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Planting Aquatic Plants in your Garden Pond. 

Aquatic Plants are normally sunk into the pond in basket containers - normally plastic. In theory, this allows the pond gardener to easily lift the plants for re-positioning or other cultural activities - such as plant propagation or simply dividing overgrown pond plants.

The reality is often different, as the mature plants take advantage of the holes in the mesh containers and spread their roots far and wide. Nonetheless, basket planting is still the best way that we know of for planting aquatics in small to medium size ponds.

Do not use any form of metal baskets. Wooden baskets can be used if you are 100% certain that is harbours no disease or harmful 'preservative' chemicals. Far better stick with plastic baskets for your pond planting - easier to clean, and do not normally rot.

Before planting any pond plants - and in particular water lilies (Nymphaea) Take off any dead or damaged leaves, and any visible damaged roots portions.

  • Firstly line the basket container with sacking or corrugated card. This will prevent any initial spillage of compost as you position the plant, and also help to retain the compost in the container once in the pond. After a while, the compost will solidify in the submerged container and the small amount of spillage will be no problem. May even be desirable to ahve a little bit of soil at the bottom of the pond - just like real nature!
  • The basket should be filled about halfway with aquatic compost after lining - ready to position and plant your aquatic plant. At this time, it is a good idea to trim off any surplus sacking or other lining.
  • Position the plant in the centre of the basket - holding it by its stem and not by the roots. The roots can easily become damaged if handled. Ad further compost and gently firm until the soil/compost is within an inch or so (25-50mm) from the top of the basket.
  • Top up the compost with medium sized pebbles, rather than shingle. This will stop all but the largest bottom feeding fish from throwing your soil about down below!
  • Water the container thoroughly to allow the soil and plant to settle in and firm up.
  • Lower the basket container carefully into position, using string threaded through the mesh. Don't forget that you need the string to release once the basket is in the water, so do not tie it to the basket.
  • Don't worry about the inevitable bit of cloudiness as the soil percolates into the water. It will soon clear.
  • Job Done.

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