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? 

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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?

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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.

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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?

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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.  

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  • Guernsey Donkey2Guernsey Donkey2 Posts: 4,716

    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 Newcastle Upon Tyne Posts: 508

    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 ?

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  • AngieRAngieR Posts: 345

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    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: 375

    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.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_1_7?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=barley+straw+for+ponds&sprefix=barley+%2Caps%2C134&crid=LKTZCYNGP8TN

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 49,252

    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. 

    "Oh, for the good old days when people would stop Christmas shopping when they ran out of money."  Anon


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 22,444

    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

    There's a gypsy down on Bleecker Street
    I went in to see her as a kind of joke
    And she lit a candle for my love luck
    And eighteen bucks went up in smoke

  • 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. 

  • Guernsey Donkey2Guernsey Donkey2 Posts: 4,716

    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. 

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