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How To Plant Pond Plants

How To Plant Pond Plants

Is your pond not lifeless and you would like to know how to plant pond plants?

This blog will guide you through the right steps to plant pond flora effectively, ensuring a vibrant and balanced ecosystem in your water garden.

Get ready for a greener pond! 

Understanding Different Types of Pond Plants

Pond plants come in various types such as marginal plants, iris, oxygenators, and floating plants. Each type has specific needs for growth and placement.

A variety of pond plants in a natural setting.

Marginal Plants

Marginal plants live on the edges of your pond. They love shallow water and the soggy soil near ponds.

Bog plants are a type of marginal plant. If they grow less than 12 inches tall, use an 8 inch wide container for them.

This size is perfect for their roots to spread out and get comfy. Fertilize these plants well to help them grow strong and healthy.

Adjust the number of fertilizer tablets according to the specific needs of the plant and the nutrient content of the soil, generally ranging from 1 to 3 tablets for an 8-inch pot.

This gives them the nutrients they need without overdoing it. Happy marginal plants will make your pond look amazing.

Marginal plants add beauty and balance to your pond ecosystem.


Iris plants need special care in your pond. You should plant them at the edge, where water meets land.

This spot is best because their roots can spread out and grab nutrients while staying partly submerged.

Use a pot filled solely with aquatic potting soil, as adding compost can potentially harm pond water quality and aquatic life due to nutrient leaching.

Don't forget to mix in some slow-release fertilizer that's safe for fish if you have any in your pond.

Secure the iris in the pot by placing pea gravel on top of the soil. This keeps the soil from washing away but lets water flow through easily.

After planting, set the pot so that the top is just below the water level to ensure the crown of the plant remains submerged, which is essential for proper growth.

Next up, let’s look into oxygenators and how they keep your pond healthy.


Oxygenators play a key role in keeping your pond healthy.

Plant these water-cleansing plants in an 8-inch pot, adjusting the amount of aquatic planting mix according to the size of the plant and pot.

Make sure to bury half of each stem into the soil so they can grow well.

These plants, such as Myriophyllum Aquaticum and Parrot’s Feather, are vital for oxygenating the water and controlling algae, thereby supporting fish health and water clarity.

For planting oxygenators, use a blend specifically designed for aquatic plants, avoiding regular garden topsoil, which may contain contaminants and nutrients that could harm the pond ecosystem.

This ensures that harmful substances do not leach into your pond water.

Good soil helps these underwater plants root firmly and spread out their stems for maximum efficiency in oxygen production.

Remember to position them at different depths to cater to various types of aquatic life in your pond.

Floating Plants

After covering oxygenators, we move onto floating plants.

These plants provide an easy way to add beauty and balance to your pond without the extra work of potting. You simply place them on the water's surface.

Floating varieties like water lettuce and free-floating species provide effortless beauty, while rooted plants like water lilies require specific soil conditions in submerged pots.

Water lettuce floats on the surface, with roots suspended in the water, directly absorbing nutrients.

This not only helps purify the water but also provides a sheltered area for fish, contributing to a healthier pond ecosystem.

Water lilies, with their leaves spread across the surface, provide shade that helps reduce algae growth.

Both types bring life and color to ponds with minimal effort.

Preparing for Planting

Preparing the soil is crucial for successful planting. Read on to learn more about this important step.

A photo of fertile soil being tilled in a vibrant garden scene.

Choosing the Right Pot

When potting aquatic plants, it's crucial to select the appropriate container size.

For instance, water lilies thrive in large pots ranging from 15" to 24" across, with a capacity of at least 27 liters of soil per lily.

Similarly, various lotus varieties require different pot sizes, typically between 12" and 48" in diameter. 

These pots provide ample space for the tubers and aid in the optimal growth of these aquatic plants.

To emphasize further on pot selection - choosing a larger container is essential not only for stability but also to prevent overcrowding and offer enough room for growth. It supports the rhizomes' development as they expand within the soil.

Preparing the Soil

To prepare the soil for pond plants, use a heavy mixture of 30% Calcined Clay, 40% Topsoil, and 30% Sand.

This creates an ideal growing environment for aquatic plants.

Additionally, consider fertilizing every two weeks with 4-6 fertilizer tablets until mid to late August to provide essential nutrients for healthy plant growth.

When potting the soil, ensure it is well-draining and rich in nutrients to support the development of pond plants.

Use granular or organic fertilizer as per your preference to enrich the soil and promote robust plant growth.

How to Plant Aquatic Plants

Plant aquatic plants by carefully transplanting potted plants, potting a water lily, and placing marginals without potting.

For more detailed instructions, dive into the full blog post.

A display of healthy pond plants in a natural pond setting.

Transplanting Potted Plants

When transplanting potted aquatic plants, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a pot that matches the size of the plant's rhizome or roots.
  2. Fill the pot with a suitable aquatic planting medium, such as loam or clay soil.
  3. Add granular fertilizer to the soil to provide essential nutrients for the plant's growth.
  4. Gently place the plant in the prepared pot and cover its roots with additional planting medium.
  5. Ensure the crown of the plant is just above the level of the soil to prevent leaching of fertilizer from heavy rains or overflow.
  6. Submerge the potted plant in water at an appropriate depth based on its type (marginal, deep - water, or floating).

Remember, thoughtful consideration during this process is crucial for healthy and vibrant pond plants.

Potting a Water Lily

To pot a water lily, follow these steps:

  1. Select a wide, shallow container for the water lily.
  2. Fill the container with heavy clay loam soil and a layer of gravel on top.
  3. Place the water lily rhizome at an angle in the soil, ensuring the growing tip points upward.
  4. Cover the rhizome with more soil and gently press it down.
  5. Add a layer of pea gravel on top to prevent soil from clouding the water.

The result will be a well-potted water lily ready to thrive in your pond!

Placing Marginals Without Potting

When placing marginal pond plants without potting, follow these steps:

  1. Identify suitable locations based on light exposure and water depth.
  2. Gently remove excess soil from the plant roots to prevent nutrient overloading.
  3. Position the plants in the designated areas, allowing them to absorb nutrients naturally.

Ensure adequate fertilization for healthy growth.

Avoid overcrowding to maintain a balanced ecosystem.

Monitor the plants regularly for any signs of stress or nutrient deficiencies.

Tips for Proper Plant Placement

Position water lilies centrally in your pond, spacing them about 5-6 feet apart.

Start by planting them at a shallow depth of 6 inches, and as they mature, gradually relocate them to deeper areas.

A serene pond with Lotus tubers and water lilies at varying depths.

For lotus tubers, plant them shallow with 1 to 3 inches of water for small varieties and no more than 6 inches from the water's surface for large varieties.

Follow these placement tips to ensure optimal growth and health for your pond plants.


What kind of soil should I use for pond plants?

Use special potting soils designed for pond plants to help them grow strong and healthy.

Can I move my pond plant to a new spot?

Yes, you can transplant your pond plant to a new location in or around your pond. Just be gentle when moving it.

How do I make more pond plants from the ones I have?

You can create more plants by taking cuttings from existing ones and planting them carefully in the right soil.

Should I add anything to the soil for better growth?

Adding a suitable fertilizer made for water plants will give your pond plants extra nutrients they need to flourish.


Knowing how to plant pond plants is essential for maintaining a balanced water garden ecosystem.

Understanding the different types of pond plants and proper planting techniques are crucial for their survival.

With the right preparation and placement, your aquatic plants can thrive and enhance the beauty of your pond.

Ensure you select appropriate containers and soil mixes, follow specific planting instructions for each plant type, and pay attention to proper fertilization methods.

By taking these steps into consideration, you can create a thriving pond filled with healthy and vibrant aquatic plants.

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