From the smallest water gardens to the biggest bodies of water, there always is
a shallow portion of the water, where the edge of the water will reach the
shores and the soils of land. The shallow portions of the water are a place
where you can plant various types of marginal plants that will bloom or just add
a little shade to your water garden.
Sweet flag is one type of shallow water marginal available in a few different
species. Some sweet flag are considered wilder than the variegated commercial
type. The sweet flag is not a showy plant, but it does more for the cleaning of
the water and supplying shade for fish than anything else does.
Sweet flag has narrow and pointed leaves that have a sweet citrus smell. The
smell is one of the most attractive ‘things’ about this plant. In the spring
months, you will find this plant has a slight rose coloring in the leaves, which
will turn directly green in the summer months.
In the winter months, the sweet flag will die off down to the soil. You might
think that this plant is gone ‘for good’ but in the spring, it will pop back out
of the soil even when the winter has been harsh.
This full sun plant will grow to be anywhere from three to four foot high and it
is known for spreading out about a foot wide some a little further as the plant
matures. This plant grows best in the areas of the water garden from just the
moist soil to water that is up to six inches high.
If you find that you want to spread your sweet flag to other areas of your water
garden, one of the best methods is the dividing of clumps during the spring or
the fall months. It is difficult to divide the plants later in the fall or in
the winter months, as the plants will die off nearly to the ground so you cannot
see them well enough to divide.