Pond Plants (Eco-Friendly Buying Guide)
We are all aware of the state of our oceans, and the amount of plastic that finds its way down rivers and eventually into the sea. Sky Ocean Watch and Lewis Pugh have certainly been doing their best to make us all aware of the long-term dangers of plastic waste and the environmental damage it can cause to nature and our precious wildlife. It therefore, makes sense to me to use alternatives to plastic or to use plastic to a minimum whenever possible. For that reason, I am currently experimenting with growing pond plants in Pots made from Rice Husk which are biodegradable.
Buy Bare Rooted Pond Plants Whenever Possible
Pond plants are bought and used in many different water environments. Many of these water environments already have a natural layer of clay at the bottom of them. When this is the case, you can plant straight into the clay/silt. This cuts out the need to buy pre-planted plants at all. If the aquatic plant industry produces fewer pre-potted plants, they will not throw as many away, leaving them to find their way into our oceans. It is simple to understand that the less plastic we use, the better for the environment.
Did you know that you can also plant bare rooted pond plants into man-made lined and fiberglass ponds, without the need to use aquatic baskets, Click on this link to see my article “Natural Planting In Lined Ponds”.
Reasons for Buying Your Plants and Aquatic Planting Baskets Separately
1. Most of the time, the pre-planted baskets will be far too small for the plant. Consequently, you will soon have to buy separate, larger aquatic planting baskets. You may end up throwing away the original, too-small aquatic baskets, resulting in More Plastic Waste.
2. When needed, I grow all my pre-potted pond plants in solid black plastic pots. These are much lighter in weight, and made of far less plastic than the heavier aquatic baskets of the same size.
3. Many pond hobbyists will own a stack of 2nd hand re-usable aquatic baskets as pond planting makeovers are a regular event for hobbyists. Why buy your new pond plants in pre-potted aquatic baskets when you already have existing ones at hand? And if you don’t, maybe someone you know has some spares. Less waste, less pollution.
Why Not Buy and Plant Into Aquatic Planting Bags
Aquatic Planting Bags are a fantastic idea for planting up some varieties of aquatic pond plants. They are made from a fine fabric mesh making them a very good alternative planter. However, unfortunately, they are not suitable for any aquatic plants that grow from Tubers or Rhizomes such as Water Lilies or Water Iris though I hope this will be on the manufacturers agenda soon. Unfortunately again, they are packaged in a thin plastic wrapper. In this instance, what you’re saving in one hand, you’re throwing away with the other. A dilemma for sure!
Why Not Experiment With Biodegradable Pots
Most marginal pond plants have extensive root systems. Hopefully, by the time a Pot made from rice husk starts to biodegrade, the plants root system will have become established enough to hold and knit the soil together. This is still something I have yet to find out. Depending how much faster the Rice Husk Pot biodegrades when placed in water, this could be a successful way of growing shallow marginal pond plants. You could of course give it a try for yourselves and see what happens. If you do, I would love to hear your results.
To see over 120 articles on all aspects of water gardening and pond wildlife, click here
please visit my website www.lilieswatergardens.co.uk to see our large range of over 750 pond plants and water garden plants, including over 250 Water Lily cultivars and over 300 different marginal plants. We also carry a large range of Ferns, Moisture Loving Perennials, Oxygenating Plants, Bog Garden, and Free Floating Plants Plants. Not to mention all the pond planting accessories required to grow lush looking healthy pond plants and bring your pond to life with flora and colour all summer long.