Water Plants and Ponds Hints and Tips

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Control algae by removing with a net or by hand. Avoid chemicals as these damage other plants and fish. Leave the algae in a hidden spot, preferably near the pond; this will allow bugs and creatures to find their way back to the pond. Divide and replant marginals and water lilies - use a sharp knife to sever excess growth, cutting rhizomes 6in. from the crown. If you have no water restrictions, flood your pond occasionally to keep your bog plants moist.

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If not subject to a hosepipe ban, top ponds up with a hosepipe fitted with a spray nozzle, which will help to oxygenate the water. Continue to remove blanket weed and overgrown pond plants, to allow light to penetrate to deeper plants.


You may need to defoliate water lilies if they are overpowering the rest of the pond – cut the leaves off well below the water surface. Oxygenating plants can become over vigorous as well and may need thinning out – remove large bunches by hand and leave them by the pond side for all the creatures you have inevitably removed with the plants to find their way back into the pond. The plants removed will rot quickly in the compost bin or makes a good green top dressing under established bushes which quickly disappears into the ground.


Pond inhabitants will greatly appreciate the addition of fresh water from a hose during particularly hot periods. Trim leaves from over-rampant water lilies and thin out vigorous growth of oxygenating plants to an acceptable level.

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If you sowed primulas earlier in the year they will now be ready for potting up or planting into the bog garden. Remember to feed fish daily, supplementing their feed with Daphnia.


It is now time to reduce the quantity of vegetation in the garden pond by thinning out oxygenating plants and old lily leaves so that the pond isn't subjected to too much decaying vegetable matter over the winter.


Thin out oxygenating plants, leaving them by the side of the pond for a few days so that beneficial insects and bugs can make their way back to the pond. Put a fine mesh covering over your pond to catch leaves; fixing this to a frame will allow you to lift the frame and leaves at the same time. Disconnect and clean pumps, storing them in a dry place. The fish should stop coming to the surface for food once the days get colder; in any event you should stop feeding them at this point.

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There are several methods to keep an area of your pond free of ice, which is essential to let toxic gases escape. You could install a pool heater, place a container on the ice and fill with boiling water until a hole has melted or float some rubber balls on the surface, which will stop some pond sides from cracking. If you do happen to break ice up manually do not let it fall into the pond as it rapidly lowers the temperature which could damage livestock.


If the weather is mild your fish may be asking for food. Give them something light such as daphnia. Check water levels in case of frost damage and protect the pond from icing over by using a pond heater if possible.


Another quiet month for the water garden - just keep your pond protected as for the other winter months. There may be some weeding necessary in the bog garden which is easier if you wait until after a light frost which will have had the effect of drying the ground slightly.

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Drain three-quarters of the water in your pond and replace with fresh, removing algae and leaves. The leaves should be left by the side of the pond for a couple of days to allow pond life to find its way back into the pond. If you left the growth on marginal plants to provide protection, you should now cut this back. Now is the time to build new bog gardens or ponds. If the fish are showing themselves, start to feed them again.


As the weather warms up, new plants can be placed in ponds. Make sure the soil is saturated before planting takes place. Water lily tubers should be placed at 15 degrees to the horizontal, oxygenators should be pushed gently into soft soil and iris and calla rhizomes should be planted horizontally. Floating plants should be placed on the surface of the water.

Gardening information, hints and tips on how to get the best from the pond and water plants in your garden including control of algae, coping with hot weather and general care advice.