Floating Pond Plants
Two good floating plants for koi ponds are the water hyacinth and the jumbo water hyacinth; they tend to grow very fast and are very good at cleaning up ponds.
The water hyacinth is a popular plant that has the appearance of a purple or blue orchid on a single stem with glossy leaves and long stringy roots, when in bloom they are very fragrant, they float on top of the pond and help to filter the water, this helps keeps the pond clear.
Because of the nature of their roots they do a good job of protecting fish eggs and spawn.The roots tend to tangle up quite a lot so now and again pull some of the roots apart; this helps them grow stronger and better.
The jumbo water hyacinth has all the same qualities as the water hyacinth but a lot bigger, these also float on top of the pond and gives a lot of shade; just one plant is about a foot wide. When putting then in a pond its best to put them in the shade to acclimatize before moving them into the sunlight.
They are natural feeders using the nutrients in the pond; they also put a lot back by way of oxygen and keeping the pond clean.
The koi tend to nibble at the roots so it would be a good idea to keeps some higher up in a pond box, you can then replace the ones that are being pulled apart by the koi.
The frogbit is a small floating plant that looks like a small water lily and is more appropriate for still water ponds, and is very helpful in removing nitrates from the pond. Their colours are white with a light yellow centre which tends to bloom in July and August.
They will take root wherever possible and spread quite quickly, it will require thinning out from time to time
The sensitive plant has large thin leaves which are good for shade in ponds that have a lot of sunlight exposure. It can be planted in soil or just floated on the water; it grows at a very fast rate.
When august comes around the flower appears looking like a yellow sweet pea. At night the narrow leaves fold up as its name suggests.
A pond or water garden is a must for Parrots feather or red stemmed parrots feather. As the name suggests the parrotís feather looks feathery and has a silvery look in the shade and light green in the sunlight.
It gives the appearance of fir trees growing out of the pond and looks very decorative.
The red stemmed version is smaller and has a red/blue stem which enhances its colour in the sunlight; it puts a lot of oxygen into pond water which helps keep it clean and healthy.
When trying to breed fish, the roots provide a great place for eggs to cling too; if successful it provides a good place for the young to hide.
Not like the water hyacinth, koi tend to leave the roots alone and are less vulnerable to damage.
Parrots feather and the red stemmed version are a very hardy plant and will take root in pots, waterfalls or even rock crevices.
The water lettuce has spongy green leaves and floats freely on top of the pond; it can grow very quickly in the sunlight but prefers partially shaded areas. Itís a good idea to thin it out from time to time before it starts to cover the whole pond and cause the oxygen to deplete.
The part of the plant below the water line is a habitat for many invertebrates which are used by fish to nibble at and also other wild life living in the pond.†
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