Aquatic Plants: Types, Resources and Everything in Between
Aquatic plants thrive in water environments, such as ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, and oceans. These amazing plants have adapted to their given environments and you can use them in various landscaping applications, especially as an ornamental pond feature.
Aquatic Plants for Ponds and Other Water Features
Aquatic plants can add accent and color to ponds and other types of garden water features. They also provide vital oxygen and are essential to the diverse support system within an aquatic ecosystem.
How to Use Aquatic Plants With Water Features
There are many kinds of aquatic plants you can use to enhance a pond or add to the landscape around an ornamental garden pond. If you have a koi pond, then you'll want to include some plants that can be submerged in the water. Other kinds of plants you can use thrive along the banks of a pond or stream. You'll want to include several water plants since they provide food for your fish and infuse oxygen into the water.
Explore Four Types of Aquatic Plants
There are four categories of aquatic plants you want to consider when landscaping and designing an ornamental or koi pond. These four categories include algae, floating plants, submerged plants, and emerged plants.
Algae are very primitive plants and not considered desirable plants for a pond or water feature. They range from microscopic to larger plants that often appear to be floating in the water without true roots. From a biological point-of-view, algae sustains fish and other wildlife in the pond or water feature.
Algae grows quickly and can rapidly take over a pond or water feature. Plankton algae is supportive of the delicate food chain that makes up a pond eco-system. However, there is the danger of the algae growing too quickly and creating an imbalance. If this happens, the fish and other aquatic life can die from a lack of oxygen.
Floating plants rest on the surface of the water and do not have roots reaching the bottom of the pond or water feature. They range in size from small, such as duckweed, to very large, such as water hyacinth. In most cases, they have roots that hang from the floating portions of the plants. Two other popular floating plants include water lilies and water lettuce.
Submerged plants are firmly rooted in the bottom of a pond or water feature. Typical plants are entirely under water, although they may have some parts that emerge from the water. The plants have very flaccid and soft stems that can't support them if taken out of the water. Examples of these plants include fanwort and eelgrass.
These plants are often found along the shoreline. They are rooted in the bottom of the water feature or pond, but they extend above the surface of the water. The plant stems are firm. An example of this is type of aquatic plant is cattails, which grow along the shore of a pond.
Categories Determine Habitat
The category of an aquatic plant influences its needs. For example, water lilies are emergent plants and require mud or some other soil to grow in. These plants are not a good choice for a stone water basin. A better choice would be a duckweed plant, since its roots dangle from the surface plant.
Add Aquatic Plants to Water Features
You can add aquatic plants to existing or new water features, such as a pond or ornamental pool. Aquatic plants build up the eco-system to sustain aquatic life and the overall health of a pond or other water feature.