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Planting Advice

For all aquatic plants and pond planting services, look no further than Lilies Water Gardens as we provide a professional and quick solution. From being able to buy lilies to pond vegetation and pond accessories; we provide all the necessary services to ensure that you are able to have the beautiful addition to your garden. Call us today on 01306 631064 to go through your own pond plants and accessory requirements.

Planting Containers

Planting aquatic plants in to clay or silt bottomed ponds and lakes is easy, but with lined and fibre glass ponds, all your water plants will need to be planted into containers or planting bags. There are two options available, traditional plastic mesh baskets and fabric planting bags, both have advantages and disadvantages. Aquatic planting baskets have the advantage that they are strong and will last for years, their sides have hundreds of small holes, designed to let the plants spread their roots out in to the water where they can absorb nutrients for healthy growth. Baskets come in a range of different sizes and shapes, the movement of water caused by filtration and the movement of fish over time will slowly wash the aquatic soil out of the baskets, so all mesh baskets will need to be lined with hessian squares or cloth liners, hessian rots away after a couple of years. It’s only too common to be cleaning out your pond only to find planting baskets with starved out plants desperate to get their roots back in the soil that has been washed out. On this note you may decide to line baskets with flat pack cloth liners, cloth liners are more expensive than hessian but longer lasting and excellent for preventing soil erosion. More popular nowadays are the flat pack planting bags, not as long lasting as mesh baskets, but they have advantages, there is no soil erosion, they are cheap, don't require liners and  are very adaptable for uneven Marginal shelving.

Planting Soil

We have a range of aquatic soils specially formulated with the correct balance of nutrients, for growing water lilies and aquatic plants. Aquatic soil is heavy and helps keep the plants and their containers upright and in the original chosen place, preventing them from blowing over in strong winds. Don’t dig up your own garden soil unless you want unhappy, starved out plants or risk of contamination from your neighbour’s cat!

Duckweed Problem?

Lemna Minor and Lemna Major, both more commonly known as duckweed, are  extremely invasive tiny floating plant’s often covering the entire water surface. A commonly asked question is how do I get rid of it? You may have tried time and time again and think that it is an impossible task. Let me assure you that it’s not. We have eradicated it from our entire nursery. It requires a lot of time, patience and perseverance for badly contaminated ponds it’s often easiest to discard all plants, baskets and rocks, remove the pond liner, wash it thoroughly and leave it to dry for a few days. Monitor your pond daily and remove straight away any bits that may have gone unseen. Add some of our Duckweed Control treatment to kill off any new outbreaks or to treat badly contaminated ponds before you eradicate your life from duckweed. Prevention is far easier than treatment. We are proud to be owners of a duckweed-free nursery!

Blanket Weed and Green Water

Another frequently asked question is how do I get rid of blanket weed? Scientifically known as filamentous or string algae, during the spring and summer blanket weed can get so out of control it literally chokes pond plants. There are various solutions and preventions to the problem. Blanket weed can be controlled to a certain degree by literally pulling it out regularly (daily). We have a whole range of algae, blanketweed treatments available, by far the most popular and used by ourselves is a product called clover-leaf blanket weed answer, which adjusts the water chemistry. Introducing daphnia (water fleas), live tropical fish food purchased from aquatic retailers, will mass-produce and leave you with a lovely clear pond.

For green water we recommend you try using some of our barley straw products, a more natural way of adjusting the water chemistry, these products come as natural straw, extract liquid and pellets. Again, prevention of problems is better than cure. The right type and amount of plant growth, and approximately two thirds of surface area covered in floating plants, combined with nitrate removing submerged plants will create the correct eco-balance, cutting down on sunlight and discouraging all types of algae growth – achieving excellent results.

Fertilisers for Pond Plants

Natural ponds, streams and lakes have their own nutrients and eco-balance. However, in fibre glass or lined water gardens, too many or not enough nutrients can be a problem. We therefore recommend when planting you use one of our aquatic soils which are especially formulated with the correct balance of nutrients for starting plant growth and  maintaining clear water. Without natural high nutrient sludge, aquatic plants can become starved out, we stock a range of aquatic plant food products to enhance healthy plant growth and flowers throughout the spring and summer.

Overwintering Aquatic Plants

With winter fast approaching your pond plants will benefit from a bit of tender love and care. When all plant growth has died back you may simply remove it, cutting water lilies, marginals and bog-garden plants back to about 6 inches. We do not recommend you cut back anything that is evergreen.

Correct Water Depth for Aquatic Plants

On numerous occasions customers and visitors have arrived at our nursery, unfortunately to discover that the depth of their water garden – that they have spent days slaving away over digging – is unsuitable in depth to house the plants that they would like to purchase. Others have dug the whole pond to one deep level without any deep shelves. A few customers have even dug their pond so deep that they have left our nursery disappointed and empty handed. We recommend you have three different levels. Marginal shelves should be 7-9 inches deep; make your pond shelves extra wide in places with interest curves, unless of course you are going formal. Your pond level should then drop down to about 12-16 inches to house deep-water plants and small water lilies, and drop again to 36 inches to house some submerged aquatic plants and large water lilies.

Encouraging Wildlife

There are several measures to be taken in order to attract wildlife to your water garden. Densely planted ponds, streams and surrounding areas will create a haven for wildlife. To encourage dragonflies we recommend that you plant a range of iris, pontederia and other rush-like plants. Gentle sloping sides or beach areas are ideal for young amphibians to climb out of as well as making a safe place for birds and animals to drink.

Lilies Water Gardens Latest Blog Posts

Clean your Pond Out In February

(Fri, 15 Feb 2019 17:12:20 +0000)

    Clean Your Pond Out In February Most of us would still consider February as winter however, in certain parts of the UK like the west counties of Devon and Cornwall, spring usually arrives earlier than the southern counties … Continue reading

Pond Plants or Water Garden Plants (what is the difference)?

(Sun, 10 Feb 2019 10:25:21 +0000)

Pond Plants or Water Garden Plants (What Is the Difference)?   This may well be one of the shortest articles I have ever written, but the two headings could cause a little confusion, so I need to explain.   Pond … Continue reading

The History of Lilies Water Gardens

(Thu, 31 Jan 2019 10:53:35 +0000)

The History of Lilies Water Gardens All journeys have a beginning and an end but, I can only write up to this present day as the future of Lilies Water Gardens is yet to be told.  I take a lot … Continue reading

Bare-Rooted Water Lilies

(Thu, 31 Jan 2019 09:51:19 +0000)

  Bare-Rooted Water Lilies   Hardy Water Lilies grow and spread from tubers and rhizomes.  These soft woody root stocks are designed by nature to store essential nutrients and in late summer and early Autumn, the stems, blooms and Water Lily … Continue reading

The Demoiselle, Natures Fresh Water Wonder

(Mon, 07 Jan 2019 10:43:09 +0000)

The Demoiselle, Natures Fresh Water Wonder Introduction My first sighting of a Demoiselle (from the Dragonfly family), was in North Devon whilst walking up a woodland stream.  Female Demoiselle are brown in color and not as easy to spot but the … Continue reading

Baldelia Ranunculoides (Lesser Water Plantain)

(Mon, 07 Jan 2019 10:30:30 +0000)

Baldellia Ranunculoides (Lesser Water Plantain) Lesser Water Plantain is a British, shallow marginal plant that grows in still fresh water at the side of very gentle free flowing water.  It has a creeping habit and produces a very pretty airy … Continue reading

Re-Potting Marginal Pond Plants

(Mon, 17 Dec 2018 09:47:20 +0000)

  Re-Potting Marginal Pond Plants There are two types of marginal plants, shallow marginal plants and deep water marginal plants.  Shallow marginal plants grow literally at the water edge and require no more than 4 cm of water depth.  The … Continue reading

Attract Bees and Butterflies to your Water Garden with Succisa Pratensis

(Sun, 05 Aug 2018 07:51:22 +0000)

Attract Bees And Butterflies To Your Water Garden with Succisa Pratensis   Succisa Pratensis also known as (Devils Bit Scabious), is a UK native deciduous perennial.  It’s natural growing habitats include damp meadows, marshes and along river banks, however, the … Continue reading

Growing Water Lilies in Deep Ponds

(Sun, 22 Jul 2018 07:31:31 +0000)

  Growing Water Lilies in Deep Ponds   One of the most frequent inquiries I receive is “What Water Lilies are suitable for deep water.”? The deepest water in larger ponds and lakes could be anywhere between 4 to 15 feet in … Continue reading

Juncus Species and Cultivars for Ponds

(Sun, 08 Jul 2018 07:25:23 +0000)

  Juncus Species and Cultivars for Ponds   Planting up a pond or water garden is not always about flowers.  The colour of foliage and plants that produce interesting seed heads can be just as visual and create a natural … Continue reading