Water Plants - Submerged Plants

The final category of water plants you will find is submerged plants, those plants that live UNDER the water. Many people don’t “get into” this group of plants, but they play a vital role in the water garden’s ecosystem.
Submerged plants can be potted just like lilies or marginals, but they are usually sold in small bunches. The usual packaging method (approximately 6 pieces) will cover about 3 square feet of pond area. They may also be placed in the pond without potting, but should be anchored in some way (lead weights, etc.) to keep the foliage underwater.

Mistakenly called “oxygenators,” submerged plants do add oxygen to the water, but not enough to really help anything and, at night, return to their normal role of oxygen users. They do assist with algae growth a bit, however, by absorbing carbon dioxide and minerals in the water. Plant any of these plants in sand and gravel, rather than soil, and DO NOT fertilize them. The minerals in the water do that part of the job.

What submerged plants do really well is provide cover for the fish in the pond, primarily in spawning areas for egg-laying. Pots, stones, bricks, and other features in the pond may provide the same type of protection, as well as provide a place for the fish to hide when predators come around the pond. Some submerged plants also provide food for the fish, as well as natural filtration.

You will find that some submerged plants do well, while others don’t. Try a variety of plants, knowing that some need more sunlight, more fertilization, more room to grow, or more of something not every pond can provide. Some will grow well enough to attempt to “take over” in the bottom of the pond, but can be controlled with simple removal from time to time. In fact, many submerged plants are shared among pondkeepers as a way of using the plants that have been removed.

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