Welcome to Pond Creations

Planting your Pond

With a little forethought and attention to detail your pond can easily be transformed into a beautiful and highly attractive feature, which can often become the main focal point of the garden. The best way to achieve this is to plan in advance, so that when you arrive at your chosen nursery or water garden outlet you already know your needs and therefore can choose suitable plants for your pond without making unsuitable impulse choices.

Consider your ponds weakest visual aspects and aim to improve them with good well-chosen plants Make a note of the available planting depths and avoid areas which will suffer from high flow or excessive splashing as plants (especially lilies) will not flourish in these conditions. Use aquatic baskets which have a very fine meshed sidewall, Modern baskets need no lining, but older baskets with larger holes in the sides will need a Hessian lining to contain the compost. It makes future maintenance much easier if you only plant using aquatic baskets.


Only use proper aquatic compost as other general composts contain chemicals, which will leach into the water and poison your pond life. Any gravel or stones must be lime free and should be rinsed prior to use. Always give new plants a thorough rinse, to remove snail eggs and fairy moss etc, prior to introducing them into your pond. We recommend that you wear arm length rubber gloves when putting your hands into pond water so as to avoid infections, especially if you have cuts or know of a possible rat problem nearby.

Large fish such as koi will naturally graze around the plants roots, loosening the compost and causing the plants to drift out from their baskets, destroying your planting. You need to ensure that adequate protection is provided to avoid them being uprooted by covering the aquatic compost with an inch of washed aquatic gravel and topping with some large washed stones

Plant maintenance is required twice per year to ensure an attractive feature. Because the plants live in pond water, which has a constantly replenishing source of plant feeding nutrients, they can easily become overgrown and unsightly unless contained.

Each autumn you should remove any dead or dying foliage so that it does not drop off and rot which would pollute the water and reeds should be cut down to around four inches above water level. If you have oxygenating plants, which have become overwhelming simple pull out any excess.

Then in the spring you should remove each basket and thin as necessary. If the fine roots have penetrated the baskets sidewalls remove them by cutting them back to the basket with a normal but clean handsaw. Any plants that have overgrown their basket need to be divided and re-potted.

Oxygenating Plants


There are many different varieties of oxygenating plant such as ceratophyllum demersum (hornwort) and Ranunculus Peltatus (Crows Foot). Some oxygenators will need potting in small aquatic pots and should be placed below the water surface. Others need a small weight tied to them in order to keep them submersed.

If on a sunny day you look carefully at oxygenating plants within a pond it is possible to see tiny air bubbles floating up from their leaves, this is because they actually do produce oxygen during daylight hours but at night they do the opposite and use up oxygen. Oxygenators adsorb a lot of the ponds pollutants, which are the plants source of nutrition, and as such they are a benefit to all ponds and help to use up nutrients required by algae reducing green water problems.

An example of hornwort

Fish will if hungry use these plants directly for feeding upon. If allowed to become too prolific within the pond, due to their rapid growth rate, they can cause fish to become entangled and die.

Floating Plants


These come in large leaved types such as water hyacinth and small leaved varieties like fairy moss and duckweed. Small varieties should be introduced only after careful consideration as they divide and multiply rapidly; they are very difficult to remove afterwards. Large specimens such as water soldier are a very attractive addition but large fish such as koi will rapidly destroy them.


An example of a water hyacynth



Reeds, Irises and other aquatic grasses are a good addition to any pond and in summer produce some beautiful flowers. They can easily be tied back, with fishing line, to the pond edge to stop them blowing over or being dislodged by large fish.

Some species can grow in excess of five feet tall so choose carefully when purchasing.

Maintenance is also easy as these plants can be simply divided and re-potted.

Due to their size they are also a good plant for hiding unsightly pipe-work or edges.


An example of an iris

Water Lilies


Quite simply the crowning glory in any pond, with amazingly beautiful flowers, and many different varieties readily available in many colours for all depths and sizes of pond. You can expect to see the first leaves reach the surface in late spring, followed by flowers in early-mid summer. Usually a flower will only last for a couple of days but new buds will replace them before the previous flower has died.

If your pond is rather small you can opt for a dwarf variety.

When potting lilies use an overlarge basket as the rhizomes (roots) grow fast and soon outgrow small baskets. Always pot with the buds upward and exposed, ensure that they have plenty of aquatic compost and a good layer of washed aquatic gravel on top. If your pond has large fish such as carp then you should place some washed cobbles onto the gravel to stop the fish rooting out the compost, in severe cases it may be necessary to wrap the entire pot in garden netting allowing a small hole for the plant to grow through.

Large rhizomes can be split and re-potted into two baskets or the new buds can be cut from hard up against the base and potted to grow on. Ensure that Lilies are planted at the correct depth for the variety (check the label) and avoid strong flows and splash from fountains etc.


An example of a water lily

Pond Planting Diagram

These illustrations have been taken from "Water in the Garden" by James Allison - published by Interpet. You can order this book by simply clicking on the title of the book above.