This past year I looked at a lot of real estate and it seems like every property I expressed an interest in had a pond – it literally never failed and became a running joke in my family. I never gave much thought to owning a pond (and still not sure I am keen on having one), but since it seems like a pond might be in my foreseeable future, I figured I better learn more about them!
As I have discovered, plants are an important part of a water garden ecosystem for many reasons, including algae control, filtration, oxygenation, and providing a habitat for aquatic life, like our good pal Kermit the frog. When it comes to water garden plants, many choices are available, but I have spotlighted five that I personally found interesting.
1. Water Lilies. Water lilies are undeniably the most popular of aquatic plants and I can see why given that they look like floating green Pac-mans intermingled with gorgeous flowers. Water lilies are available in many options with plant sizes ranging from small to large with flower diameters ranging from 2 to 12 inches (5-30 cm.).
2. Water Snowflake. Water snowflakes are likened to water lilies due to their leaves, which float on the surface of the water with roots anchored in the soil below. The flowers have five feathered petals which look like crystallized snowflakes, hence the name. Some varieties of water snowflake, such as the yellow water snowflake, are hardy to zone 5.
3. Water Pennywort. Water pennywort, hardy to zone 4, features round 1- to 2-inch (2.5-5 cm.) shiny green leaves that protrude 6-12 inches (15-30 cm.) above the water.
4. Water Hyacinth. The water hyacinth, another popular pond plant, is a very fast growing floating plant with round, glossy green succulent leaves and striking purple flowers. It reaches a height of 6-12 inches (15-30 cm.) and, with its long stringy roots, it is considered to be a top performer when it comes to water filtration. Rated for USDA hardiness zones 9-11.
5. Sensitive Plant. A plant with feelings! The fern-like leaves of this floating plant will curl up upon touch. The water sensitive plant (Neptunia aquatica) is adorned with attractive tufts of yellow flowers. Rated for USDA hardiness zones 9-12.