Water opens up a whole new world of gardening opportunities: aquatic plants. Whether you’re working with a generous pond or a small water bowl, you’ll find a great range of aquatic plants to choose from, like the beautiful water lilly. As well as being lovely to look at, aquatic plants can help create a diverse aquatic ecosystem, often attracting birds, dragonflies and frogs, which come to drink, cool down and bathe.
Water plants / Aquatic
Shop the best range of aquatic plants in Sydney
The addition of a water feature helps gardens to feel cooler in hot weather and creates a diverse aquatic ecosystem, often attracting birds, dragonflies and frogs, which come to drink, cool down and bathe. In addition, water opens up a whole new world of gardening opportunities: water plants.
Whether you’re working with a generous pond or a small water bowl, you’ll find a great range of water plants to choose from at Flower Power, like the beautiful water lily or lush water grasses. As well as being lovely to look at, aquatic plants offer several benefits to your water feature. They actively filter water, drawing in toxins and carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen to aerate the water, which helps avoid toxic algal blooms and keeps fish happy.
If you’re ready to add some colour and beauty to a water feature in your garden, come in-store to Flower Power today to find the perfect one for you and find out how to take care of aquatic plants.
How do aquatic plants survive in water?
Aquatic plants have adapted in a number of special ways in order to cope with their watery environments.
The water lily is an example of a water plant that grows on the surface of the water but is anchored by its roots to the bottom of the pond or lake. They float because they are filled with a lightweight tissue that makes them buoyant. Water lilies have adapted so that chloroplasts, which allow a plant to photosynthesise sunlight and create energy, are only on the surface of the leaves. Since the other side is always underwater and never sees sunlight, the plant doesn’t bother having chloroplasts there.
Water lilies also use the surface tension of the water to spread their leaves out flat and anchor them to the surface of the water for maximum exposure to the sun.
How to plant a water lily
As mentioned above, although water lilies seem to grow on the surface of the water, they are attached to the bottom of the water feature so it’s most common for them to be grown in submerged pots.
Choose a shallow, wide pot without drainage holes and fill it with special aquatic-plant specific soil. Ordinary potting mix contains additives that can cause algae in your pond, so don’t be tempted to make do with that. You can also add aquatic fertiliser pellets into the soil before planting your water lily.
Prepare the water lily tuber by trimming back older, thicker roots and foliage. Place the cut edge of the tuber against the side of the pot, at a 45-degree angle so it’s tilted towards the centre of the pot, and push it into the soil.
Cover the surface of the soil with a thick layer of clean sand and a layer of pebbles. Carefully and slowly lower the pot into the water, holding it at an angle to let any remaining air escape. If the pond or pool is too deep to let the lily float on the surface, you can sit the pot on clean bricks or very large pebbles – anything that you can gradually remove as the lily grows long enough to touch the bottom.
How to plant rushes and water grasses
These pond plants prefer wet areas on the banks of your pond or pool, or in the pond if it’s shallower. Essentially, somewhere they will remain partially submerged all the time. As a general rule, they prefer full sun to part shade – as long as they are never allowed to dry out. You can plant them in pots and submerge the pots, or plant them directly into the ground.
How to take care of aquatic plants
- Water lilies and grasses enjoy extra food but use only slow-release tablet-form fertilisers specially prepared for aquatic plants and it’s best if you can insert it directly into the soil it grows in. Standard quick release fertiliser in the water can encourage algae.
- Water plants grow in still or slowly moving water, so in a pond make sure you keep them away from fountains.
- Pond plants look best when they cover no more than one-third of the water’s surface, which also lets enough light through to keep submerged aquatics alive.
- Many aquatic plants grow quickly, so may need to be pruned or divided so they don’t take over your water feature.
- Some pond plants may need to be repotted to give them more space or a fresh serving of aquatic potting mix.
Where to get aquatic plants in Sydney
If you’re ready to get started on your water plants adventure, come into Flower Power and shop our range of aquatic plants, tools, specialty potting mixes and fertilisers, and get advice from our expert horticulturalists.