Waterlilies are the favourite surface cover plants for a pond because of their colourful flowers in Summer. They are available in sizes ranging from miniature (the whole plant the size of a dinner plate for a small pond or container pond) through to large waterlilies for larger ponds that have a single leaf that could be the size of that dinner plate. Each size of waterlily will grow in a different depth of water so make sure you take this into account when choosing which variety you want.
The aim is to cover half to two thirds of the pond surface in the height of summer with plant growth to keep the water cool and shaded below the surface to avoid greenwater algae. Choose the size of waterlily that will achieve this spread in about 3 years.
Waterlilies will benefit from the addition of feed tabs at this time of year into the compost of the basket to give their flowering a boost.
But there are other choices for plants to add shade and interest to the water surface. For details on surface cover options please see our Tips and Advice page.
The British Native – Frogbit for small ponds and Water Soldiers for larger ponds have completed their journey from the safety of their overwintering position at the bottom of the pond. As the weather has warmed so the water temperature has risen and they can now be seen on the top of a pond. Water Soldiers looking like a spiky pineapple head and Frogbit as a small leaf on the surface. Frogbit could be used in a container pond too as each leaf is only about an inch in diameter.
Both Frogbit and Water Soldiers have recently become available to purchase again now.