Chelsea Gold Medal winners for Auatic Plants 2010-2014
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Pond plants

Pond plants are sent ready potted in a mesh basket and rooted into aquatic soil

Shelf plants are marked with <p>Suitable for shelf depth 0-13cm (0-5”) below water surface</p> , <p>Suitable for shelf depth 14-22cm (approx 6-9”) below water surface</p>  or <p>Suitable for shelf depth 23-44cm (approx 10-17”) below water surface</p> - hover over/touch the symbol to see each plants shelf requirement.

You do not need to purchase a basket or compost or worry that bareroot pieces will 'float up' when you lower our plants into position in the pond as they are all ready rooted. Shelf plants can be vertically emergent or horizontally rafting across the water surface.

Water depth is vital to pond plants. Too deep and one variety will not thrive. Too shallow and some varieties will not receive the frost/ice protection over their crowns that they require and would receive from deeper water. Before you build a pond you should take into account the depths of water preferred by different marginal pond plants and ensure you create the right depth shelving into your pond construction. See the Build a Pond section on the Tips and Advice pages for more information.

Planting depth measurements given for each plant are from the top of the basket to the water surface level. We have divided the plants shown on these pages into shelf <p>Suitable for shelf depth 0-13cm (0-5”) below water surface</p>,<p>Suitable for shelf depth 14-22cm (approx 6-9”) below water surface</p>, <p>Suitable for shelf depth 23-44cm (approx 10-17”) below water surface</p> according to the depth of shelf they are likely to require. You need to take into account the depth of the basket to calculate how deep the pond plant will be in the water when placed on a particular depth shelf. Basket heights: (9cm = 3i/2", 1 litre/11cm = 41/2" and 2 litre/15cm = 6") tall.

Potted aquatic pond plants will quickly add foliage, colour and habitats for wildlife to the edge of the pond area. Shelf pond plants can be decorative, creating the mood of the pond. A formal setting can be created by planting one large basket in each corner of a regular shaped pond. In a more informal, natural look, however, the plants are grouped together in mixtures of shapes and textures as in nature. These aquatic plants in the pond look better in groups than in single baskets placed in lines. Aquatic pond plants help to develop the setting that allows the clear reflective water and flowering waterlilies to show inside this frame, while creating habitats for the wildlife which visit the pond.

As a guidance we recommend a minimum number of shelf plants as 3 x 1 litre baskets per metre length on a pond shelf, with more if the shelf is wide or if a full look is required quickly.

Many pond plants appreciate sunshine and will benefit from feeding with a pond plant fertilizer if they have been in your pond for a while (see Pond products)

To find a pond plant suitable for your existing pond you can use our Advanced Search or Sort by shelf depth on these pages. Please note that some plants can handle a variety of shelf depths and only the shallowest depth is shown on the category page. All potential shelf depths are shown on the More Information page for each plant with all its details.

If you have taken over a pond with no shelves in its construction but wish to plant marginal pond plants, you will either need to create a shelf system with bricks or plant into our floating planting baskets that float on the water surface using a black coloured floating ring around a central planting bag.

If you are planting a new pond you also need to consider the different ares of the pond. There are oxygenating plants which grow under the water and rafting plants or water lilies for the water surface. Along with the marginal shelf pond plants, these will create a well balanced pond that will not look green or cloudy.

Read more about Pond plants