Pond planting in the autumn

Pond planting in the autumn

For any type of gardening, the planting is the process before the reward, so this makes Autumn a very good time to plant certain types of pond plants as they  will already be established and  therefore, put on a good display of foliage and flowers in the Spring.  There are however, certain plants that have rhizomes that should NOT be planted until March. Among these are bare-rooted Water lilies and Iris. Here at Lilies Water Gardens, if we have plants on our website that show on our website as “currently unavailable” during the autumn and winter months, it’s because they are out of season for planting.


Marginal Plants (Pre-Potted)

Pre-potted plants are suitable for planting any time of the year as their root systems are already established inside the pot.  In autumn, pond planting simply involves removing the plant from its existing pot and then re-planting it into a suitably sized, permanent aquatic basket which is then ready to be placed on a marginal shelf in the pond.  Always remember to follow the planting rules I have listed below.

1.) Always line your aquatic basket with a hessian or cloth liner.

2.) Always use a good brand of aquatic soil OR clay. If you have moles in your garden, the soil from their molehills is very rich in nutrients and therefore, a good choice to use.  NEVER though, use peat based potting compost.

3.) NEVER feed pond plants in the autumn or winter.  Feeding should be done in early Spring and early Summer but no later than the end of July.


Here at Lilies Water Gardens, we only sell pre-planted pond plants in solid pots rather than aquatic baskets and here’s why –

1.) Pond plants are quite often sold in 9cm and 1 litre ‘aquatic baskets’ and then advertised as ‘pond ready’. However over 95% of these plants (though there are a few exceptions), will then need to be re-planted into nothing smaller than a 2 litre basket, as the 9 cm and 1 litre baskets are far too small In size.

2.) Not all planting involves aquatic planting baskets.  Pond plants are often sold to be housed in natural streams, ditches, bog-lands, water meadows and natural clay bottomed ponds and lakes. So, there is no point in selling so called ‘pond ready’ plants in unsuitable aquatic baskets that more often than not, will just be thrown away. Solid black plastic pots are versatile and can be re-used over and over again in all types of gardening.



Caltha Palustris and Cultivars (King Cups and Marsh Marigolds) Bare rooted or Potted

Marsh Marigolds have massive root systems and like many other bare rooted perennials they love to be planted in the autumn.  Whether they are pre-potted or bare rooted, now is the time to plant King Cups, and they will definitely reward you by being the first to put on a magnificent display of yellow flowers in the spring.


Apponogetons (Water Hawthorns)

These plants with their large oval floating leaves and masses of vanilla scented flowers prefer cooler water and look their best in the autumn and Spring.  In fact, they hate warm or hot water and go dormant and disappear completely in the summer, so now is a great time to plant them.


Oxygenating Plants

Certain Oxygenating plants also prefer cooler water and look their best in the autumn and Spring. Included in these are Callitriche Stagnalis, (Star Wort), Hottonia  Palustris (Water Violet), Eleocharis Acicularis (Vallisneria Spiralis (Ribbon Grass) and last but not least, Sagittaria Graminea.  All these plants will grow happily away and produce different shades of underwater, green colour right through the Autumn and Winter and at the same time, will be adding essential oxygen to your pond providing a safe haven and natural environment for all your visiting and residential pond life.

Our online store and very informative website is open all year around so please visit www.lilieswatergardens.co.uk