Pond plants

AngieRAngieR Posts: 345

A couple or five questions regarding pond plants if I may.  

1. Clearing the pond of some algae today I noticed that the baskets of brooklime I planted has deteriorated but the stems reaching into the water appear to have rooted but with minimal growth at the tips.  Is this normal and should I just ditch the pots and leave what remains to do it's thing?  Loose pieces of brooklime floating about the pond, should I just throw these back in? 




2.  Water forget me nots and lesser spearwort.  I lifted the pots out to clear the algae that was covering them and to clear out all the dead tangled stems.  Do they need to be cut back at any point?


3.  Algae and waterlilies - when the algae grows and covered over the pot under the water does it impede the growth of the waterlily?  I have been ignoring it so as not to agitate the waterlilies but I can't but help thinking I should try to keep them clear of it.


4.  When clearing out the algae - I use a cane and a net and can't but help bringing the hornwort out along with it.  I am untangling it and storing it in some pond water until I've finished.  Is this the right thing to do?


I have left the algae on the pond edge so any critters can make their way back in.  I think I may be getting a bit pernickety over such matters, so please excuse me.  



  • I don't know the answers Angie, as we are first year pond owners, but I would like to know how best to remove the blanket weed (which looks very much like your algae) that is twisted around the water lily leaves without doing the lily any harm. 

    Incidentally we have just seen our second ever water lily bud - I think this is quite late in the year, but we are now experiencing a long sunny period in the weather. Your pond looks lovely and well planted.  We are still struggling with the PH levels of the water, but really enjoying having the pond, there is always something interesting going on either in or around it.

  • ZenjeffZenjeff Posts: 469

    My pond is 18 months old I just let the plants do there own thing Some have grown really well and I have had to pull some out GD2 I had a blanket weed bloom in late spring I put a couple of the small barley straw bails in its taken a few months but seems to have settled now ,I read somewhere that constant twirling and pulling it out helps it spread if this is true or not ?


  • AngieRAngieR Posts: 345


    Do you mean this stuff GD2?  I think you do.  I use both a cane and a net.  I used a really thin cane with little figure of 8 movements around the pot and lily foliage.  It was fiddly and once I had managed to get it clear of the lilies, I scooped it up with the net.  I am hoping someone yet might join in and give us better pointers.  One thing I will do for next year is move the lilies over to the nearer side of the pond, the far side is not quite so accessible in summer!  I'm about to get my 3rd Lily flower, like you was surprised to see them in their first year.

    I'll need to do a bit more homework on what to do with the plants for winter.  I'll report back here for you if you need more info.

    To be honest GD2 I've never checked the PH levels,  all the paraphernalia I read didn't mention it or if it did, I forgot!  Do you think your pond will eventually sort itself out without intervention? 

  • AngieRAngieR Posts: 345

    That looks lovely Zenjeff.  In between all the twirling and scooping, I had wondered if I was spreading it around or not.  My pond is new this year so am willing to let it do it's own thing to a certain extent and expected to have lots of algae/blanketweed until more of the surface is covered.

    My pond is in full sun, not that we regularly get 'full sun' here in Scotland, which also means I should expect lots of algae.  My only regret is not taking turf right up to the edge at atleast one section but it's not the end of the world.    

  • Tim BurrTim Burr Posts: 344

    You can buy barley straw bales from Amazon - throw 2 of these in the water in Spring.  They will keep the water clear for about 8-12 weeks.  When done, remove and throw in two more.  That will see you thru' to Autumn, and then remove for winter.  Re-do in following Spring.


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,695

    Or in small ponds you can use Barley Straw Extract ... Just made from barley straw ... Fine for wildlife ... It clears the blanket weed. 

    Also once the pond is established the introduction of a few pond snails to eat the algae has kept our pond water clear. 

    A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in - Greek proverb 
  • The watercress trick is also good Angie - although this year has been so dull and cold up here, that it hasn't worked as well as it usually does!

    You just chuck in a few handfuls (bag from the supermarket) in spring when everything's starting to warm up and grow. The watercress uses up a lot of the nutrients that the algae and blanketweed love. image

  • AngieRAngieR Posts: 345

    Thank you Tim Burr.  I will pop a couple in.

    Dfa - I saw that on the shelf in the local GC, one to keep in mind too.  There are many tiny wee pond snails, they've got a lot of chewing to do!

    Fairygirl, thanks for the tip, I'll keep that in mind..

    So, is the green stringy stuff algae or blanketweed?  I'm a bit confussed if they are one in the same or different. 

  • We were told it was blanket weed Angie and it certainly grows like a thick blanket in our pond.  We have a special telescopic pond brush, a glorified stick really, we wind the brush around in the pond and the blanket weed attaches itself to the brush - a bit like candyfloss.  It is difficult not to catch "good" plants in with the weed that we want to remove though.

  • AngieRAngieR Posts: 345

    Thanks GD2, I'll start calling it blacket weed rather than algae.  Saves any confusion.  I managed to lift out the smaller pots nearer the edge and clear it out by hand but know exactly what you mean re difficult not to catch other plants.  I'll be adding more surface cover come spring time.  I did pop up to the GC yesterday to see what was available but there was a very poor selection.  A bit late in the year I think. 

  • Yes, it is a bit late now, but none of our GC had a very good choice, so we ended up importing (through a plant centre) most of my pond plants and they were great, but because we have a PH problem which we didn't know about at the time of planting them, with the water, many of the plants died or are struggling to survive. (All the oxygenators died, some marginals are hanging on for dear life.)

    I am just collecting seed from one of the plants a Plantain, I have started a thread to ask about it.

  • Yeh - that last pic is blanket weed Angie. The algae is finer and is below the surface. 

    I was going to ask you about your pondplants GD. What a shame. If you can't get any joy with the water, and planting in the pond directly, perhaps you'll have to plant round the edges more, and try and make more of that. Grasses and hostas hanging over, and some big statement plants etc.

    It's such a shame though. You've put so much work into it and having plants in there is the final touch. image

  • AngieRAngieR Posts: 345

    I do agree with Fairygirl re your plants, such a shame.  You'd think there would be an easy solution.  I know I'd be absolutely gutted if it happened to me.  Maybe as suggested plant more around the edges and you never know, maybe something will set seed in your pond and thrive.  

  • Thanks Fairygirl and Angie, I feel confident that we will find the answer to the water PH level problem eventually, it is just taking a lot longer than we envisaged and I am trying to focus on other parts of the garden that need attention, while still maintaining the pond and it's surroundings too. Yes, the surrounding plants have matured and do look so natural and lively.

  • I am really pleased and relieved to find that our pond water PH that was over 9 last year (first year of pond) has gone down to 8.3.  Some far more experienced and knowledgeable pond owners on this forum  told me that the water PH would settle down and I have to admit and thank them for sharing this with me. Last year the majority of our plants died within a month or so, even though they looked extremely healthy when we took delivery of them and I am hoping that any plants that we introduce to the pond this year will thrive.

    Incidentally - anyone who has a pond with a liner - have you got blanket weed in the pond?  I thought it would die back during the winter, but there is still quite a thick covering on our pond liner.

  • Guernsey Donkey2Guernsey Donkey2 Posts: 3,607
    Pond plants.  Has anyone got experience of the following pond plants? Mimulus cardinalis, Hydrocotye sibthorpiaids, Lythrum salicaria and Hippursis vulgaris?  I have a chance to get these for my pond - are they perennials, attractive, etc.
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