In late Summer many pond plants have started to close down for Autumn but for others there is still time to divide to make more for next year.
The Sagittaria sagittifolia are no longer looking good enough to send out by mail order.
We have them on the Nursery but they are like a daffodil – once the plant has flowered the foliage dies back to help bulk up next years’ bulbils. If your Sagittaria leaf has gone yellow – don’t panic – there should be 3 or more bulbs in or near the basket that will give you next years show of arrowhead leaf and flowers. Locate them and push them back into the mud of the basket so they are ready for next year.
Butomus umbellatus has a habit of losing leaf early. Some of ours already have leaves with yellow or brown tips that have collapsed into the water. The leaf may have gone over but the plant is still good and will come back with fresh growth from the crown and roots next Spring. You can divide this now if you want – tip the plant mass out of its basket and divide the clump into more baskets to spread out the show. Do not just place the plant mass into a bigger basket as that will not reduce the amount of ‘squash’ in the old rootball.
Caltha palustris, Native Marsh Marigold and Caltha palustris var alba have gone dormant early as they will flower first in Spring. Many have few leaves on them at present and the British Native in particular can have grey powdery mildew. Leave them for now as it is too late in the season to work with these.
Alisma plantago-aquatica can suffer from brown spots on their leaves at this time of year after flowering. Cut these old leaves back and more will shortly appear. Now is the time to collect seed from Alisma and then cut off the seedheads, so too many do not fall and grow. The seedlings could overwhelm a small pond.
In the moist area, the candelabra Primula leaf is going yellow but you can cut these old leaves back and divide clumps of mature plants to spread them apart a bit further for a better show next year. If you have seed heads on these then collect the seed before you lift the plants for division. You can scatter that seed either on a prepared seed tray or in between the new clumps.
You can collect seed from the moist loving Ragged Robin and sow it now too.
To be aware what your pond plants will look like in Autumn please see our Tips and Advice page