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Downs By The Pond
86667 Bailey Hill Road
Eugene, OR 97405
Phone: (541)342-5887
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Pond Tips



  1. Oxygenators
  2. Marginal or Bog Plants
  3. Deep Water Plants
  4. Free Floating Plants
1.Oxygenators Top
Oxygenators are underwater plants which work to remove nutrients from the water as they turn Carbon Dioxide into Oxygen. They also provide cover for fish, which will help make the fish feel secure.
Suggested oxygenators:
Jungle vallesneria (Jungle val, for short) is a tall grass like plant. When planted in pots, it is easily controlled. Jungle Val is the oxygenator we use in Big Mama's pond. (Big Mama is our pet bass)
Anacharis (or Elodea, Goldfish Greens) does not require a pot. It can tend to become a big mass in the pond, but does a great job. (It is in our Koi pond)
Other oxgenators are Hornwort and Dwarf Sagittaria.
Dwarf Sagittaria only grows about 6Ó tall, and is slow growing. Hornwort looks more like a fern, and can be brittle.

2.Marginal or Bog Plants Top
Most bog or marginal plants are happiest with 2-6 of water over the top of the soil. A good rule to use is that the shorter the plant, the less water over the top. Plants such as cattail and giant rushes can easily survive with 8-10 of water over the crown.
For a more natural appearance I generally suggest that plants of varying height and shape are placed in groups of three, using varying height and shape. Lotus pots work well for keeping the plants together and stable.
Since many of the aquatic plants are natives, it is wise to use caution when planting them bare root into soil. Some are notorious for their invasiveness, in particular Horsetail and Cattails.

3.Deep Water Plants Top
Water Hawthorne, Water Fringe, Water Poppy, and Variegated Four Leaf Clover are among the many plants which can easily survive in 18-24 of water. They are happy in part sun to shady environments and so they are a good choice for ponds which receive less than 6 hours of sun. Since they are often smaller, they are also good choices for container gardens.
Water Hawthorne is a plant for many seasons. In our climate (USDA zone 6-8) it tends to bloom almost year round. In the summer in full sun it has a month or two of dormancy. It may look dead, but it's not. They should not be thrown away, as they will be back in August or September for another season of bloom.
Water Lilies
Hardy Water Lilies are perennial in nature, and they live through our winters in the pond just fine. They will stop blooming in mid- September and then put on winter leaves until spring. Look for bloom late April- mid-September. They bloom in white, pink, red, yellow and changeable (salmon orange). There are many varieties of each color varying in size and shape of blossom. The blossoms generally rest on the water surface and the leaves usually have smooth edges.
Tropical water lilies are not hardy (or perrennial) anywhere except the warmest climates, and they should be considered annuals. In our climate they start blooming in late May to early June and will bloom until sometime in October. They will quite often have several blooms at a time. Their colors are blue, purples, pinks, white, red, and multi-toned. The blooms usually stand high above the water surface, and the edges of the leaves are serrated and heavily veined. I suggest that they are like purchasing a fuchsia basket; enjoy it for the year and get a new one next year.
Lotus are truly exotic, the leaves are huge and the blossoms exquisite. Like quick-silver, water will bead up and roll right off of the leaves of this plant. The seed pods are excellent in dried arrangements. Lotus are hardy in our climate (USDA zone 7 and warmer) and may remain in the pond all winter with at least 18-24 over the top of the pot.

4.Free Floating Plants Top
Free Floating Plants
The popular Water Hyacinth and Water Lettuce are tropical and should be considered annuals. Water Hyacinths like lots of sun and require rich nutrient to bloom. If your Hyacinths won't bloom, put them in a bucket of fertilizer water overnight. In warmer states the water hyacinths have created a tremendous problem in natural waterways. For this reason do not dispose of them in the wild. Water Lettuce tends to prefer more shady conditions. It does not bloom, but its attractive and interesting leaves make up for its lack of flowers. the root systems of both water hyacinth and water lettuce are good at removing unwanted nutrients from the water. Beautiful all summer long, they should be disposed of in the fall, before they start to rot in the pond.
Parrot Feather, Fairy Moss (Azolla), Duckweed, and Frogbit are all floating plants which will survive temperate (zone 6 & warmer) winters.
Fertilizing containerized pond plants is essential to keep them blooming and looking their best. In most cases, fertilizing in spring and again during the summer is adequate. We recommend using fertilizer tablets such as Ag-safe Aquatic Tabs, which when placed down in the soil won't leach nutrients into the water to such an extent as to encourage algae growth. We advise avoiding liquid fertilizers.

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