Aquatic plants

Aquatic plants

Welcome to the section of our site dedicated to aquatic plants! Within this section you will find tips on the care and cultivation of these particular plants. If you are interested in information on creating water gardens, we recommend this article.

In general, aquatic plants can be divided into "hydrophytes" and "helophytes". The former can be completely submerged or floating (both stems and leaves) and usually live where the water is deep. The second type lives where the water is lower, with the stem and leaves always out of the water. Both in Italy and abroad there are numerous fans of aquatic plants which are grown in water gardens in the home garden or in the aquarium (of which they are an essential element). To have the opportunity to write and ask for advice from other fans of this type of plants, ... continue


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continue ... , you can visit our forum dedicated specifically to water gardens to aquatic plants. If you are interested in reading a selection of aquatic plants made by our editorial staff indicating Name, Flowering, Depth, Exposure and Height visit our aquatic plants tab. Inserting vegetation in a pond is not only an aesthetic question, but above all functional.

The leaves, covering a part of the surface, will prevent the light from penetrating deeply and stimulate the growth of algae. For this it is always better that the surface of the pond is covered for at least one third of its surface. Another advantage brought by submerged plants is their ability to oxygenate the water and create a truly balanced ecosystem. Ecosystem made even more stable by the possibility of attracting fauna of all kinds, in particular insects (which provide food to fish), birds and amphibians (which help keep the body of water clean).

We can divide aquatic plants into 6 types

• Bottom rooting aquatic plants

• Submerged plants

• Floating plants

• Margin plants

• Marsh plants

• Water lilies

To have a pond that is always attractive, alive and balanced, it is better to insert plants from each of these categories. It is also advisable to always evaluate plants suitable for our climate.In general if we want to place plants in our pond it is better to do it using the appropriate baskets. These bring numerous benefits.

First of all, the roots develop almost exclusively around their container, preventing a single plant from becoming invasive and suffocating the others.

In addition to this, the baskets make it much easier to move the plants and extract them for division and propagation.

The baskets must be lined with sheets or plastic material to prevent the soil contained from dirtying the water. Water lilies are by far the best known aquatic plants. They are now on the market of all shapes, colors and sizes.

They are important for ponds, especially those in the sun and with stagnant water, because they help shield the body of water by limiting the growth of algae.

They are not only decorative during the flowering period, but practically throughout the year thanks to their large and glossy leaves. They attract a multitude of insects and amphibians making our little aquatic corner lively.

We have to carefully select the water lily we want. Above all, it is necessary to consider the size and speed of growth based on the size of our pond. Another important feature to evaluate is the rusticity.

Care: when we buy a water lily we must, before planting it, have some little care. In general, water lilies are rhizomatous plants. It is necessary to clean them from all the flowers and leaves that would reach the surface, reduce the roots and remove the oldest parts of the rhizome, leaving only the newest submerged shoots. This way the plant will recover faster. It will also adapt perfectly to its new location, growing new leaves and new roots to fit our pond. Before planting, it may be useful to sprinkle the root with sulfur (or other fungicides) to prevent the formation of mold.They are plants that have deep roots and cause the leaves to grow towards the surface.

They are useful for many reasons: first of all they produce oxygen, purify the water and prevent the formation of algae. They are also a useful shelter for the fish that prefer them to deposit their eggs.

They are suitable not only for ponds, but also for pools of water with a certain movement, therefore with streams or fountains.

They should be planted between 30 and 100 cm deep, depending on the species.

Some examples are:

Calla palustris are rootless rhizomes and live as floating plants. Excellent for a depth of about 30 cm. They bloom between May and July

Aponogeton distachyos have very fragrant white flowers and a long flowering. The leaves are also very decorative. They require a depth between 30 and 90 cm. Unfortunately they are not very rustic

Orontium aquatium prefers a depth of about half a meter. It produces beautiful yellow flowers and elegant oblong leaves

Hottonia palustris produces elegant purple or white spikes on finely worked foliage. It is a plant for shallow waters (less than half a meter), but it is not easily cultivable

Ranunculus aquatilis is best found in non-stagnant waters. It has decorative leaves and white and yellow flowers. It does not require a great depth (less than half a meter). They are very useful plants because they help keep the pond free from algae. They also oxygenate the water and provide shelter for fish. The only drawback is that they could become too exuberant and therefore invasive if the conditions for their growth are optimal (about one meter deep, sun or partial shade). In this case it will be necessary to intervene and try to contain them.

Some examples are:

Elodea grow fast and require water at least one meter deep. They significantly increase the oxygenation of the body of water, but can be invasive.

Ceratophyllum demersum is a plant suitable for a very deep pond, at least one and a half meters. It prefers calm waters.

Brasca ruffled: white and purple flowers and foliage.

Needle-like daffodil remains below the surface and creates a small submerged lawn.

A thousand-sheet water with a feathery appearance and a pleasant bronze color.

These plants don't need baskets because they only need to float on the surface.

They are very useful for keeping the pond in balance. However, it should be noted that they tend to grow and multiply a lot. So they must be chosen carefully and constantly monitored.

Some examples are:

Water chestnut has triangular leaves and white flowers. It also produces edible fruits.

Hydrocharis morsus-ranae with heart-shaped leaves and white flowers

Very decorative azolla caroliniana due to the red color of its leaves in autumn

Stratiotes aloides has very choreographic upright leaves and pretty white flowers

It is preferable to avoid plants that have been very commercialized lately, such as water hyacinths, especially where winters are not very cold. They are in fact becoming very invasive and threaten the local flora.

For this purpose, it is better in any case to avoid inserting parts of plants that we have divided into local streams or pools of water to avoid contaminating the ecosystem too much. Rather it is preferable to proceed with normal composting.

They are plants that can be planted in the border area between the body of water and the earth and partially submerged, up to 15 cm. They make the edge of our pond harmonious.

It is advisable to insert them through the use of baskets.

Some examples are:

Irises of various types (versicolor, pseudocorus) can have flowers of many colors, from yellow to purple and also variegated leaves. They are very decorative and need to be divided at least every 3-4 years

Typha minima is 10 to 25 cm high and remains green even during the winter. It needs a strong pruning in spring

Caltha palustris blooms from March to June. Better not to place it in the shade and prune its leaves in summer to avoid powdery mildew problems.

Botomus umbellatus grows up to 1 meter in height. It doesn't create major problems and is impactful when in a group.

Myosotis scorpioides produces small blue flowers

Rushes, available in many varieties, are a shelter for insects, amphibians and birds and act as a link between the aquatic environment and the rest of the garden. They love moist soil.

However, they can be classified as normal herbaceous perennial plants and therefore should be treated like these. Some plants that can be used for this purpose are: many ferns, hostas, astilbe, some types of primroses, ajuga reptans, imperata cylindrical, calla lilies, ligularia, geum rivale, gunnera, various types of miscanthus, the pennisetum, the imperata Cylindrica.

Also excellent in the vicinity (especially if there is shade) with hydrangeas.

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