After installing your liner and filling your pond, it’s time to add your filtration plants. Planting the filtration area with care is often the deciding factor between a successful or unsuccessful pond. If you don’t handle the filtration plants carefully, you might end up investing in a whole new set of plants and increasing the cost of the installation. Use these tips for preventing damage to the plants and to make the planting process as easy as possible.
Sort Plants by Depth
Planting moves quickly when you focus on the deepest potted and rooted plants first and work outwards to the banks and edges. With most swimming ponds requiring 50% or more of the surface area covered in floating or rooted plants, you can end up planting hundreds or even thousands of individual plants. Organize everything as you receive it so that you can fill in rows and layers as you work your way out from the center. Keep tags on the plants until you’ve planted each group so that you don’t make any mistakes on placement or depth.
Keep Them Shaded
Water plants quickly dry out and wilt when stored on land and in the sun. At the very least, arrange all your water plants in a shaded area or hang a shade cloth as needed around the edge of the pond. Place all pots and rooted bundles in shallow trays of water whenever possible to keep the plants in peak condition. The healthier the plants are when they go in the pond, the greater the chance of strong establishment and rapid water filtration. Schedule your plant delivery for a shady or even rainy day when possible to minimize overheating and sun damage as well.
Acclimate Them to the Water
Placing the water plants in trays of water pumped out of the pond will acclimate them to the temperature and other conditions. Most plants will establish well even without this kind of acclimation. However, it’s worth the effort to give it the plants an extra boost to their growth since natural swimming ponds rely on them for water filtration and treatment. Don’t hold the plants over for extra time just to expose them to the pond water. Start planting as soon as possible even if you’re storing the plants in trays of water and in well-shaded areas.
Plan to Plant in the Spring
Most water plants grow best when you delay planting until daytime temperatures average at least 70 degrees. These plants also prefer to get their roots established while there’s no freezing temperatures at night to damage their new growth. Once the water plants have gone through an entire season of growth, they should be able to handle freezing temperatures without permanent damage. The upper growth may die back in the fall and winter, but the roots should stay stable below the surface. As long as you select water plants that grow in your particular climate zone, planting in the spring should work best for getting the pond quickly established for water filtration.