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Small natural ponds can be a wonderful feature in a garden. There are many types of plants that can be added to a pond to improve its appearance.
Ponds of all sizes need plants to keep the water clean and free of algae. These plants are divided into three categories, namely:
1) Plants that provide oxygen
2) Plants for deeper waters
3) Marginal plants
For the best conditions in your small natural pond, you need a wetsuit. For a good ecosystem in your pond, you need a balanced selection of plants.
Deep-sea plants grow in deeper waters. These plants do well with their roots submerged in the ground at the bottom of the pond. They must have at least 50 cm of water above the ground.
Marginal plants are plants that are found around the edges of a pond. They are normally grown in a rack system which keeps them in the shallow parts of the pond.
If you have a small pond, we wrote an article on the best border plants for small ponds. here!
For these plants, you may want to grow them in wire mesh boxes so you can move them around if you wish.
Let’s talk about oxygenating plants, because these are the plants that keep the water algae-free in the first place.
What are oxygen plants?
Oxygen plants grow underwater in the pond and absorb nutrients from the water into their leaves. They then release oxygen, which helps keep the water clean and minimize algae.
The growth rate of these plants depends on the amount of light they receive, the temperature of the water, which should be between 12 and 25 degrees Celsius, and the CO2 content of the water.
If you notice that your oxygenating plants aren’t working as well as they should, you can test the water quality to make sure the CO2 isn’t too low.
What are the best oxygenating plants for small natural ponds?
The following 8 plants are the best natural oxygenating plants for small ponds to make your pond thrive and beautify.
1) Seagrass (Vallisnería)
Seagrass is probably the most common plant used in aquariums, so you’ve probably seen it before. It is an ideal plant for small natural ponds.
It can reach 6 meters in height and offers excellent oxygenation. The plant grows equally well in full sun and partial shade.
2) Spiked Yarrow (Myriophyllum spicatum)
Barbed water yarrow can grow in very deep water with the feathery parts just below the surface. This provides an excellent habitat for tadpoles and other small aquatic animals.
Small red flowers grow in summer. It will do well in full sun.
3. Aquatic Crow’s Nest (Ranunculus aquatilis)
The water pearl is an interesting plant because it has two different types of leaves. Underwater you will find pointed leaves while floating in the water with lobed and serrated leaves.
It has small flowers in May and does well in full sun.
4. Mint water (water mint)
Although it is an excellent oxygen-rich plant, water mint is also classified as a marginal plant because it grows best in shallow water.
The leaves are fragrant and clusters of pink flowers appear during the summer months. These attract pollinators. The plant grows both in the sun and in the shade.
5. Arrowhead (Sagittaria sagittifolia)
The arrowhead plant thrives in water between 10cm and 50cm deep. Named for the arrowhead-shaped leaves, it has white flowers that emerge in summer.
This is another plant that attracts dragonfly nymphs. One thing about this plant is that the deeper you plant it, the larger the leaves will be. It does best in deep water and can tolerate sun or partial shade.
You may also be interested in: How to Troubleshoot Your Arrowhead Factory
6) Water forget-me-nots (Myosotis scorpiodes)
You can use the aquatic forget-me-not in deep water or as a marginal oxygenator. It grows very well in moist soil and can even grow underwater.
It is appreciated by salamanders which lay their eggs on the leaves. This plant can be placed in both sun and shade and is very versatile.
7) Anacharis (Elodeadense)
Anacharis is a fast-growing, oxygen-rich plant that makes a good hiding place for fish. It is also a good food source for fish. Once you plant these plants, they take root quickly and grow upwards.
8) Red Ludwigia (Ludwigia Repens)
For that extra color in your natural pool, you should have one. The color is beautiful and the leaves turn dark red in full sun.
Once rooted, the red ludwigia will grow rapidly. It can grow in waters as deep as 2″, so it can be used as a marginal plant or a deep water plant.
How do I place oxygenating plants in my pond?
In most artificial ponds, there is a coating at the bottom that prevents plants from taking root.
It is important that you add, among other things, coarse sand and gravel. Even clay pebbles will work if the plants have something to root.
If you have stairs or shelves, you can put baskets in there to keep a few plants in the shallow ledges. The baskets allow the plants to be moved if necessary.
Make sure all your plants are in good quality water, ie hard, mineral-rich water. There must also be enough CO2.
Once your pond is ready, leave it for about 4 weeks to allow the micro-organisms to develop. A newly built game pond will not take this into account at first, so the CO2 supply is insufficient.
Ideally, your plants should be added to the pond during their growing season, between April and June.
How many oxygenating plants do you need for a pond?
The ideal is to plant 3 bouquets of oxygenated plants per square meter, so in a basin of 8 square meters it is necessary to plant 21 bouquets.
It’s also a good idea to plant several varieties for maximum diversity. Don’t be tempted to add topsoil to the pond, as this will only pollute the water.
Regular children’s litter will work well because it is inert. Washed gravel is also inert and works well.
Final Thoughts: What Are the Best Oxygen Plants for Small Natural Ponds?
If you’ve always thought that a small animal pond in your garden wouldn’t work, think again!
With a little preparation, you can have a truly magnificent habitat for many different creatures, as well as a beauty center even in a small garden.
Before you go, here are some more related articles that I encourage you to read below to help you solve more of your gardening problems:
Top 12 Outdoor Plants That Reduce Air Pollution
Top 10 Indoor Plants for Aquaponics
Top 5 small trees with non-invasive roots
What are the best carnivorous plants to reduce flies?