Pond plants in Spring will grow below the water surface
If we have a warm sunny day and see the daffodils out it is easy to think that Spring has arrived and that the pond should be leaping into Spring mode too.
Pond plants are slower to respond to Spring warmth than other plants because the water around them remains cold for longer. They will grow when the water warms – they have not died over winter if they have been at the correct depth of water.
We have photographed some of our plants in the Nursery in mid March so that you can see how much growth can be expected on pond plants when the water is still cold.
Alisma plantago aquatica is just sending out new leaf stems that are about 3″ long and still below the water surface, Anemopsis californica has new leaf growth in red that stands about 3″ tall at this time. Butomus umbellatus shoots are smaller and just showing tips above the soil level but still below water level and Caltha palustris is showing leaves and some are starting to form buds down in the base of the plant near the soil level but their height is no more than a couple of inches.
Different varieties of Iris develop at different rates but versicolor already have the fan shape of leaf growth in place and about 2″ of height, Iris pseudacorus may have less of a fan of growth but more height on each leaf showing (about 3-4″).
Lythrum salicaria will only be showing the red bud shoots of new basal growth coming from last years old stems at soil level and no leaf or stem growth yet. Mentha aquatica and Myosotis scorpioides are both regenerating from the old stems of last years growth and should have reached the water surface and be rafting outwards soon. On the Mentha aquatica photo you can clearly see the old black stems we left on the plant last Autumn where the new growth is shooting from with leaves about 1/4″ wide at present. The stems will not be more than a couple of inches long at this stage.
The Rorippa nasturtium aquaticum is the fastest growing plant we photographed and is looking more prolific already. Its trailing stems are about 2″ long and starting to grow side shoots too out across the water surface. When you place this plant just below water level you will see a huge response in just a few days as it grows out from the basket.
When the water warms all these plants will put on growth very quickly as they have all the water and nutrient they could possibly want to respond fast to the sunshine.
For waterlily photos at this stage of the year please go to Your waterlilies in Spring page.