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An odd query about aquatic plants!

I love water features with aquatic plants, however I live in a first floor flat in Glasgow. That said, I'm always keen for a challenge and a pet project!
So I've made a (quite large) fountain that will lean against the wall in my (fairly big) living room which will hopefully hold aquatic plants. The living room doesn't get much direct sunlight, however is bright and airy. I'm wondering what plants to put there. 
I would like plants to be suspending in hanging bowls, and some in the trough reservoir (see photo). Ideally flowering perennials that aren't too tall, smell nice and are happy in shade. I would love water lilies, however I think they'd not flower in the shade. Chameleon plant is another option, though they look quite tall. 
The fountain is currently in my cellar - almost finished. I'm waiting for the plants to be put in before moving it to the living room. My wife is not happy about the project, but we've come to an agreement: after it being installed for 2 weeks, if she still doesn't like it, I'll get rid of it. 
Any advice on what aquatic plants would suit in this water feature would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks! Colin 



  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,530
    Haven't a clue about the plants, but 10/10 for creativity and craftsmanship!
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,277
    Fibre Optic grass would probably look good, but the problem is going to be a lack of good light. It grows well in my pond with the top of the pot level with the water surface. You would also need to feed any plants that go in there.
    Without some decent light though I think you'll struggle tbh.

    Lovely idea and 10/10 for creativity!
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Julia1983Julia1983 Posts: 139
    I've always found waterside nursery's website quite helpful for finding plants for different conditions. I had marsh marigold flowering in a north corner of our very wet former garden so might be worth a shot, no scent but lovely bright yellow flowers, also a white form if you don't like yellow. Looks  amazing by the way, hope it works out! 
  • Bee witchedBee witched Posts: 1,173
    Hello @colin_p86,

    I'm afraid I'm on your wife's side  

    Bee x
    Gardener and beekeeper in beautiful Scottish Borders  

    A single bee creates just one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,234
    I think you need to be looking at aquarium plants - they'll be more suited to the indoor environment.
  • GreenbirdGreenbird Posts: 237
    edited April 2020
    I previously kept both marine and planted tanks. Houseplants are often used as emergent's in aquariums:

    Golden pothos (Epipremnum pinnatum) - it's roots are fine in water. It'll drape over those dishes nicely. I used it to grow up and over my aquarium edge.

    Umbrella papyrus (Cyperus alternifolius) - potted in the basin

    Swiss Cheese Plant  (Monstera deliciosa) - again, roots are fine in water

    Lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) - best grown in water

    Climbing fig (Ficus pumila) - like the pothos, it's roots are fine in water

    Utricularia bisquamata - flowering carnivorous, would require a pendant grow light, but is happy with roots in water

    Red Mangrove - if you get a grow light.

    I'd be tempted to try a Water Poppy or Fringed Water Lily under a grow light too.

  • Thanks for all the helpful tips people! 
    Looks like it might be worth me getting a grow light. Any suggestions on decent grow lights? Would I need to have it on all the time for growing something like water lilies? How much would that cost in electricity?
  • mrtjformanmrtjforman Posts: 331
    edited April 2020
    to me it does look a bit bulky and unsightly. The only way it will look good at night is with some lighting. A fluorescent will use about 24 watts and help your plants grow. Something like this

    Alternatively you can use an aquarium light which uses 4 times less electricity but is just as bright It does help plants grow a little but not as well as a Fluorescent. Also the further away from the bulb the less light the plants will receive so the fluorescent might only just keep the top ones illuminated which makes me think you should just get the aquarium lighting and hopefully get a bit of sunlight during the day.

    My rough guide to how much something will use if it is on for 24 hours a day is that for every watt used it will cost roughly £1 per year. A fridge that uses 40 watts to run will cost about £40 per year.
    So if you have the light on for 6 hours a day it will cost 25p per Watt so for a 6 watt aquarium light it would cost roughly £1.50 to run for 6 hours every day for one year.

  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507
    Another vote for your wife. We are always right! Sorry
  • mrtjformanmrtjforman Posts: 331
    I have always been fascinated by Insects, wildlife and ponds so started with a tadpole pond in the garden, moved on to tropical fish, then Tarantulas, Praying Mantis, Cockroaches and Locusts - most of these were good fun but a lot of continous work. Once algae builds up on your system it won't stay for long unless you regularly clean it and when doing the washing already seems like a chore, the last thing you want is to add to it. That was my realization with most my projects although I did also realize I needed a hobby to keep me busy so now I have moved on to collecting tropical orchids.
    Requires a lot of research, fiddling around, watering and monitoring but is great fun, very rewarding and although my collection is too big to call practical by now no orchid is too heavy or bulky to move and they can smell nice too.
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