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Pond plants - newbie needs advice!

I'm putting in a wildlife pond - preformed.  I have a couple of plants to go in but I'm a bit confused.  In the shop they explained to me that the planting depth on the label is measured from the bottom of the pot. I've got 'white mazus'  and water forget me not.  This means that the mazus pot would be sticking out of the water and the forget me not would be put in and totally submerged.  I've also got barred horsetail but when I put this in the pot just falls over as they are small and quite light.  Can I put the smaller plant pot inside another pot that I can then weight down with stones?  Thanks  


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,165
    edited March 2022
    The planting depths have a bit of variation in them, so things like the forget me not can be in around 4 or 5 inches of water. If the top of the pot is covered, that's fine.
    The horsetail can have a layer of gravel on top, and that also helps to prevent soil coming out, or do as you've already considered with a bigger pot. They grow quite rapidly, so you'll need bigger pots next year anyway.
    I'm not familiar with mazus.
    Take a look here and you'll get an idea of depths etc

    Forget me nots are under 'marginals'  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,313
    Yes, you can put a smaller pot inside a bigger one. I do it.
    I use clematis pots and put some stones in them for stability just as you suggest then sit the smaller pot inside the longer one.
    The only problem occurs is sometimes if a pigeon lands on one - they usually topple over
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • I've found the 'mazus': 'Chinese marshflower is a very pretty, low growing, creeping perennial which is semi-evergreen to evergreen.  A native of the Himalayas it produces masses of white flowers on dense mats of deep green foliage from late spring right through the summer.  An excellent edging plant for the bog or very shallow margins and beach areas (not submerged), it is very useful for covering exposed pond liners.  

    Height: 2-5cm

    Spread: Creeping

    Planting position: Very shallow pond margins (not under water) or bog garden in full sun or partial shade

    ....not sure what to do with it now?  If I plant it outside the pond on the margin it will be in clay so is likely to dry out at some point in the summer?  Or do I make a boggy area with using an old compost bag as a liner to make a bog?  

    I feel better knowing its not just me with the stuff falling over in the pond! Thanks

  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    I sometimes put a big stone in the bottom of the pot when I plant them up.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,165
    I looked up the mazus plant, and yes you can have it as a bog plant if you want to create an area next to the edging.
    Another alternative is to plant it without a container. A good handful of soil [clay is easier for doing that!] and wrap it with some hessian, or anything similar - I've used  plastic with holes, inside chicken wire, for small plants to stick into awkward spots. You can hold it in place with some small rocks.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • KitMillerKitMiller Posts: 42
    Thanks everyone, I now understand its not as straightforward as the books etc tell you and there is a bit of DIY cum Heath Robinson with this.  The bit I'm most concerned about is I have some frogspawn in the pond and want to give them the best chance.  I'm confused about oxygenating plants.  Are these the ones that just float about loose?  I'm not sure how many I need either - the pond is 120 litres.  Thanks 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,165
    Oxygenators vary according to the type. Some come with weights on them and you just chuck them in. Elodea for example, although I heard that it was being banned so I don't know if it's still available. 
    Again - just look on those sites I gave you links to, and you'll get info about how many, and what type etc. It's a small pond at that size, so you won't need very many   :)

    With the best will in the world, frogspawn and tadpoles get eaten by predators too, so as long as you can give them their basic needs, you just have to let them get on with it.
    Having good cover around the pond edges is also very important to give them safe escape routes if they make it to froglet stage. They're very vulnerable at that point   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • RedwingRedwing Posts: 1,396
    edited March 2022
    @KitBMiller , I'm assuming you are in the UK. If planning a wildlife pond it's best to use native plants to encourage UK wildlife.  Both the RSPB and Wildlife trusts have lists of recommendations; if you search you'll find them.

    I have a thriving wildlife pond, made five years ago.  The oxygenators I have  are Hornwort and Spiked Milfoil.  Other good plants are Pontideria (which the dragonfly larvae love  for climbing up just as they are about to transform), Water Forget-me-nots (used by newts for egg laying), Greater Spearwort, Marsh Marigold, Brooklime and Water Mint. Good luck with your pond.
    Based in Sussex, I garden to encourage as many birds to my garden as possible.
  • Thank you Redwing, I will make a note of those, I will try and prioritise getting the UK natives.  
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