pitcher plant.




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