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Choosing the Best Pond Plants for Your Koi Pond
Planting a koi pond is a challenge that offers great rewards. Not only will the flowers and foliage of the koi pond plants look attractive, but a diverse plant life will help to achieve a healthy balance of nature as insects, frogs and the koi fish flourish together alongside the vegetation.
You may find some plants together with your normal fish pond supplies, otherwise you will need to visit your local nursery and see what they have to offer in the way of suitable plants.
In the general scheme of things there are many plants that are suitable for koi ponds, some of which will grow in the water, some that will float, and others that will take root in the silt or mud on the floor of your pond. Suitable koi pond plants may be categorized as:
- bog or marsh plants
- marginal plants
- aquatic plants
- floating plants
Unfortunately many water plant species are invasive in hot climates and they are therefore considered to be invaders. So check with your local forestry or water authorities and try, wherever possible, to plant whatever is indigenous to your own region.
Typical marsh-loving plants thrive on moisture and they will do particularly well on the banks of an informal koi pond. Some examples include ferns, irises and lilies. See what you can find.
Marginal plans normally grow in shallow water, so they do well in the shallows of a pond, or on shelves that have been created for planting.
Water-loving grasses, reeds, rushes and various sedges will all establish themselves quite easily within a koi pond, but you need to be sure they won’t take over the entire area. There is a huge choice, so be selective.
There are also many leafy marginal plants, some of which will flower. These include plants like water mint, water forget-me-nots, monkey flowers, water poppies, aquatic irises and many other species.
Deep-water aquatics live with their roots submerged in the water while their leaves and flowers soar heavenward. Like floating plants, they help to keep the water cool and clear by minimizing the amount of sunlight that gets to the water, thus preventing algae from flourishing.
There are quite a few aquatic plants including the yellow fringed water lily, the impressive Japanese lotus plant and of course, the good, old faithful water lily.
Water lilies are undoubtedly one of the most beautiful aquatic plants, many of which grow on the base of the pond or in natural crevices or containers below the surface of the water, sprouting leaves and flowers above the surface. Here you just need to be aware that koi often eat from the base of the pond and so might nibble away at the roots of lilies, in which case the lilies may not survive.
Floating plants do have roots, but these don’t need soil or silt to feed them or anchor them. Sadly some of the prettiest floating water plants are banned in the U.S., including water lettuce and water hyacinth with its beautiful, pale lavender flowers. Just keep reminding yourself what a nuisance these plants have become.
Oxygenators are the plants that help to maintain the balance of nature within the water itself. They are submerged beneath the surface of the water and not only provide food for koi, but also give them a really good place to spawn.