Aquatic plants pond | What type of aquatic plant do I need for a clear, organic and balanced pond?
Simon van der Velde
Have you ever thought about building a pond in your garden? After all, a pond is not only a beautiful addition to your outdoor space, but it also attracts all kinds of fascinating animal life. To enjoy it to the fullest, it is important to construct and plant the pond in the best possible way. Aquatic plants are essential for this and indispensable for a healthy and thriving pond. But what types of aquatic plants do you need and how many? In this blog I will explain everything about the different types of aquatic plants, so get inspired and turn your pond into a true paradise!
All about aquatic plants
- Pond Plants
- Oxygen Plants
- Water Lilies
- Marsh Plants
- Bank plants
- Floating Plants
- Planting plan for your aquatic plants in the pond
- Why aquatic plants in the pond are important
- How many aquatic plants do I place in my pond?
- What type of aquatic plant is right for my pond?
- Which aquatic plants are hardy?
- How do I care for my aquatic plants?
- What aquatic plants do I place in a plant filter?
The difference between aquatic plants and pond plants is that pond plants are really just for the pond. Aquatic plants involves a broader term and is often also used in the search for plants for an aquarium; these are called aquarium plants.
From a biological perspective, oxygen plants are the most important aquatic plants in a pond, as they absorb many nutrients from the water as they grow. The fact that oxygen plants and algae compete for the same nutrients makes oxygen plant growth an effective way to control algae in the pond and keep the water clear.
The water lily is a popular aquatic plant known for its beautiful flowers and its ability to provide shade for fish and other aquatic animals. Water lilies can come in a variety of colors and sizes and are easy to grow in the pond if the right conditions are created.
Marsh plants are aquatic plants that thrive in shallow water and moist soil around the pond. They tend to have larger leaves and are excellent filters for the water by absorbing nutrients from the water. Marsh plants are also an ideal hiding place for pond fish and other pond animals and add a beautiful and natural look to the pond.
The riparian plant is an aquatic plant that grows on the banks of still or slow-flowing waters such as lakes, ponds, rivers and marshes. It usually has long, thin leaves that stick out of the water and can be used to protect the bank from erosion. Some species of riparian plants, such as Japanese cave pipe and Lisdodde, are also used for their aesthetic value in all kinds of ponds.
A floating plant is an aquatic plant that floats on the surface of still or slow-flowing water. It has no roots that attach to the bottom, but hangs freely in the water. Floating plants are important to the aquatic ecosystem because they produce oxygen and provide food and shelter for aquatic animals such as frogs and toads. Examples of floating plants are water lilies and crabgrass.
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Mini Floating Plant Island - 4 aquatic plants
Planting plan for your aquatic plants in the pond
The drawing below shows with different colors which aquatic plants look best in which spot in the pond. These colors also appear on our packaging, where the color stands for the type of plant and the depth at which to plant it. Very handy, we thought.
Why aquatic plants in the pond are important
Aquatic plants are critical to a healthy and thriving pond. First, they help keep the water clear and healthy by absorbing excess nutrients, such as nitrates and phosphates, that would otherwise encourage algae growth and reduce water quality and water values. Aquatic plants also serve as a shelter and food source for various types of pond animals, such as frogs, salamanders, dragonflies and damselflies and fish. In addition, they provide oxygen production and distribution in the water, which is vital for maintaining a healthy and balanced ecosystem. In short, aquatic plants are an indispensable part of a beautiful, healthy and animal-friendly pond.
How many aquatic plants do I place in my pond?
How many aquatic plants you need per square foot depends on how quickly you want to see results. Do you want your pond to look like a green oasis and have a quick biological balance? Or are you patient and want to see your pond bloom slowly but surely? It is recommended anyway to use a nice mix of different types of pond plants. Water specialist Simon recommends using at least one basket (with four plants) and up to four baskets (total of 16 plants) per square meter. This will give your pond the best chance to flourish!
What type of aquatic plant is right for my pond?
There are many different types of aquatic plants to suit different types of ponds. In general, however, you can use the following guidelines:
- Natural Pond: A natural pond is an outdoor water feature that is maintained organically, without the use of synthetic means or mechanical devices, such as filters or pumps. Instead, a natural pond uses biological processes to naturally keep the water clean and healthy. It is important in this pond to choose a mix of different types of aquatic plants that can keep the water clean and filtered such as; oxygen plants, marsh plants, water lilies and floating plants.
- Organic plant pond: An organic plant pond is a pond that is filtered naturally by plants and microorganisms, rather than by mechanical means such as pumps and filters. In an organic plant pond, pond substrate is used, which contains beneficial pond bacteria that break down the waste products produced by the fish and other organisms in the pond. This creates a natural balance in the pond and keeps the water balanced in a healthy way. With this type of pond, choose different types of pond plants with different functions such as oxygen plants, marsh plants and floating plants to keep the water clean and the water values stable.
- Swimming Pond: A swimming pond is a pool with a natural appearance, using natural processes rather than chemicals to purify and maintain the water. It is a combination of a pool and a pond, with the pond feature representing the natural aspect and the pool portion representing the recreational aspect. In a swimming pond it is possible to choose any type of aquatic plant, this can be done in a plant filter so they are separated from the swimming water but they can also be perfectly placed in the swimming area. Choose different water plant species so they can filter the pond water for you such as: oxygen plants, marsh plants and floating plants.
- Koi pond: A koi pond is a pond specially constructed and designed for koi carp. The koi is a fish species that tolerates few aquatic plants in its area, for this reason choose a strong floating plant such as crabgrass or place plant filter plants of your choice in a plant filter so that the koi's cannot reach them.
- Mirror Pond: A sleek mirror pond is a pond type distinguished by its modern and streamlined design, focusing on a smooth surface that resembles a mirror. This is usually achieved by using materials such as polished concrete or smooth stone for the pond's edge and maintaining as flat a water surface as possible. Since people choose this pond for its sleek appearance, it is recommended to choose oxygen plants/underwater plants such as: waterweed, hornwort and moss balls.
- Mini pond: But not everyone has room in the garden to build a pond, for these people a mini pond is an ideal solution! This is because you make the pond in a large planter of about 1 by 1 meter. Mini ponds are also ideal for a balcony or terrace. With this pond, choose a mini pond package.
Mini pond making with our mini pond kits
Which aquatic plants are hardy?
There is a wide range of hardy aquatic plants, the ones we recommend are: Swan Flower, Irises, Pikeweed, Hornleaf and Crabweed. All water plants from van der Velde Water Plant Nursery are hardy and therefore ideal for any kind of pond. Because the water plants are hardy, they will survive every season and bloom more beautifully every year. A hardy water plant from van der Velde Waterplants is therefore a real asset for your pond.
Hardy aquatic plants from our own aquatic plant nursery!
How do I care for my aquatic plants?
Some aquatic plants require more care than others, depending on the type of plant and how fast it grows. If the aquatic plant grows very quickly and in the process overgrows other aquatic plants so that they can no longer perform their function optimally in the pond, it is advisable to prune the overgrowing aquatic plant and keep it trimmed. This can simply be done with scissors.
What aquatic plants do I place in a plant filter?
In some situations, such as a natural plant filter, you typically don't use pond baskets. In this pond, young plants are placed directly between the pond substrate. The aquatic plants suitable for this purpose are selected for a good root system. After all, they have to grow without pond soil and associated nutrients. Especially for this type of plant filter, we have put together a helophyte mix with the right plant combination. Would you like to know more about making a plant filter? Read about a plant filter or swamp filter in the pond.
Helophyte plant filter mix
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Plant Filter Pond Package - 64 purifying plants - For a 3 m² - 4 m² pond filter
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Plant Filter Pond Package - 32 purifying plants - For a 1 m² - 2 m² pond filter
Frequently asked questions about aquatic plants
Buy water plants at van der Velde Waterplant Nursery. We grow all our water plants in our own nursery and we always guarantee 100% growth and flowering.
There are many different types of aquatic plants, these aquatic plants can be divided into 5 groups, namely; oxygen plants, pond plants, floating plants, shore plants and water lilies. So plenty of choice!
Simon van der Velde
Pond specialist and aquatic plant grower since 1986
Simon's vision is to let nature do its work in your pond. No need to buy all kinds of measuring equipment and water improvers. If the fish are swimming nicely and the plants are growing well, then the water in the pond is of good quality. With a good planting plan and the right approach, you can save a lot of money and maintenance, and ensure a clear, biologically balanced pond that becomes more beautiful every year.