Do Garden pond plants need winter care and preparation?

I suggest that you prepare your garden pond plants for winter and benefit next spring.

Lessen the task of winter preparation of garden pond plants.

NOTE: This article was written for the northern hemisphere – remember this wherever dates are mentioned.

Water Lilies: any diseased or mottled leaves of retiring water lilies should be given a gentle tug to part them from the parent water lilies tuber before they sink to rot below.

Handling and treatment of different garden pond plants.

Floating garden pond plants like Water Lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) and Water Hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes) must be taken indoors and kept in light frost-free shade. Water Hyacinth can be potted up into a light, merely moist compost. Water Soldier (Stratiotes aloides) will sink to the bottom before the first frosts whereas Frogbit (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae ) and Water Chestnut (Trapa natans) form nuts or buds that sink to the bottom to rise again the following year to form plantlets. Unfortunately the Frogbit will fall prey to predatory snails and the Water Chestnut is unlikely to form nuts in our climate, so they need rescuing to a pan of muddy water in good time before the party is over, so they can do their thing in the warm protective ambience of a greenhouse or light shed.

Pioneering marginals of the garden pond plants world like Bog Bean (Menyanthes trifoliata), the Spearworts (Ranunculus flammula and R. lingua Grandiflora) and Parrots Feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum syn. proserpinacoides) that seem intent on investigating the outer reaches of their universe should be cut back to home base: show these garden pond plants what you’re made of. The same goes for those garden pond plants like Hell’s Angels of the pond margins, the Reed Maces ( Typha angustifolia and Typha latifolia), and any of those suspect ‘Reedy’, ‘Rushy’ looking garden pond plants things that don’t seem to do much, apart from grow. Feel around the baskets to see which plants have linked up in a firm vegetative bond. A bit of basket busting may be in order to sort them out. If the problem is not too bad, you can leave that little nightmare until spring.

Tender Marginals. Garden pond plants need to be removed wholesale. Canna lilies can be potted up and plunged into a bed in cold frames, otherwise keep these garden pond plants cool but frost free and dry along with all the other exotics you have been tempted buy over the last few months. Once upon a time Arum lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica ‘Crowborough’ ) and Lobelia cardinalis were treated with the same respect, but now our winters seem quite bearable to them. The more exotic looking yellow and spotty leafed Zantedeschia elliotiana , Z. pentlandii or the pink tinged Z. rehmannii should have been dried out since mid-July. Store these garden pond plants under greenhouse staging well above freezing. Bring them to life again in February.

Here are a few plants that will get you started:


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