Simon van der Velde

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Pond plants not growing: Solutions for aquatic plants not growing.

Pond plants do not grow

You've just built a beautiful pond, but after a few weeks it still doesn't look good. The pond plants, such as oxygen plants, water lilies and water plants, do not seem to be growing and do not look nice and green. That's not the point. But not to worry, because actually there is always an explainable reason why the pond plants are not growing yet. We offer you the solution.

What are aquatic plants?

Aquatic plants are plants that grow in the water and absorb their nutrients from it. Aquatic plants have adapted themselves allowing them to live and survive underwater. There are different types of aquatic plants, such as oxygen plants that release oxygen to the water and thus play an important role in maintaining a healthy pond ecosystem and biodiversity, water lilies and floating plants that play an important role in regulating the ecosystem and providing shade in the pond, limiting algae blooms and providing hiding places and food for pond fish and other pond animals and Sumpfpflanzen that filter pond water and keep it healthy.

Simon van der Velde

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I would like to share my experience with you, and advise you to solve any pond problems and reduce pond maintenance. As a result, you can easily save hundreds of dollars.

What do aquatic plants need to grow?

Pond plants, like other plants, need light and warmth to grow and develop. They extract nutrients from the water, reducing the opportunity for algae such as filamentous and floating algae to grow. With enough aquatic plants, all the nutrients in the water are used. To replenish these nutrients, pond bacteria and pond substrate are needed. The bacteria attach to the substrate and release CO2 into the water, which in turn is a nutrient for the pond plants. In addition, pond plant clay is important to keep the water from becoming too soft and to provide sufficient minerals that are beneficial to pond plants and unfavorable to algae.

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Old aquatic plants no longer grow

It is quite possible that over time, the water may contain fewer nutrients than the pond plants need. You can easily solve this by adding pond plant food to the soil. In addition, it may be a good time to give your pond plants a pruning, just when you have added extra nutrition to the pond.

How deep should aquatic plants be planted?

The depth at which aquatic plants should be planted depends on the type of plant. In general, most aquatic plants are planted at a depth of about 30 to 60 cm. This provides them with enough water and sunlight to grow and develop. Oxygen plants can be planted deeper, up to a depth of 1 meter, because they get their nutrients from the water and do not rely on sunlight. Floating plants, such as water lilies, are planted in a basket at the bottom of the pond and grow up to the water's surface. It is important to consult the recommended depth for each specific plant species and make sure the plants are not planted too deep or too shallow. Plants planted too deep may not get sunlight and will not grow well, while plants planted too shallow may dry out or get too hot. Should the aquatic plants not grow satisfactorily, this could be a reason. If so, move the pond basket with the plants to a deeper or shallower part of the pond.

Eating the leaves of water lilies

The eaten leaves can have several causes. There are several insects that eat the leaves of the water lily. We recommend placing (plenty of) aquatic plants in the pond, which will ensure that insects cannot eat them all. Nevertheless, your water lily will certainly still bloom. Placing the plant higher in the pond will promote faster growth and also flowering.

Do aquatic plants need soil?

Yes, aquatic plants need special aquatic plant soil. We have pond plant soil that you can use for all types of plants in your pond. If you mix it in the pond basket with pond plant clay, also often called mineral clay, then you give your pond plant the optimal nutrient medium for healthy growth.

Pond substrate essential for aquatic plant growth

Pond substrate is essential for aquatic plants to grow properly because it provides an ideal habitat for the bacteria needed to purify the water and provide the nutrients the plants need to grow. A layer of pond substrate at the bottom of the pond allows plant roots to firmly establish themselves, allowing them to grow optimally without rotting.

Water plants discolor

The fact that aquatic plants don't seem to want to grow or grow poorly usually occurs in ponds that have just been constructed. After the pond is constructed, the pond is hard at work for the first few weeks to months to find a good balance. At this stage - but sometimes in an existing pond as well - it may seem like your pond plant is not getting bigger, gets brown leaves or the plant seems to languish and turns yellow. Oxygenated plants feel slimy when you hold them. None of this is to say that the aquatic plant is dying. No, they are symptoms that the pond plant does not yet have the optimal conditions to grow and bloom properly. There are several causes for this. For example that the plants still need to acclimate, nature will solve this itself. What helps is to place this plant a little higher. Higher placement means more light and heat, which in turn provides more power for the plant to grow.

Reasons why pond plants don't grow

If your pond plant is not growing, there could be several reasons that lead to this. Conditions in the pond may not yet be optimal. For the four most common causes we would like to give you a solution and tips, so that your pond plants will still grow and bloom.

Insufficient sunlight

Insufficient sunlight is a common cause of an aquatic plant not growing properly. It may be in a spot in the pond that gets just a little sun or in the shade of a plant or tree along the bank. Move your pond plant, basket and all, to another spot that does receive more frequent sunlight, about six hours a day, and the plant will start to grow better. If this does not help, you can also temporarily place the plant in a separate water container to stimulate its initial growth. Once that gets going, place the pond plant back in its spot.

Aquatic Plant Clay

It still sometimes helps to add an extra dose of minerals to your pond. You do this by putting pond plant clay at the base of the pond plants. This clay contains minerals that will give your pond plants a boost. In addition, existing ponds need maintenance every now and then.

Water hardness

If water hardness is not up to par, it also affects the growth of your plants. Rainwater is often a reason water becomes too soft; it makes the pH level in your pond drop. This is beneficial for algae, but not great for your pond plants. Add minerals (such as pond plant clay) to the soil so your pond can regain its biological balance. Read what else you can do to get your water values right.

Pond plants are planted too deep

If the pond baskets are set down too deep, this can interfere with the growth of the plant. The packaging of all our pond plants indicates the minimum and maximum depth at which the plant can stand. Make sure your non-growing pond plant is in the right spot. It is a mistake often made, but fortunately easy to solve: simply move the pond basket with plant and all to the correct depth. Do you have your aquatic plants at the right depth? Then you can still give them a helping hand by placing them on paving stones or on a crate in the water, for example, so that they stand a little higher. You can do this temporarily until the growth is well underway.

Insufficient bacteria

Bacteria convert waste products, releasing CO2. Plants need this substance to grow. it is advisable to always add bacteria to the pond water in the start-up phase, spring and fall.

Water temperature

Especially at the beginning of the season, the water temperature can be too low for your pond plants to grow well already. They don't really want to yet and prefer to wait until the sun has warmed the water a bit more (about 10 °C). This will be from April onwards. It is a natural process that is quite normal in a pond, especially if you have just built it new. In this regard, patience is a virtue.

Of course, it is important that your pond plants are properly placed in the pond basket. Check out our helpful tips for planting pond plants and take advantage of them.

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Simon van der Velde

Simon van der Velde

Pond specialist and aquatic plant grower since 1986

My vision is to let nature do its work in your pond. You don't need to buy all kinds of measuring equipment and water improvers. If the fish are swimming nicely and the plants are growing well, you know the water is of good quality. With a good planting plan and the right approach, you can save both money and maintenance and ensure a clear, biologically balanced pond that only gets more beautiful each year.

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