Aquatic plants are an essential part of a balanced ecosystem. There are many benefits to having a variety of aquatic plants in your pond as they help maintain your water quality, provide shade and cover for your fish and thriving plants will create beautiful blooms. However, thriving plants can also overcrowd your pond and even become dangerous for the wildlife that calls your pond home. Overgrown water lilies, for example, can begin to cover too much of your pond’s surface area which can prevent oxygenation and actually suffocate your fish!
Here we will provide the best practices for when and how to maintain your aquatic plants.
Keep them contained
One way aquatic plants can quickly take over a pond is if they are planted directly into the gravel. This is especially true for water lilies. When they are planted directly into the bottom of your pond their roots will spread along the entire bottom shelf of your pond.
To combat this it’s best to plant your water lilies in an aquatic planter to keep them contained. You still have to trim them back because if neglected, water lilies will still grow roots around the planter and into the bottom shelf of your pond.
If you already have lilies planted into the bottom of your pond without a planter it’s not the end of the world. It will just require maintenance on a more consistent basis to keep them from spreading throughout your entire pond.
Trimming down the crowd
A great rule of thumb for Aquatic plants (especially if you have fish) is that no more than 70% of your pond water’s surface should be covered.
Trimming down your plants should be relatively simple if you don’t mind getting a little wet. You can take a pair of plant pruners or any kind of trimmers and cut them back. Start by cutting out any yellowing or dead plants you notice as they will begin to decay in your pond if you leave them in, which can cause a decline in your water quality.
However, if you do mind getting wet then you can always drain the water out of your pond with a pump or hire a professional to do so and trim back your plants at the bottom of the pond. It’s easiest to keep your aquatic plants maintained if you mark your calendar to do so on a semi-regular basis. Our team of pond pros trim back aquatic plants in every pond we maintain during cleanouts in the Fall and Spring seasons. Once your plants are trimmed back they will be much healthier and should produce more and better blooms.