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Bodies of water need special winter preparations because many pond plants do not survive the frosty temperatures. Tropical plants in particular require mild weather conditions and react sensitively to strong fluctuations in light and temperature. The ideal winter quarters is a room in the basement. Use the preparations to clean the garden pond and bring it into shape.

Prepare for winter

Larger ponds are divided into different zones, which differ in the depth of the water. While the bank or swamp zone freezes quickly, temperatures above freezing prevail in the sufficiently deep central area. Plants at the edges and floating plants floating freely on the water surface must be overwintered in a frost-free place. Plants from the deep water zone can remain in the water in many cases, provided they are not frost-sensitive species. Regardless of your body of water, you can follow these instructions:

  • Clean vessels, fill with substrate and pour in water
  • Remove floating plants from the water surface
  • Lift plant baskets with fragile species out of the water
  • Drain water from the pond
  • Carefully dig up rooting aquatic plants
  • Control aquatic plants
  • Remove rotten parts of plants to prevent disease

7 pond plants overwinter

seaweed fern

These herbaceous plants belong to the floating fern family. They develop a dense carpet of leaves covering the water surface. Their finely branched root system swims freely in the water and does not anchor in the substrate. As a result, the tropical plants are endangered in winter when the water surface freezes. Remove the algal fern (Azolla spec.) from the water in the fall, once temperatures drop towards zero. Then place the plants on the water surface in a sufficiently large aquarium. Hibernation takes place in a frost-free place in the basement. Pay attention to the following conditions in the winter quarters:

  • Keep the water temperature at a minimum of 20°C
  • bright location by a window
  • Room temperature should be between 15 and 18 °C
Small algal fern, Azolla caroliniana

shell flower

The tropical plants are placed on the water surface as floating plants. Under the rosette-shaped leaves, long roots develop that reach deep into the water. Pistia stratiotes are based on the size of the body of water and can reach a diameter of up to 30 centimeters. In smaller ponds, however, the leaf rosettes grow less luxuriantly. In addition to the appropriate size of the winter storage container, you should pay attention to the following factors:

  • Avoid dripping wet and dry air to keep leaves from wilting
  • Water temperature should be between 20 and 25 °C
  • pay attention to freshwater conditions
  • pH between 6.5 and 7.2
  • Do not cover the container to prevent heat build-up

Before planting, cover the bottom of the pot with clay and fill with water. As soon as the thermometer drops below 15 °C in autumn, use a net to get the plants out of the pond. The plants are adapted to temperatures that remain the same all year round and do not tolerate large fluctuations. Place smaller aquatic plants in an aquarium for the winter. Larger specimens will need a tub or tub with enough water depth for the roots to develop freely.

thousand leaf

Within this genus there are native and tropical species that can easily overwinter in sufficiently deep waters. If there is a risk of the pond freezing to the bottom, you should plant Myriophyllum spec. get out of the water and overwinter frost-free. This also applies to thousand leaf species that grow in mini ponds on the balcony or terrace. Such biotopes are defenseless against the frost in winter, so that the plants have no chance of surviving. These aspects should be considered in winter quarters:

  • Room temperatures between five and 10 °C
  • Growth ceases under cold water conditions
  • Winter quarters should not be too dark

Dig the plants and their roots out of the substrate. Care must be taken when retrieving, because the delicate shoots break through quickly. Grasp the plant by the base and support long shoots with the palm of your hand. Then put the plants in a water-filled container and press the roots lightly into the ground.

Brazilian watermilk, Myriophyllum aquaticum

water hyacinth

The South American aquatic plants thrive in the garden pond between May and October, depending on the outside temperature. They float on the water surface with their inflated shoots and develop floating roots. Water hyacinths (Eichhornia crassipes) are brought into the basement early. The pond plants need:

  • Room and water temperatures of at least 15 °C
  • twelve hours of light per day
  • a light source above the vessel
  • regular ventilation
  • fertilization

Use a sheet pan for larger inventory. However, individual water hyacinths can also be overwintered in a tall glass vase. The vessel should be between 30 and 40 centimeters deep. Cover the ground with humus-rich garden soil to a height of 20 millimeters. It does not serve to anchor the plant but improves the nutrient content of the water. Place the plant on the substrate and sink the roots into the ground. The vessel is then filled with water and placed in a suitable location.

water poppy

Hydrocleys nymphoides is native to Central and South America, where it inhabits standing water. Cultivation in the middle and deep zone of the garden pond is possible. The water poppy tolerates cooler temperatures of up to 12 °C. Under these conditions, the plant stops growing until the thermometer rises well above 18 °C again. Since it is not hardy, you must move the aquatic plant to its winter quarters in autumn:

  • Water temperature between 18 and 25 °C
  • lower temperatures do not cause problems for the plants
  • soft and as lime-free water as possible
  • muddy and nutrient-rich subsoil
  • make sure there is sufficient lighting

Place Hydrocleys nymphoides in a plant basket before spreading in the garden pond. This saves you the annual digging. The basket is taken out of the water before winter and placed in a sufficiently large vessel. A heatable aquarium with a cover and a sufficiently large air space is ideal for this. If the water temperature falls below 12 °C due to evaporation, the plants will die. Open vessels that are placed in the basement are therefore not suitable.

lotus flower

These exotic plants are popular pond plants that spread among the water lilies. Although lotus flowers (Nelumbo) are considered hardy, they are endangered by frost. In sufficiently deep waters with at least 30 centimeters of water under the ice layer, the plants survive the winter. Otherwise, however, the plant should overwinter frost-free in a cool and dark room in the basement, taking into account the following aspects:

  • Room temperature between five and 15 °C
  • Water must not ferment
  • Remove rotting plant parts and change the water
  • use soft water

Get the lotus flowers planted in bowls out of the water and then place them in a bucket that is at least 50 centimeters high and wide. Be careful not to let the roots dry out. Moisten the substrate regularly with pond water or fill the container with water so that the bowl is submerged.

Indian lotus, Nelumbo nucifera

pike weed

The blue flowers make the pikeweed (Pontederia cordata) an attractive plant for the garden pond. Since the aquatic plants are not hardy, you should overwinter the plants according to our instructions. Once you have placed the plants in plant baskets, sink them into the deep water area of your garden pond from the end of October. The water depth should be at least 50 centimeters. Alternatively, you can place the plant basket in a container of appropriate height or overwinter individual plants in the aquarium:

  • bright location with draught-free conditions
  • the warmer the location, the more light should be available
  • Root ball can be planted in potting soil

Cut back the above-ground parts of the plant generously. The substrate must be kept moist but not wet throughout the winter. If you don't have a suitable container available, you can wrap the plants in a thick layer of leaves and store them in a cool, dry place in the basement.

Heartleaf pikeweed, Pontederia cordata

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