Winter Hardy and Tropical Marginal Aquatic Plants
These plants grow with their roots in the water and their foliage in the air, and are the perfect choice for decorating shallow shelves on the edges of ponds. They are available at Keystone Hatcheries in quart, 1 & 2 gallon pots. Hardy varieties can stay outside in most climates, but tropicals need to come indoors when the weather drops below freezing. These plants can simply be placed in the pond in the containers they are purchased in, or transplanted into larger containers. We use and sell a heavy garden loam that is a mix of 75% top soil and 25% sand. We always put 1 Fertilizer Tab per gallon of soil in the bottom of each “hole-less” pot. Also, you should cover each pot with 2 inches of sand, pea gravel or soil-less Aquatic Planting Media to keep the high nutrient soil from washing out of the pots. If you have Koi you may want to put another layer of larger gravel to keep the fish out of the pots. Add one Fertilizer Tab per gallon of soil per month during the growing season.
These plants add a beautiful dimension to your water garden. They are among the earliest blossoming plants in the water garden. Some irises prefer damp soils and others can be constantly in the water. They are available in quart and 2 gallon pots and can be planted as described above for Marginals. All irises that we offer are hardy in this area.
Submerged Aquatic Plants
These plants, sometimes called Oxygenators, are important because of their ability to absorb nutrients out of the water, which reduces algae growth. Also, they provide terrific habitat for fish and other pond inhabitants. They are available in rubber-banded bunches of several cuttings. You can plant up to one bunch per square foot of pond surface area. Submerged plants can simply be set in the pond bottom with a rock over the rubber-banded end to keep them in place or the rubber-banded end can be placed in a quart sized pot and filled with Microbe-Lift Aquatic Planting Media or pea gravel.
Floating Aquatic Plants
Floating Plants, as their name implies, float on the surface. Some varieties have roots that dangle in the water and others do best anchored to the side or potted as described above for Submerged Plants. Cover up to 50% of your pond with floating plants or Water Lilies if it is in full sun to block sunlight and inhibit algae growth.
Winter Hardy and Tropical Water Lilies
These plants grow with their roots (tuber) in soil at the pond bottom and their leaves floating at the surface. They require at least 4 hours of direct sun and provide much needed shade to reduce algae growth and give pond fish and other pond inhabitants shelter. Hardy varieties are available in quart and 2 gallon containers April through September and tropical varieties are available in 2 gallon containers from late spring to September (exact dates depend on the weather). Ideally, you should initially place the water lilies in 12-18” of water, but after the plant is established you can move it to depths of 2 to 3 feet max. If you have Koi you may want to put another layer of larger gravel or small rock to keep the fish out of the pots.
Lotus are perhaps the most spectacular of pond plants and they are also quite hardy once established. We sell several varieties at Keystone Hatcheries potted in 3 and 5 gallon containers. They are generally available from late spring through summer (exact dates depend on the weather).
Availability of Aquatic Plants varies with each species, the time of year and weather conditions. Generally speaking, most species are available April through September at Keystone Hatcheries retail store.
Unfortunately, we no longer sell Water Garden Plants by mail order or online. We do, however, have a large selection available for viewing and purchase at our retail store in Richmond Illinois from early April until early fall.