Water plants: A beginner's guide

By: Abel Tillman

In case you are fortunate enough to house a small lake or pond in your house, you should definitely consider planting water plants in them. They sketch an extremely beautiful look of your house, and enhance the value of your property. Apart from that, they clean the air around, and lower the temperature of your house and its environment, to quite an extent. However, it is not a very easy task and you need to keep yourself abreast of the various things such as the soil required, planting techniques, the containers, fertility needs etc. Here are a few points to consider:

1. Soil required:

The soil used for planting should be given a lot of importance; it decides on the moisture retention, fertilization and strong foundation for the plant. Heavy clay loam soils are best for plants such as lotus, water lilies, since they are rich in nutrients and help the plant growth. Also, because of their clayey texture, they are able to hold the nutrients unlike other commercially available potting mixes. For small bog plants, one may use sandy garden soil. It may not be able to retain the nutrients as well as clay soil, but it still works well enough.

2. Containers:

The size of the container basically depends on the size of your pool or the pond. Usually, for hardy water lilies, containers with 10 inches of depth and 15 inches of diameter are used. When it comes to tropical water lilies, usage of larger pots of about 20 inches diameter and the same depth is advised. They also come in a variety of types; such as no-hole pots, baskets, fabric pots etc. No-hole pots are made of plastic and only the top portion is open. This helps in soil retention and the soil completely stays inside the pot. Baskets on the other hand are made of plastic mesh and allow soil to flow out. This is its disadvantage, since it may make your pond dirty and promote algae growth. However, it also allows the plants to extract nutrients from water. Fabric pots are a combination of the two above mentioned pots and are the most suitable. They are made of tightly woven fabric which allows the plants to take nutrients from water, yet prevents the soil to leech out.

3. Plant selection:

Aquatic plants are categorized into three varieties; floating, marginal/bog and submerged. Floating plants as the name suggests, float on the surface and extract their nutrients from the extensive root system they have. They give a picturesque view to your pond and because of the shade they provide to the creatures under the pond, they also benefit in algae control. Common examples are water hyacinths, duckweed, watermeal etc. Marginal plants are the ones which survive in shallow waters around the periphery of the pond. The plant grows over water, with its roots spreading inside. These include blue iris, cat tails and many more. Submerged plants or oxygenators- as they are better known, efficiently use carbon dioxide and emit oxygen during the process of photosynthesis. They have an added benefit they filter out the undesirable nutrients from water and thus enhance the quality of water. The most common oxygenators and a great choice for beginners would be Anacharis.

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Water plants sketch an extremely beautiful look of your house and enhance the value of your property. To learn more about buying water plants for your house, click on this link.

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