True Aquatic Plants

True Aquatic Plants

There seems to be a lot of miss-guided information throughout the aquatic industry of what true aquatic plants are?  It never ceases to amaze me to see marginal pond plants and bog-garden plants categorized together as a sales ploy and having the same information written about them in books and in fact, commonly, all over the internet.  Aquatic means just that, “Aquatic”.  Marginal plants grow in water and although bog-garden plants like water around their roots, and can survive a few days of flooding, they will drown if submerged for a lengthy period.  Marginal plants on the other hand will tolerate lengthy times of flood and are adaptable enough to endure even drought conditions.  Many varieties and their cultivars are happy submerged for up to 8-9 months of the year, but in the summer, when pond, lake and stream levels drop, they can be found out of the water growing 2-3 ft up the side of exposed banks.   In these drought conditions, they will produce roots that will grow down to 2-3 ft until they reach the water table. This is their natural cycle and during this dry spell, many plants of this nature will self- seed.

True aquatic plants can be placed in three main categories.

Fully Submerged Pond Plants

This category includes all aquatic plants that produce floating leaves on the water surface, such as Water lilies, Apponogeton Nuphar Pumila  and also the giant Amazon Water Lily with its 3-5 feet leaf pads. Other types of plants in this category are known as “Aerating “or “Oxygenating”, and all these true aquatic plants take carbon-dioxide from the water and in return, give out essential oxygen.

Marginal Pond Plants

As the name suggests, this large category of aquatic plants grow on the margin, where water meets land.  They can be sub-categorized as “Shallow Water Marginal Pond Plants” and for deep water margins “Deep Water Marginal Pond Plants”, but the main difference being, that some are quite happy with their feet in a 1 cm of water, while others prefer deeper water of up to 18 inches deep.  All are very adaptable to times of drought and lengthy duration’s of seasonal flooding.

Free Floating Pond Plants

Probably everyone’s favorite as they require zero maintenance.  The aquatic plants in this category simply float on the water surface and include nuisance varieties of duckweed, which in my mind, should never be sold at all as it engulfs everything.  Also in this category you will find the very popular Water-Hyacinths and Water-Lettuce and many others.  All Free-floating plants provide valuable cover for fish and wildlife.  Floating leaves cut down on sunlight and help prevent green water and Blanket Weed.  Here at Lilies Water Gardens, we recommend that at least two thirds of your pond should be covered in floating, submerged or oxygenating plants.

Happy, Harmonious Water Gardening!

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