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Water Garden Planting & Care Instructions

Pond plants are essential for your water garden. Floating pond plants, Submerged pond plants, water lilies and bog plants are all essential in creating a balanced ecosystem in your pond. Refer to the instructions below for help in growing the plants we sell. Happy Water Gardening!
IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS FOR PLANTS UPON ARRIVAL 
When you first receive your new plants, they may seem a bit dehydrated, having used their stored moisture during shipping. Remove the plants from the bag immediately, float the plants in a shady area of the pond or put them in trays of pond water in the shade. Keeping the plants wet and in the shade will help them replenish moisture and adjust to the sun, wind and outdoor temperatures. Use buckets of pond water on the shady side of your home to acclimate plants over 2-3 days before going into full sun. KEEP STEMS AND UNDERSIDES OF THE LILY PADS IN WATER!

FLOATING POND PLANTS: Floating plants are simple. Water Hyacinths, Water Lettuce, Azolla and other floating plants, must be floated in a shaded area for two days to allow them to re-hydrate before putting them in direct sun. Bunched Plants keep stems submerged, they will develop roots and can be planted or anchored. For vigorous fast growth and more flowers on snowflakes, sensitive plant, water poppy and similar plants, they can be planted. Just a quart size container of soil in 3" to 8" of water, with floating plants getting extra nutrients makes them go crazy with growth and flowers.

SUBMERGED PLANTS: Submerged plants should be placed in the pond immediately upon receiving them. They may be planted in a plant basket of very small 1/8” pea gravel, no larger. When using weights, simply wrap the anchor around the base of the bunched plants and toss them into the pond. Submerged plants Anacharis, Cabomba, Vallisneria and Hornwort can be submerged to a depth of 1-4 feet. Submerged plants that are emergent, (Bacopa, Ludwigia, Mermaid, etc.) should be no deeper than 4-24 inches.

PLANTING HARDY WATER LILIES - See picture below - Hardy water lilies have a starchy/almost wood like rhizome that grows out in one direction. There will be new growth at the end of the rhizome, this is referred to as the crown. Place the tuber at a 45 degree angle with the non-growing end against the side of the container. Add 4 fertilizer tablets. Lilies are heavy feeders and should be fertilized every 2 weeks from the first month of your growing season until September 1st. Press the soil around the roots being careful not to cover the crown of the plant. It is better to plant lilies shallow 6 to 20 inches from the root to the surface, than to plant them too deep. DO NOT COVER THE PLANT WITH STONES OR GRAVEL. Large varieties can go as deep as 40” once established. When placing lilies in the pond, keep them away from waterfalls and fountains as they prefer still water. In a natural earth pond, place them in the side of the slope, 1-2 feet deep and keep the crown exposed to the sun. Lilies do not grow with koi in nature, establish these young tender plants in a separate area before adding to ponds with large koi.

   

 

PLANTING TROPICAL WATER LILIES: - See picture below - Annual Water Lilies prefer the crown 6” to 28” below the water surface in as much sun as possible. Make a mound of mud in the middle of the pot and around the sides of the mound push 4-6 fertilizer tablets into the mud. Tropical water lilies should be fertilized every two weeks throughout the growing season for best performance, use 4-6 tablets. Place the lily in the middle of the pot and let the roots go down over the mound. Add mud to about 1" below the crown of the plant. Be careful to not cover the crown. DO NOT COVER THE PLANT WITH STONES. If the new leaves are smaller than the old leaves, it does not have enough food which will cause it to tuber and go dormant. Fertilize more if you notice that occurring. Place potted water lilies away from waterfalls and fountains. Lilies do not grow with Koi in nature, establish these young tender plants in a separate area before adding to ponds with large fish or Koi.

 
  

PLANTING BOG MARGINAL POND PLANTS - See picture below - 

Plant bog plants as you would tropical water lilies, again making sure you don't cover the crown of the plant. The bog plants are shipped in 2" net pots or bare-root. If in a net pot, using a pair of scissors, carefully cut the net pot away and gently remove the plant, saving as many roots as possible. Place the plants in a shady area for them to adjust to the sun, wind and outdoor environment. Most, but not all bog plants, we consider having WET feet, but DRY ankles. Bog Plants after being planted in their new pots prefer moist soil until established and should only be in water deep enough to keep the soil moist. Basically, roots in the water, foliage out of the water. Once they are established and growing heartily, the water above the top of the pot can be as deep as 1/2" to 3" depending on the size and variety of the plant. DO NOT PLANT IN GRAVEL OR COVER THE SOIL WITH ROCKS. There are mid-level bog plants which prefer deeper water such as Sweetflag, Thalia & Pickerel.


 

 

PLANTING CONTAINERS & PLANTING MEDIA
The soil that you use can be from your flower or vegetable garden. Heavy soil with some clay is good to use. Stay away from commercial potting soils, as they are too light and will float out of the container. If you do not have soil available, Calcined Clay is a great alternative to soil for planting your pond plants, but does need some soil and sand mixed with it for the fertilizer to adhere to.

The soil that you use can be from your flower or vegetable garden. Heavy soil with some clay is good to use. Stay away from potting soils, as they are too light and will float out of the container. If you do not have soil available, Calcined Clay is a great alternative to soil for planting your pond plants. A 30% mixture of Calcined Clay, 40% Topsoil & 30% Sand works best for pond plants. We carry planting containers and fish safe fertilizer for you to plant your water plants or you can use any container that you already have, if it is the recommended size for the plant. If the pots have holes in them, line the bottom of the container with burlap, newspaper or other heavy fibered material. Bog plants that grow less than 12” tall are fine in 8” wide containers. Bog plants that grow tall, should be planted in wide, deep containers so they do not blow over. Water Lilies and lotus perform best if they have more room, so a shallow 12” or wider container is recommended. To prepare the soil, mix the soil with water from the pond to make a nice thick mud. Fill the pot that you have chosen to about 2" from the top with your mud mix. Newly potted plants can be placed at shallow depths until they become established, so they do not float up before they are well rooted. DO NOT COVER THE SOIL WITH ROCKS, THIS WILL PREVENT A YOUNG PLANT FROM GROWING WELL

Microbe-Lift Planting Media is Calcined Clay. We sell it in our store.

We carry planting containers, baskets and fertilizer for you to plant your water plants or you can use any container that you may already have, as long as it is the recommended size for the plant. If the pots have holes in them, line the bottom of the container with burlap, newspaper or some other heavy fiber material. Most bog plants will grow well in 1 to 2 gallon pots. Water Lilies and lotus perform best if they have more room, so a 2 to 5 gallon container is recommended. Small kitty litter trays make great in-expensive planting containers for water lilies and lotus.

To prepare the soil, mix the soil with water from the pond to make a nice thick mud. Then fill the pot that you have chosen to about 2" from the top with your mud mix. Newly potted plants can be placed at shallow depths until they become established.

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