Garden with a pond with plants.

How to Grow Plants in Your Garden Pond

Choose a variety of different plants for your pond to establish a natural balance that will help keep the water clear, and provide the best habitat for plants and wildlife. All submerged pond plants can be planted up in the same way, and should be divided and repotted every two or three years.

When to plant: Mid- to late spring.

At their best: Summer.

Time to complete: 30 minutes per plant.

You will need: Aquatic plant basket or fine-netted pond bag, aquatic soil, trowel, water lily or pond plant, pea gravel.

Fill a basket

Choose an aquatic pond basket that has small holes in the sides to stop the soil from leaking out into the water. Place a layer of aquatic soil in the bottom. Do not use garden soil because it may contain nutrients that encourage algae.

Add the plant

Carefully remove the water lily or pond plant from its original pot and place it in the center of the basket at the same level. Fill in around the plant with more aquatic soil, firming it down with your fingertips as you go.

Mulch with gravel

Check the plant carefully, and clean off any duckweed (small round leaves) or algae from the stems and leaves. To stabilize the soil surface, add a layer of pea gravel; rinse it first several times to remove any impurities or dirt.

Tips: Planting Oxygenators

These vital plants release oxygen, absorb nutrients, and obscure light, helping to keep the water clean and clear of green algae. Establish them in baskets on the pond shelves, before sinking them to the bottom. Avoid invasive types, like parrot’s feather, Myriophyllum aquaticum, and curly waterweed, Lagarosiphon major.

Good oxygenators to choose include: Water moss – Fontinalis antipyretica, Hornwort – Ceratophyllum demersum, Curled pondweed – Potamogeton crispus, Hart’s pennyroyal – Mentha cervina.