Archive for the ‘Submerged Water Garden Plants’ Category

Moneywort (Bacopa monnieri) New 2009

December 16, 2008

Though new for the company I work for, I have been familiar with moneywort for some time. It is easy to grow and can be planted as an oxygenator under the water or a flowering bog plant.  This plant can actually be grown as an herb apparently benefiting the brain. I am not growing it for that purpose so that’s as deep as I will go into that use. As a submerged pond plant it is very easy to grow and enjoys light.  This plant will probably rot and die in shady ponds.

Bacopa monnieri, white flowers surround the base of other bog plants at the surface like umbrella palms or thalia delbata

Bacopa monnieri, white flowers surround the base of other bog plants at the surface like umbrella palms or thalia delbata Moneywort submerged growing toward the surface.

It has small white flowers above the surface and grows nicely along the base of other bog plants covering containers! Neat trick.

Red Star Ludwigia (Ludwigia glandulosa) NEW 2009!

December 16, 2008

Of the four new submerged oxygenating pond plants ,we are introducing to the homeowners of water gardens in 2009, this I think will be my favorite. A fan of Ludwigia  glandulosa for years , this new market variety is bright red and grows from below the waters surface to above. The foliage is absolutely fantastic, a deep wine red in color brings something new and amazing to the surface of the pond.

Red Star Ludwigia near waters surface
Red Star Ludwigia near waters surface

ludwigia_red

 This plant enjoys sunlight so it may not be suitable for ponds in full shade. it also likes warm water, it can be overwintered indoors with mild temps and a source of sunlight. Growth is slower than other submerged plants. It can be planted as a bog plant as well.  Great hiding source for small fish and for all fish from predators.

NEW! Lemon Bacopa (Bacopa Caroliniana)

December 16, 2008

New for 2009, Lemon Bacopa, named for its lemon scent,  is a very interesting pond plant. This plant comes bunched like anacharis but grows up to the surface of the water and then slightly above. Not only that but once above the surface it begins to bloom with tiny 1/2 inch wondrous blue flowers. This plant can also be planted as a bog plant and will love the soil and bloom more often. A great oxygenator I hope we can keep this  in stock for 2009.

Lemon Bacopa, wonderful oxygenator that blooms once it gets to the waters surface.

Lemon Bacopa, wonderful oxygenator that blooms once it gets to the waters surface.

Provides great hiding spot for fish when predators come around.  Highly reccomended.  Native to zone 8-10.  Other than submerged, great ground cover that is easy to grow in a diverse range of locations including bogs, streams, waterfalls, pond edges and container gardens; foliage lemon-scented.

submerged in an aquarium, this is how each bunch will look at the bottom of the pond.

submerged in an aquarium, this is how each bunch will look at the bottom of the pond.

Seasonal Care:
Cut tips down to 3 in. and float in a cup of water in a warm, sunny location indoors

Vallisneria, Jungle Vallisneria (Vallisneria Americana).. not sea weed

December 16, 2008

This plant will remind you of sea weed.  It is a freshwater submerged pond plant. One of the few submerged oxygenating pond plants that does not come banded and bunched as each is an individual plant. It begins with a root and small bulb underneath the stem, the leaves grow tall toward the surface. You can still use lead weights on the vallisneria to anchor each plant. Fish like the plant to hide around and most of them will leave the plant alone. It may not be as easy for baby fish to hide in as hornwort or anacharis but its a great plant and looks great under the water. It will overwinter in the bottom of ponds.

Two vallisneria plants. About 12" tall can grow to 36"+ depending on depth.

Two vallisneria plants. About 12" tall can grow to 36"+ depending on depth.

I am writing about the underwater plants so that all the less exciting plants are out of the way for the spring and summer.  Next we will have some newer varieties of submerged plants to the water garden industry. Rotala, Bacopa Lemon, and Red Star Ludwigia.

Cabomba, perhaps my least favorite submerged pond plant!

December 16, 2008
Though when growing in aquariums some of the Cabomba species may be the prettiest and softest and most gentle plants they are also by far the worst to add to any water garden with fish.
cabomba caroliniana

cabomba caroliniana

Cabomba furcata and Cabomba caroliniana are the two most common types I have found sold in the water garden industry. The plant for all intents and  purposes belongs strickly  in the aquarium plant industry. Why? Well it is very soft and both the stems and the foliage break easily. I do not find that these plants overwinter at all or they never seem to be around in the spring. Normally harvested and bunched in Florida shipped once is OK, if we ship it to another supplier and then they ship it to you, the plants arrive unhealthy and falling apart. Anacharis and hornwort can be damaged slightly in shipping and come back in a matter of days with new growth. Cabomba simply disintegrates. On top of that problem, they are so soft they make excellent meals for fish. One final problem, sold as a bunched plant, the rubber bands often destroy the bottom stems and the plant then float about the pond.

cabomba furcata

cabomba furcata

If you ever grow baby fish inside, this is a wonderful plant to add to an aquarium to serve as hiding space and food for fish fry.

Anacharis (Egeria densa) Submerged Oxygenating Pond Plants

December 14, 2008

     The most popular and easiest growing under water or submerged oxygenating pond plant is anacharis (Egeria densa) though followed closely by a wonderful hornwort which shall be discussed soon.  More info below the big picture.

Anacharis picture taken indoors.

Anacharis picture taken indoors.

     Contrary to popular belief you probably do not need these plants in your water garden. A single pump of almost any size running even a spitter or tiny waterfall will add probably a million times more oxygen to the pond than the plants in an hour. HOWEVER there are numerous other benefits from this plant and I do suggest you having plenty of these plants at the bottom of your water garden. This plant is one of only about five that should be in your pond and not be planted in soil. A basket with pea gravel should be fine if you have no large koi  (14″+) that will shred them.

     Anacharis come in small bunches about 6-8 stems rubber banded together. Many on-line companies offer these with optional weights so they sink straight to the bottom and no planting or baskets are required. The weights are a malleable (bendable) heavy metal that you simply wrap around the area where the rubber band is already located at the bottom of the stems. These plants rob the water of excess nutrients rapidly and that is a great thing, they are a super filter and suck up fish waste like it was nothing. The second benefit, a superior hiding place for adult fish and baby fish fry. Baby fry grow up around anacharis and hornwort and stay hidden from larger fish that would eat them. The larger fish hide between anacharis clusters when Hawks, Raccoons, Possums, neighborhood kids with nets, or the big daddy pond nemesis the Heron come around. Having enough submerged grasses and also surface plants (water lettuce, water hyacinths, and water lilies) keep your pond from becoming the daily buffet. Anacharis should be added 1 bunch per 10 gallons of water in ponds under 5000 gallons, or 1 bunch per 20 gallons for ponds over 5000 gallons. Thats many bunches but this product is sold in quantity and is generally a one time investment. If you have enough surface plants in your pond and submerged plants you will never add a drop of chemicals to ward off algae saving you 1000’s of dollars over the years, 100’s per season so just do it right the first time.

     Anacharis is winter hardy, sometimes fish nibble on it late or early in the year making it look like theres less in the spring butit quickly rebounds in generally days once thespring water temps are in the 60s. Hornwort can be used as an alternative also winter hardy.

Picture of weights to sinch submerged plants, 4" long they bend easy

Picture of weights to sinch submerged plants, 4" long they bend easy

Though they soak up fish waste remember the #1 cause of algae is feeding your pond fish. One or two meals per week is plenty. Theydont even need us to feed them as they live off algae and any bugs or larve inthe water. When we substitute their diet we upsetthe balance and cause an excess of waste. Waste + Water + Sunlight =Algae. If you dont feed your fish and have the proper balance of fish, you dont get algae and have clean water. The one or two meals a week are enough totrick the fish into never knowing whenit is you will feed them and they will meet you at the surface everytime you walk by the pond.