Pond Plants for Margins

Pond Plants for Margins

Marginal plants are those placed around the edge of a pond in the shallower areas. They perform several functions in a pond. They remove nitrates from the water helping to reduce algae and keep the water clear. Provide shelter for animals against predators and a breeding ground for aquatic animals. Give shelter and keep a moist area for animals such as frogs at the edge. They also make a pond look attractive and can be used to hide or disguise items such as the edge of a pond liner or a pond pump or cabling.

Read the back of the label for specific planting instructions, but typically marginal plants are best planted with 3 – 15 cm of water over the surface. Although many marginal plants thrive in damp soil, by ensuring the top of the pot is under water it helps prevent weeds growing in the soil.

Small pots should be secured to prevent fish or other disturbance or ideally transplant into a larger aquatic basket using aquatic soil. Plants in solid pots must be transplanted into aquatic mesh baskets or directly into the soil or gravel in the pond. Aquatic mesh pots allow water transfer and essential gas exchange and nitrates from reaching the plant’s roots.

For best effect plant marginals in groups of three or more of the same variety where space and budget allow.

Where possible build ponds with flat shelves at the side of the pond that are 18 – 30cm deep so marginals can be placed on them directly. If the pond edge is sloped, use gravel or a similar medium so marginals can be planted directly into the gravel, there is no need to remove mesh pots before planting.

If the pond is too deep, plants can be replanted into much large mesh baskets or you can use bricks or upturned pots to make a shelf but ensure it is secure.

Planting density guide;
Planting density depends on how long you are prepared to wait for an established pond look. But as a guide use the following;
5 x 1 litre marginal plants per linear meter or 7 per square meter. For 3 litre plants this can be reduced to 3 per linear meter or 5 per square meter.
Container oxygenators should be planted in similar quantities to marginal Bunched oxygenators 2-3 bunches per meter square
Water lilies 1 per 2 meters square

Have you got everything you need before you leave?

Marginal plants – provide shelter, a breeding ground and remove nitrates
Oxygenating plants – provide essential oxygen
Floating plants – provide shade, shelter and remove nitrates
Lilies – provide shade & shelter
Aquatic baskets and aquatic soil for the above
Snails – Ramshorns eat algae on the sides of a pond, Trapdoor snails eat algae on the bottom

Be Plant Wise

Please protect our environment. No plants should be disposed of in the wild as even native ones placed in the wrong location may cause environmental damage. Compost them or take them to your local refuse centre. For more information please see Non Native Species Secretariat