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Pond plants give the home garden idyll the perfect floral flair. They beautify the individual garden ambience with the integrated and planted garden pond. But now a question arises, do you prefer to plant the pond plants with or rather without soil in the water area? At Plantopedia you will quickly find answers to these and other questions. In the following article we will explain the correct use of pond plants in the garden pond.

pond plants

with earth

Do pond plants need soil?

A pond without aquatic plants can quickly become boring. If, on the other hand, it has overgrown and overgrown, it is no longer an attractive sight. It is therefore important and sensible to carefully select pond plants and plant them according to their needs. The different plants have different demands on the water depth and the substrate used. An optimally planted pond maintains itself without major care measures.

Without earth

Which pond plants can I plant without soil?

In principle, you can plant all aquatic plants without using soil. You then give the plants the necessary nutrients with a special pond fertilizer. At first it may seem as if your pond plants are taking care of you. However, they soon get used to the changed conditions. Have a little patience until your aquatic plants have recovered.

garden pond in the garden


Which substrate is suitable for ponds?

In addition to special pond soil, low-lime or lime-free gravel is very suitable for pond plants. You can also use clay granules. But make sure that the granules are broken. So it doesn't float on your pond, but stays on the bottom where it belongs. You don't have to worry about a nutrient deficiency even if you don't use pond soil. Over time, so much sediment sinks that your pond plants are well cared for. Plankton and small creatures also settle in the sediments, which ensure good biological stability of your pond.

Disadvantages of soil in the pond:

  • high concentration of nutrients in the water
  • muddy water
  • strong algae formation

What speaks against using soil in the garden pond?

Potting soil is used to provide garden plants with nutrients, but large amounts are not required in the pond water. Falling leaves, leftover fish food and the excretions of your fish are often enough to provide your aquatic plants with sufficient care.

potting soil

An excess of nutrients leads to "over-fertilization" and thus to the formation of algae in such masses that it is difficult to combat them. The water becomes cloudy and the oxygen concentration in the water continues to drop, in the worst case so far that your fish die and the pond collapses. In addition to the nutrient and phosphate content, the water temperature and solar radiation also play a role in the formation of algae.

water depth

What role does the water depth play?

A pond has different zones in which different aquatic and marsh plants thrive. Some plants tolerate the change between moisture and drought very well, they belong in the moist zone and in principle also thrive in normal garden soil. However, since this is very rich in nutrients, its use in the pond quickly leads to an increased algae population. It is therefore better to use special low-nutrient pond soil. In deeper regions, however, this is hardly necessary or even harmful, at least in large quantities.

The different water depths of a pond:

  • Moist zone: alternating wet soil
  • Swamp zone: water depth 0 - 10 cm
  • Shallow water zone: water depth 10 - 40 cm
  • Deep water zone: water depth more than 40 cm

fish in the pond

Should I choose a different substrate for fish stock?

Fish, especially koi, like to dig at the bottom of the pond, including the soil if there is any in the pond. Of course, they also expose or even damage the roots of the pond plants. No aquatic plant can do this for a long time. For this reason, you should not use any soil in a fish pond, ideally no pond soil either. The fish dig a lot even in fine gravel or clay granules. Coarse gravel is much better suited, possibly protected with larger stones against the burrowing of the fish.

plant baskets

Is the use of plant baskets recommended?

It makes sense and is very helpful if you use your aquatic plants in plant baskets. If a pond cleaning is necessary or you need to patch up your pond, then you can easily remove all aquatic plants. This makes work easier and the roots of your aquatic plants are not damaged. Any necessary or desired transplanting is also very easy and uncomplicated with the help of the baskets. In addition, the plant baskets protect the sometimes sensitive roots of your pond plants from being caught by your fish.

Plants in the garden pond

Whether you want to fill your plant baskets with pond soil or gravel is another philosophy. In principle, both are possible. However, the nutrient supply and the needs of your aquatic plants must always be taken into account. At least the baskets reduce the washing out of substrate. Some stones on the basket support this project. At the same time, they ensure that the basket stays in place.

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