Alys Fowler writes about oxygenating plants

Alys Fowler writes about oxygenating plants

Copyright: The Guardian

‘Oxygenating plants help keep pond water clear of algae and provide wildlife with shelter’

To precis her article available above:

Oxygen equals life, and life in the right balance means a low-maintenance pond. Too little oxygen results in a stagnant puddle. One way of adding oxygen is a pump, but life is short and oil is scarce, even if we can’t quite believe it.

The other choice is to use plants. Waterlilies release oxygen through their roots into the pond’s soil. Submerged plants, aka oxygenators, float just below the surface and usually only their flowers emerge above the water. They also help to keep the water clear of algae and provide wildlife with shelter.

The classic examples are spiked milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum), which turns a lovely bronze colour as summer progresses.  Or our native hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum) floats in summer and sinks in winter, where it takes root, thus doing a good job in both places.

Water solider (Stratiotes aloides) is a lovely addition if you have space. Each plant spans around 20cm and looks like a pineapple head. Like hornwort, it floats around during summer and sinks in winter.

For oxygenators to work, there has to be the right number of plants. Those that want to be anchored in soil should be planted no more than 90cm deep in sun or part-shade. Floaters choose their own home, but if you are buying 9cm pots or bunches of floaters, aim for two plants for every square metre. 

We loved this timely article today which clearly sides with the use of Native British oxygenating plants in a pond and we have linked to the plants that we have available for sale at present.

Keep pond water oxygen levels up throughout Winter months so don't thin out your stocks now but wait for Spring weather.

Thanks for this Alys.