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Grow: Plants & Vegetables

Plants for Water Gardens


Michael Weishan talks with water gardener Andre Golden about solid selections for creating your own healthy and attractive water garden.

Water gardening doesn't have to be carried out on a grand and costly scale. It's relatively easy to plant and maintain a successful water garden in a smallish tub, which you can seat, for instance, in a decorative outer container.

Stonewort


Nitella sp.
stonewort
To maintain a healthy water garden a couple of plants are more or less required. In this category is Nitella, a plant that floats at the surface and whose roots hang underwater. Commonly known as stonewort, this is not a decorative plant (it looks like the plastic "grass" in Easter baskets), but it does clarify the water and provide oxygen crucial for fish and frogs.

Water Hyacinth


Eichhornia crassipes
water hyacinth
Water hyacinth is a prolific plant that also floats at the surface, its dangling roots acting as natural filters, drawing dirt and suspended debris out of the water for its own nourishment. Unlike stonewort, water hyacinth also provides visual interest to your garden.

Water Lettuce


Pistia stratiotes
water lettuce
Water lettuce is another prolific plant that floats at the surface, its dangling roots acting as natural filters, drawing dirt and suspended debris out of the water for its own nourishment. Unlike stonewort, water lettuce also provides visual interest to your garden.

Hardy Water Lily


Nymphaea
'Helvola' and 'Indiana'
hardy water lily

Winter-hardy pygmy lilies such as the 'Helvola' (white) and the 'Indiana' (pink) are ideal for small water gardens. Their smaller leaf and flower size mean they won't take over the space. These plants must be planted in a pot that can sit on the bottom of your container tub. Fertilize the lilies as you would a regular plant to encourage better flower growth.

Ruby Taro


Colocasia rubra
ruby taro
This marginal plant doesn't require deep water, just enough to keep its "feet" wet. Also known as "elephant ears" for its big leaves, ruby taro is a tropical plant that also has to be planted in a pot. A great choice for looks alone, it can grow up to 3 feet tall and will add a touch of drama to your garden.



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This segment appears in show #2720.

Published August 31, 2007