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Lotus, water lilies, reeds, water hyacinths ... These pond plants give a little extra magic to the garden. Whether floating, submerged or edging, upholstered, vertical or oxygenating, combine them to create a harmonious atmosphere in your aquatic garden. No garden pond without suitable plants: they naturally love humid environments, and even have submerged roots. Among the hundred varieties existing and available for sale, you will have to choose according to your aesthetic preferences of course, and according to their adaptation to the region of implantation and the size and depth of the basin.
Pond plants: easy plants
Most pond plants grow everywhere, and bloom generously in spring and summer ... If you take certain precautions when creating the pond: it must indeed be deep enough (minimum 45 cm at the edge and 80 cm in the center) , and spacious to allow good oxygenation of plants. Plant them (or immerse them, rather!) Between the end of April and the end of September so that they can immediately feel good with their feet in the water, at the right temperature for their development. They will then offer you their full expansion from May to July - and some will even bloom in autumn like the schizostylis, the gladioli of the marshes. Let yourself be carried away by the flood of varieties and choose a bouquet from each category below… On the maintenance side, just trim the damaged parts (because too many rotting plants can unbalance the ecosystem of the body of water) , give them a light supply of fertilizer in the spring (light so as not to pollute the water!) and divide them every 3 to 4 years if their growth is not too rapid.
Water lilies and lotuses: the stars of the basin, on the surface!
The water lily is the pond plant that comes to mind first. With about twenty varieties, this rustic plant flowers in white, pink, different shades of red and yellow ... There are even blue ones but they are exotic which are not suitable for our climates. A simple above-ground basin 20 cm deep can suit him, for a staging in a small space! However, the roots of the water lily can be very long. Its requirements: sun in high doses and calm water without backwash. Another must in the basin: the lotus. It flowers in pink, white and yellow, grows especially in the south of France and therefore needs a lot of light… and fertilizer! It does not freeze properly (it can spend the winter outside in the south of France) but needs a lot of sun in the spring. A tip for its good growth: if you cut the dried stems in the fall, do it above the water and not below, to prevent them from freezing and therefore withering away.
Floating, elegant plants ...
If the water lilies and lotuses remain on the surface of the water while anchoring in the basin with their long roots, the hyacinths and water lettuces are floating plants without attachment in the ground of the basin, which sail according to the current. Appreciated for their poetic effect on the surface of the water and for their decorative advantage, they are ultra easy to install: just place them on the basin, and let them develop and bloom! These annual plants do not flower but play an important role in the balance of the basin by helping to remove nitrates and phosphates from the water. Frost, they must be wintered in a tropical greenhouse - therefore reserved for enthusiasts and connoisseurs. There are also other floating plants of the fern family such as the salvinia, or even the tiny duckweeds, these perennials that literally cover the surface (their growth is very fast) and offer a green carpet rendering of a great finesse. Superb but beware, they can be very invasive and even represent real water pollution! Finally, we also like the plant called stratiotes aloïdes, an amazing semi-floating that flows in winter and rises to the surface in spring.
Bordering, framing plants
They enjoy themselves on the banks of the basin which they consolidate, and we recognize them, for the most part, by their vertical shape, erect towards the sun, unlike surface plants. Papyrus, equisetum, water iris (there is a whole range!), Horsetail, rush, miscanthus, lily, forget-me-not, typha, aquatic mint and of course reed (rather for large basins) are the most border plants known. Not all of them flower, but they can be variegated, like the Acorus calamus variegatus. These elongated plants, which can grow up to 1.20 m in height (and even exceptionally 3 m like Thalia dealbata), are hardy and allow to consolidate and structure the basin. Planting is possible in the ground in the basin, but most specialists recommend the basket method with special soil for aquatic plants (this allows controlled fertilizer supply) or with pozzolana.
Submerged plants, central
Like fish in water in shallow areas (-10 cm approximately), moderately deep (-45 cm approximately) or even deep (-80 cm and more, but this is the case with rare plants), plants submerged areas create shadows in the heart of the basin and participate in the life of the body of water by providing shelter for insects and small fish. Choose them according to their preference for cold water or tropical water. The aponogeton, the nymphoids, the potamogeton are the flagship submerged plants. On the other hand, be careful with the milfoil, the waterweed and the crassula which are very invasive plants and can colonize watercourses…
And at home, which pond plants to choose?
Perhaps they will border your natural swimming pool or your Koï fish pond? As with any garden creation, think in advance of the color ranges that you want to budding in the spring, what effects you want to create between the spreading or upright habit species ... and be patient! Because some plants can take up to 4 years to reveal all their beauty and luxuriance, such as Lys crinum americanum, yellow or white. Finally, note that some florists find pretty compositions of vases with aquatic hyacinths for example. It is then a beautiful gift for a gardener creating his pond precisely, or simply to decorate a festive table - but these plants are ephemeral indoors.
Thanks : - to Francis Deschamps of www.lesjardinsaquatiques.fr, - Christine Verneuil of www.santonine.fr.