Water Garden Plants
Do you like to be outdoors? Do you like watching the water flow and enjoy looking at plants floating in the water? Do you like to do these at home in your backyard? Then water garden is what you are looking for. But have you ever thought of what kind of plants have to be in a water garden?
Water gardens, also known as aquatic gardens, are water features that are made by man. They are defined as any exterior landscape or architectural element whose primarily purpose is to house and display a variety of aquatic plants. Their primary focus is plants, but they may sometimes also feature fish, in this case the feature will be a fish pond. They are usually small in size and relatively shallow, mostly less than twenty inches in depth. This is because particular species inhabiting water garden will determine the actual surface area and depth required.
Water Garden Plants
Water garden plants can be divided into three main categories: submerged, marginal, and floating.
Submerged plants are those that live almost completely under water, sometimes with leaves or flowers that grow to the surface such as with the water lily. Some of these plants are called oxygenators because they create oxygen for the fish that live in a pond. Examples of these plants are:
- Water Lily (Nymphaea)
Water lily is a genus of hardy and tender aquatic plants in the family Nymphaeaceae. There are about 50 species in the genus, which have a cosmopolitan distribution.
Hornwort, also known as Coontail, has sturdy, layered hair-like foliage that helps oxygenate and clarify the water as well as keep algae growth to a minimum. It is found free-floating worldwide, in moving and still waters, or loosely anchored in muddy bottoms.
Marginal Plants are those that live with their roots under the water but the rest of the plant above the surface. They are usually placed so that the top of the pot is at or barely below the water level. Examples of these plants are:
Bulrush is a tall marsh plant with cylindrical seed heads that explode when mature shedding large quantities of down; its long flat leaves are used for making mats and chair seats; of North America, Europe, Asia and North Africa.
Iris is a thin, circular structure in the eye, responsible for controlling the diameter and size of the pupil and thus the amount of light reaching the retina. The color of the iris is often referred to as “eye color”.
Pickerelweed is an aquatic plant, which grows two three feet tall. Its leaves are large and heart-shaped, growing up to 10 inches long. Pickerelweed grows in shallow fresh water.
Floating Plants are those that are not anchored to the soil at all, but are free-floating on the surface. In water gardening, they are often used as providers of shade to reduce algae growth in a pond. Examples of these plants are:
- Water- clover
These small plants are of unusual appearance and do not resemble common ferns. Common names include water clover and four-leaf clover because the long-stalked leaves have four clover-like lobes and are held above water.
- Water Lettuce
Water Lettuce has velvety foliage that spreads like strawberry plants across the surface; they may produce inconspicuous white flowers. The bright green leaves are deeply veined and resemble heads of floating lettuce; they grow to lengths of up to 10 inches and up to 4 inches wide.
- Mosquito Fern
Mosquito fern is a small free-floating fern approximately 1 to 3/8 inches wide. Leaves of the mosquito fern overlap giving a quilted look to the surface and hide the stem. It can vary in color from green to red.