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4 Tips For Picking The Right Pond Plants | Decorative Ponds & Water Gardens Q & A

How Do I Know Which Plants Are Right For My Pond?

Alice – Chesterfield, VA

Know your hardiness zone. The USDA publishes a hardiness zone map that shows in which areas of the country various types of plants can survive and grow. The majority of your pond plants should be from your hardiness zone because they are best able to tolerate the year-round conditions of your area.

Know your pond’s depth. Some pond plants prefer deep water and some pond plants prefer shallow. Hardy water lilies prefer deep water, for example, while bog plants prefer shallow.

Know what type of sun exposure your pond receives. In addition to hardiness zones, plants also are categorized by the type of light they like to receive (full sun, partial sun, or shade). Marsh Marigolds yearn for sun, while Clyde Ikins Water Lily can tolerate the shade.

Know your pond’s flow. This is a factor that water gardeners often overlook. Some pond plants love moving water while others prefer the water stand still. Dwarf cattails, for example, do well in streams because they enjoy moving water, but water lilies are not fans of being right underneath a waterfall.

Hardy Water Lilies

Do you store plants indoors until your zone is ready? | Decorative Ponds & Watergardens Q & A

If I Order My Plants Now Can I Keep Them Inside Until It’s Warm Enough To Move Them Outside?

If I Order My Plants Now Can I Keep Them Inside Until It’s Warm Enough To Move Them Outside?
Connie – Albany, NY

Spring is almost within reach making pond owners everywhere anxious to begin this seasons water gardening. While you don’t want to be the left in the dust by waiting too long to get your plants, are you going to waste your money by ordering your plants too early and subjecting them to cold weather? It is not uncommon for customers with established green houses to order plants early in the season and keep them indoors, but what about the every-day water gardener who doesn’t have a greenhouse?

The difficulty associated with maintaining your aquatic plants indoors depends on the type of plant. Bog plants can be potted and watered, floating plants would be placed in aquariums or Tupperware containers filled with water, and lilies can be placed in planting media and partially submerged. While plants intended for cooler temperatures or partial shade will do well when left by a window, tropical plants and floating plants intended for warmer zones will require grow lights to provide an abundance of warmth and beneficial light spectrum. The type of plant purchased, and the zone you are located in will determine how long you would need to keep the plant indoors before you can add it to your pond.

Purchasing the plants that are ideal for your area is made fairly simple by using a zone map. Zone maps break down areas of the country into zones based on their climate. Each plant is assigned a zone or range of zones that it can thrive in. By locating yourself on a zone map and assigning yourself a zone you can then select plants that do particularly well in that zone. You can also purchase plants that are intended for zones with warmer climates, but they will need to be added to your pond later in the season when it is warmer, and they may not last as long as plants intended for cooler climates.

To make early plant purchases easy for those of us with less-than-green thumbs we allow customers to order their aquatic plants whenever they like and we will hold them until their zone is past warnings of frost and cold weather. Sending your plants to you when temperatures are ideal in your area will help ensure that your plants will survive and limit the amount of work you have to do to get the plants ready for your pond. Simply choose the ones you would like to see in your water garden and our friendly pond guys and gals will take care of the rest.

Pond Talk: Do you store plants indoors until your zone is ready?

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