Plants that are planted in containers in your water garden are called surface
plants. Many think that surface plants will oxygenate the water but actually,
they provide shade, and homes for the many animals and fish that live in the
water garden. The surface plants will also absorb chemicals and debris from the
water. Surface plants include water lilies, lotus plants, and other popular
water garden plants.
Surface plants are going to get many of their needed nutrients straight from the
water from the fish and the debris and the water. For the first growing season
when you put your surface plants in the water garden, good compost will boost
their chances of survival for the following growing seasons so they are
established well. If you feel that your plants need a fertilizer in the second
or third year, a slow release fertilizer would be best. A type that you can put
right into the container that the plant lives in that will release nutrients
slowly will work out best.
You might want to cover your entire water garden with both marginal and surface
plants, but when first stocking your water garden you only need to cover about
thirty percent of your water garden. Covering just 30% of your water garden is
going to control the algae in the water while providing the shade that your fish
need during the hottest months of the year.
Water Hawthorn is one surface plant that is also known as Cape pondweed. This
plant will grow not only in the shallow waters of a small water garden but also
in the deep waters of the larger bodies of water. The Water Hawthorn has a great
vanilla scent that you will really enjoy when near the water garden.
The Lotus is another surface plant found in many water gardens. The Lotus loves
the hottest temperatures of the year, not doing well when the frost hits. Some
water gardens that are protected under glass is where the Lotus surface plants
are going to thrive and produce the best plants. There are commercial hybrids of
the lotus that are a bit more hardy.
Pond Lilies are another great surface plant that you can plant in and around the
water garden. While the flowers appear in a bottle shape form, you will find
that these plants smell a bit like alcohol. The Pond Lilies are going to be
found growing best in the deeper ponds that range from five foot deep and then