You can see the colours of Autumn in the foliage of some pond plants now – just as clearly as you can in the leaves of many trees.
Potentilla palustris has red and orange tints to the leaves and Anemopsis californica leaves go yellow as they go over. Many grasses and reeds like Typha lugdunensis go an attractive pale brown while other pond plants die back almost immediately a cold snap occurs. Butomus umbellatus foliage looks dead and uninviting but can easily be pulled away from the rhizomes by hand. The plant will regrow next Spring.
We have created a page of images in Tips and Advice so you can see how our plants are looking at the moment. Do not panic that the dead, brown leaves are unusual or mean a pond plant has died.
We have outlined, too, what to do with many different pond plants when you start your Autumn maintenance including waterlilies that may already have yellowing or dark brown leaves floating on the water surface.
Most pond plants need all their foliage removing to a few inches above water level so that it will not fall into the water to decompose – the exceptions are Cyperus involucratus, Eriophorum angustifolium, Equisetum scirpoides, Hesperantha coccinea (which may still be flowering).
Decomposing should happen on the compost heap not at the bottom of the pond!