Plant & Planting Advice
We are happy to offer advice at all stages of your project from selecting the best plants to fit your project and buget, to advising on planting positions, best times to plant, depths (for aquatic plants) etc.
We have designed this site to be as informative as possible, if you need any more information or require plants not on this site please contact us by phone or email (click here for details).
We can assist you with tenders and planting schedules, just contact us and we will gladly advise you and can offer our own recommendations. Our experienced staff can always offer suggestions or alternative specifications which can result in considerable cost saving.
For landscapers we can offer practical advice and technical input with specialist sub-contractors on hand to help with planting out and erosion control projects.
QUESTIONS FOR POND PLANTING
We can recommend quite a few plants but need to ask several questions to narrow down the choice:-
- is there a colour scheme?
- can the plants be ornamental as well as native?
- is there a surrounding theme?
- does the client prefer foliage or flowering plants or both?
- should the area look dramatic or simple?
- are there any height restrictions, as some plants can reach 1.5m?
- is there running water/shade?
- are there any koi carp present?
- what depth is the pond planting area?
- are there any ledges, if so, what depth?
- do you need marginals as well as deep water plants/oxygenators/waterlilies and floating plants?
This will help us draw up a list for you of what will be available when you need delivery. If there is a set budget it would be good to know how much is set aside for plant supply. We can deliver to site and we would recommend planted baskets that can be lowered directly into the pond and left to grow out of the basket ie., 3L, 5L or 10L sizes.
Take care to plant your aquatic plants in the correct part of your pond. Each plant has the planting zone and depth displayed on the product page and on their label. Use the advanced search facility to find the right plant for your depth of water.
See below for more information on the zones:
Zone 1. Pondside Plants-
These moisture loving plants thrive in damp soil and must not dry out, but should not be water logged. Plant these in moist areas around the pond, in a bog garden, or use a planting basket on the pond shelf raised up on bricks so that just the base of the container is in the water.
Popular plants - Cannas, Ferns, Gunnera, Hostas, Iris sibirica, Lobelia 'Double Red'/syphilitica/vedrariensis, Primulas, Schizostylis
Zone 2 & 3. Marginal Plants-
These plants provide life and colour around the pond margins; this is the shallow water area around the edge of the pond. Low growing, rafting types have pretty flowers and fine roots ideal to hide baby fish and tadpoles; tall plants like irises should be planted at the far side of the pond where they will form striking clumps and be used by emerging dragonflies and other wildlife. There is a wonderful variety of marginal plants available, some flower as early as February, with the later species still in flower in October. Check the plant information pages for flowering times and planting depth.
Popular plants - Acorus, Butomus, Caltha, Cyperus, Equisetum, Glyceria, Houttuynia, Iris, Lobelia, Lythrum, Mentha, Myosotis, Oenanthe, Phalaris, Pontederia, Sagittaria, Typha, Zantedeschia
Zone 4. Waterlilies and Deep Marginal Plants-
These plants grow in the deeper part of the pond, rooted in the bottom or in planting containers. Leaves and flowers grow up on long stems and float on the water surface. Young water lilies should be started in shallow water and lowered gradually over several weeks for best results. Each product page shows to optimum planting depth. Their lovely blossoms bring beauty to the pond and the flowering leaves give cover to fish and other aquatic life and provide shade which reduces algae growth. Water lilies prefer still water- plant away from the waterfall or fountain. Feed with water lily fertiliser twice a year for best results.
Popular plants - Aponogeton, Nuphar, Nymphaea alba, N. 'Attraction', N. 'Carnea', N. 'Pygmaea Helvola', N. 'Joey Tomocik', N. 'Perry's Baby Red'
Zone 2,3 & 4. Oxygenating Plants-
These grow up from the bottom of the pond, their submerged leaves giving off bubbles of oxygen, improve the water quality for fish and help the ecology of the pond. They provide a haven for water insects and tadpoles. These plants also absorb mineral salts from the water, thus making them unavailable to algae, reducing algae growth. Bunches can be thrown in to root in natural ponds but should be planted in containers in ponds without soil in the bottom.
Popular plants - Hippuris vulgaris, Hottonia palustris, Scirpus cernuus
Zone 5. Floating Plants
These float on the surface; their fine roots are used by spawning fish and provide habitat for aquatic insects. Water fowl love to dabble among them.
Popular plants - Pistia, Stratiotes aloides
The earlier marginals will now be flowering – plant some of the new varieties or the ever popular ones like calthas for instant effect. Clumps of moisture loving plants like hostas and astilbes can be divided. Feed waterlilies, re-pot if necessary. Split and re-pot overgrown marginals. Plant oxygenators early to get them well established before the hot weather. If your pond is overstocked with water snails, float water lettuce leaves on the surface to attract them so that some can easily be removed with a net.
Time to enjoy the beauty of your pond plants. All varieties should be available now – add some extra containers planted with your favourites. Check the planting instruction to choose varieties that suit your pond. Exotic floaters will give a lovely show and provide cover for baby fish. Remove decaying leaves and flowers of waterlilies as they are replaced by fresh growth. Check that there are sufficient oxygenators in the pond and add more as required. If waterlily leaves are attacked by lily beetles, hose the leaves off vigorously so that the fish can eat the dislodged beetle larvae.
Some late flowering marginals will be at their best now. Containerised plants can be planted at any time of year, so do not be afraid to introduce some new ones. Trim back decaying foliage as the earlier plants die back. Once the leaves are off the trees it is a good time for a complete pond cleanout.
Lay the dying leaves of gunneras and rheums over the crowns of the plants to give them protection from frost. A pond heater will prevent the pond icing over completely. Plant primulas at the pond side for a lovely spring show.