Pond Zones: Popular Pond Plants

Anyone who has ever had a pond or has stood in front of the aquatic plants in the nursery knows that there is a huge range of pond plants that are suitable for your own garden pond. It is not easy to keep track of which plant fits where in the pond. We want to create clarity and therefore present three possible plants per pond zone.

Pond Plants for Different Zones

Swamp Zone

The swamp zone is the area in which the water is not more than 25cm deep. This zone can be further divided into bank and wetland zones, but that would go beyond the scope here. Many fish like to use this shallow zone as a spawning area, but otherwise avoid it as they are easy prey for herons, cats, and the like. The plants that stand here are only with their roots in the water.

The first plant that we want to introduce is the frog spoon (Alisma plantago aquatica). This plant prefers a sunny to partially shaded place and stands in a pyramidal panicle. It blooms with small white flowers from June to September. You should never plant more than two plants per m², as it reproduces very quickly and has to be cut back regularly in spring.

The marsh marigold (Caltha palustris) is different. It is a special plant because it blooms with yellow, sun-shaped flowers as early as May and thus ensures the early blooming. It is not uncommon for it to bloom a second time later in the year. You can plant them not only in shallow water but also on swampy edges. It is very easy to care for and only needs water, sun, and the right location. It has been under species protection since 1999 and may not be removed while growing in the wild.

Our third candidate for the shallow water zone is the water sword lily (Iris pseudacorus). For the flower fan, it is the perfect complement to the marsh marigold because it blooms in June and July and thus replaces the marsh marigold in its bloom. It is similar to the iris and is available in blue and yellow. It grows up to 50cm high and thrives best in standing water; a slight current is fine too. It also spreads easily and should be cut back regularly.

Shallow Water Zone

This zone with medium-deep water to a depth of 50 cm connects to the swamp zone. Often it is laid out all around the pond so that a natural gradation is created that reaches a certain width: This can be seen clearly with finished pond basins. The roots of the pond plants are completely submerged here, as is part of the plant. Some of them stay just below the surface.

Our first plant is the pine frond (Hippuris Vulgaris). With its upright shoots and needle-like leaves, it looks like a small fir tree and is therefore very popular. It blooms from June to August and is very robust in terms of water parameters. You have to cut it back regularly, however, as it spreads quickly. He prefers quieter locations.

Next, we would like to introduce the water mint (Mentha aquatica). It is a very special plant because it exudes a pleasant mint aroma from June to September. During this flowering period, it shines with small, purple flowers that together form a hemispherical shape.

In the end, there is now appropriately the swamp forget-me-not (Myosotis palustris). It has slightly lighter flowers than the common forget-me-not. From May to September, with a height of up to 30cm, it is a nice splash of color next to other, often darker aquatic plants. It thrives splendidly in little flowing to stagnant water and is otherwise rather easy to care for.

Deepwater Zone

This zone has a water depth of over 60cm and should be at least 1.20m deep in fish ponds so that strong fluctuations are not possible. In addition, it does not freeze over so quickly in winter. Pond plants that grow heavily should be planted here in plant baskets. That also makes relocation easier.

Let’s start with the yellow pond rose (nuphar lutea), which is also known as the “big mummel”. It thrives in depths from 50cm and prefers sunny places, but also grows in the shade. It blooms from May to September with strongly fragrant, yellow flowers. The floating leaves reach a diameter of approx. 30 cm. If you plant it individually or in small groups, it is very easy to care for: it can even tolerate bog water conditions.

The water crowfoot (Ranunculus aquatilis) grows in water to a depth of up to 80cm. The submerged shoots form thread-like leaves, while the floating leaves are split in a kidney shape. From June to September the plant blooms with white flowers that bloom up to 5cm above the water surface. Since it is at home here, it also survives the winter in the garden pond.

The water nut (Trapa natans) is an exotic species in domestic ponds. It blooms from June to September with white flowers on rosettes of leaves. These circular structures can reach a diameter of up to 30cm. Then in autumn you can pull out the water nuts, collect the ripe fruits and store them moist. The plant would not survive the winter in the pond. If you then put the fruits on the pond floor in spring, the plant will grow again. By the way: The fruits are edible! Give it a try.

Finally, a few tips: Root pond plants remove nutrients from the substrate and thus supply it with oxygen; Putrefaction is effectively counteracted. Free-floating aquatic plants, on the other hand, remove nutrients from the water. This is positive because they are in competition with floating algae and their growth is inhibited. They also shade the water, provide shelter for water dwellers and a landing site for insects. However, they are susceptible to pests such as aphids.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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