Planting a pond

Planting your pond 1   2   3   4   5   6  

For planting a pond use a combination of shelf pond plants, submerged oxygenating plants & waterlilies to create a healthy pond environment.

How many plants do I need for my pond?

  • Shelf pond plants grow in the water at the outside edge of the pond.
  • Use a minimum of 3x 11cm or 3x 9cm aquatic baskets of marginal shelf pond plants per metre length on a marginal pond shelf.
  • Use more plants if the shelf is wider than 30cm(12″) or if you want a fuller look quickly.
  • Choose a selection of both upright marginal plants (sent in 11cm baskets) and horizontal growing rafting plants (sent in 9cm baskets) to give a balance for both wildlife and water quality.
  • Select two portions of submerged oxygenating plants per square metre of pond surface area.
  • Choose a waterlily or waterlilies of a size to give your pond at least 50%  coverage in 3 years. Use the spread details on the description page of each waterlily variety.
  • If you are unsure what to order please look at our Prepared Planting Scheme 'Starter Kits'.

When can I purchase pond plants?

  • Purchase and transfer our rooted plants to your pond any time throughout the year unless it is covered in ice.
  • They will sit as happily in your pond as they would if they were still on the Nursery.
  • Plants purchased in Winter or early season may be dormant when placed in your pond.
  • They are ready to grow as soon as the weather in your area encourages them.

Why we send out our plants ready-rooted:

  • To make planting a pond easier for you.
  • Our marginal shelf plants & waterlilies are already rooted in aquatic compost in mesh baskets to place straight into your pond when they arrive.
  • You do not need to purchase any baskets or compost.
  • No need to worry that pieces of plant might 'float up' when you lower the basket into position in the pond as they are already rooted through the mesh holes.
  • No need for gravel on the tops of our baskets. Only use stones on top of the baskets when there are large fish in the pond.
  • Lower the basket slowly into the pond on a slant - one rim first. Not base down. You will not disturb the soil in the basket this way.

Sent unpotted:

  • Oxygenating plants are sent bare-rooted & do not require to be potted as they are best left to float freely in water.
  • Hornwort is delivered unbunched and unweighted.
  • Others are delivered bunched & weighted to help them sink - leave the weights in place.
  • Typical looking 11cm and 9cm basket marginal shelf plants ready for mail order dispatch (dependent on dispatch season).
  • We have to cut down the plant growth in mid-late season to allow plants to fit into a box for dispatch.

How do I plant to make my pond look natural?

  • Place the aquatic pond plants on the shelves in their baskets in groups, not as individual baskets.
  • Soften an upright plant with a rafting aquatic plant growing around it. But make sure each is placed in the correct depth of water according to its individual plant label.
  • Make the planting groups look natural in an informal pond by using the full width of the planting shelf.
  • Stagger the plants where possible rather than lining them around the outside edge.

Use a mesh contour or large square basket to help plant in groups on your pond shelf:

Tall plants in a lined pond will often blow over as they get taller from an 11cm basket.

  • Add 3x 11cm baskets to one Contour basket or 4x 11cm to a 28cm square basket.
  • Fill all the surrounding space within the larger basket with gravel.
  • This will weigh down the group and the smaller baskets will stand upright in the heavy larger surround.
  • 3 or 4 plants will make a bigger scale clump quicker than 3 individually placed baskets.

Use a larger basket to raise a group of plants up from a deep shelf in a pond:

  • Add gravel to the base of the larger basket before adding the individual plant baskets.
  • Vary the depth of the gravel in the contour to raise plants to the the depth required on the plant ticket
  • Fill in the gaps between the baskets with more gravel.

In a clay lined pond you will not need to group in large baskets as you can push the individual small baskets into the clay side close together.

Other methods of planting a pond:

1. Use a floating island basket for a pond with no shelves.

  • Leave it free to float wherever the wind takes it.
  • Tie the floating island basket back to the pond side to keep it in an area.
  • Do not overfill the floating island as too much weight can sink them. Plant up using plants from 13-15cm13-15cm shelf depth or Wet Mud wet mud.
  • Floating islands are not suitable for waterlilies.

2. Use an Overgrowing Mat for steep edges or ponds with no shelves:

  • Fix an Overgrowing Mat over the edge of the pond from above the water line with the metal pegs supplied so the fabric hangs into the water.
  • Drop plant baskets into the pockets sewn into the mat at different depths.

3. Use a Pond Planting Sock for a very shallow depth of water so that the basket tops do not show above the water:

  • Woven fabric tube with one open side open but joined with 4 poppers making sections
  • Plant by taking rootball of plant out of basket and planting into gravel or soil within the tube.
  • Suggested shelf pond plants:  13-15cm13-15cm shelf depth