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Non-water Plants That Grow In The Water?


lantern567

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Beyond the plants that we can buy specifically as water plants, there are some that normally grow on land, but can do very well growing right in the pond, either in a pot, a floating island, or maybe in a waterfall.

I've learned on this site about Peace Lily and Spider Plant, and can vouch for the fact that they are doing well.

Can folks share some of the other plants they've found, that successfully grow in the water?

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I really don't know much about plants, but I do know that most Philidendrons can live with their roots entirely in water, so if you wanted to put them the edge of a pond or maybe even floating in the water it would work. I broke off pieces of my mom's houseplants and stuck them in my newt terrarium and they've flourished for a few years now. The only thing is they're poisonous, so you have to be careful what species you use them with.

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Papyrus plant, or otherwise known as Umbrella plant, is another great variety for a plant. They are naturally water loving to begin with, and grow amazing in the pond. There are a few different varieties out there, and I usually look at the one that is a bit more winter hardy. The one I bought this spring from Lowe's can withstand temperatures up to 20 degrees or so, which is perfect for a Georgia winter. It won't make it through a Massachusetts winter, so you have to bring it inside most likely.

Basically, I bought ONE plant, and put that into a rubbermaid pond. Over the course of a year, I got SIX 6ft tall plants out of it, and I kept dividing and dividing and dividing. And it was the dwarf variety, and it still grew 6 ft tall and one foot wide at the base. I tell you, that plant loves the fish water.

JikinTub.jpg

Its roots grow out of the pot, and its an excellent natural filter addition - using the nitrates as fertilizer. Dwarf my foot! :rofl3

Other plants I read about are:

- Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris)

- Bog Iris

- Taro plant (used that, and I loved the purple variety). Its a close relative to the elephant ears, and they do probably

well in water also, although I read somewhere the elephant ears might have a toxic part to it (probably the bulb)

- Red lobelia (Lobelia cardinalis)

- Bee Balm

- some fern varieties, like the lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina), ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris), royal fern (Osmunda regalis) and giant chain fern (Woodwardia fimbriata)

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Bog iris? Is that water iris?

I've had that in my pond before. Planted right on the bottom when it was only 3ft deep.

As it can grown to 5ft high. But has beautiful yellow flowers.

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Yeah..Elephant Ears LOVE water. A frost knocked the ones outside the bathroom down to the roots, and in about 6 months, they're back to being 8+ FEET tall. HUGE leaves. They're blocking almost the entire window, and almost touch the eaves of the roof.

I really seriously wouldn't suggest them for a pond. They just get way too big for more "tame" environments. If you want them wild, then it's fine, go ahead and plant them. The make great shade plants outside windows if you don't mind losing your view, lol.

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One of the non-water plants I have in my pond is Blue Bell, Ruellia brittoniana [roo-EL-lee-a brit-tone-ee-AY-nah - a member of the family Acanthaceae], is also known as the Mexican Petunia, Texas Petunia, Summer Petunia, Desert Petunia, False Petunia, Wild Petunia, Mexican Pansie, Florida Bluebells, Mexican Blue Bells, Common Ruellia, Desert Ruellia, Ruellia, and Mexican Barrio Ruellia.

It is a tender evergreen perennial that forms colonies of stemmy, purple stalks standing 2 to 3 feet in height and almost as wide. The strong semi-woody stalks are distinctly vertical in aspect and hold attractive dark green, purple-tinged leaves oppositely at the nodes. The lance-shaped leaves are 6-12 inches in length and 1/2 to 3/4 inches wide. When grown under hot sunny conditions the foliage assumes a metallic bluish cast that creates the perfect backdrop for the scores of vibrant blue flowers that appear with the onslaught of hot summer weather.

The blossoms are trumpet shaped (showy petunia-like, although it is not related to the garden variety petunia) and about 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter and are borne at the tips of the stems. Varieties with white, pink, and many shades of blue are available. Mexican petunia is very showy when in full bloom due to the clouds of admiring butterflies that swarm about the plants. It has a long bloom period, although the individual flowers last for only one day.

I am told, by my pond-plant supplier, that R. brittoniana will survive in our area (zone 5) if placed below the ice line in the pond (it will not survive frost in the ground). This is the first year I have had it so I can not affirm that claim.

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Interesting, PHYLAL, about keeping the plant below the freeze line. When I bought a water plant at a pond store, the owner told me to sink the pot. Maybe that is a general technique that would work with many plants that can stand the cold, but not freezing.

Thanks for all the ideas, I'm keeping notes!

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  • 3 weeks later...
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This is question is an extention of the primary topic but....

Does anyone know a way to successfully over-winter (in the Philadlephia area, where the top 4 inches of the 4 foot average depth pool/pond freezes solid) such plants as water lettuce and water hyacinths?

I would hate to have to rebuy another supply next Spring.

Oliver

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Good question. Of course, both plants are considered noxious pests where it's warm year-round, but in northern climates we don't have to worry quite as much about them getting into the natural habitat and disrupting things - they would die off during the freeze. From doing a bit of reading, it seems that water hyacinth may tolerate colder weather than water lettuce. Maybe a tub in a garage?

Actually, today I put some water hyacinth into a fishless cycle aquarium, along with some ammonia, so I'll be learning how they do in the house. I'm not saving that much, because they multiply so fast, but I know you have large ponds and are probably hoping to save more.

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Good question. Of course, both plants are considered noxious pests where it's warm year-round, but in northern climates we don't have to worry quite as much about them getting into the natural habitat and disrupting things - they would die off during the freeze. From doing a bit of reading, it seems that water hyacinth may tolerate colder weather than water lettuce. Maybe a tub in a garage?

Actually, today I put some water hyacinth into a fishless cycle aquarium, along with some ammonia, so I'll be learning how they do in the house. I'm not saving that much, because they multiply so fast, but I know you have large ponds and are probably hoping to save more.

Some additional advice I was given said that it was not economically feasible to attempt an indoor over-winter save, given the cost of grow-lights and the energy to keep them lit. Then again, I have a very large pool surface area (600 sq ft?), and it requires a lot of such plants for meaningful coverage. I'd hate to have to start from scratch each Spring, buying a new supply.

I thought I saw somewhere whee they can be kept by being fully-submerged over the winter, but I can't locate the reference data.

Oliver

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  • 6 months later...
  • 4 months later...
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Yes, I want to know as well. Is the whole spider plant, and peace lily submerged?

From my previous experience, these are not good plants to submerge. I think peace lily is another name for Brazilian Sword, which will die submerged. Spider plants won't mind their roots wet but they will decompose if fully submerged.

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  • 7 months later...
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I've had fantastic success with blue lobelia, planted in a floating mesh planter so that it floats around in the current. Tried wave petunia one year in the same pot, not so great, got spindly. We sink the variegated cat tail in the winter, and it comes back great like a weed.

I would LOVE to be able to somehow find a way to overwinter the floating hyacinths, waterlettuce and hornwort. They definitely don't survive our winter, even if sunk (including the hornwort). One year I brought some in and put them in the hospital tank, but without a proper plant light they went black and died. Submerged as much hornwort as I could into our indoor goldfish tanks this fall, hoping the growth would outperform the goldies' appetites. Nope, lol. They had it all munched up in about a month or so.

SO, I am not looking forward to, but anticipate, spending more $ on these plants in the spring when they finally arrive at our garden center. The hornwort and the roots of the hyacinths are fantastic and safe hiding spots for the fry, not to mention helping to keep the water healthy :)

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SO, I am not looking forward to, but anticipate, spending more $ on these plants in the spring when they finally arrive at our garden center. The hornwort and the roots of the hyacinths are fantastic and safe hiding spots for the fry, not to mention helping to keep the water healthy :)

I agree about the hyacinths. The temptation is to overbuy in the Spring, but my 6 plants last summer ended up dividing enough to where they would have covered my 7x12 pond twice over had I not been pulling them regularly. I also like the fact that their growth seems to parallel the same items they seem to purify out of the water. I had taken the healthiest last Fall and placed them in a rubbermaid storage bin out front in the sun, but didn't see the forecasted storm which sadly iced them over one night before I'd had a chance to roll them into the garage. So I'll be buying some more this Spring, though I wish the garden centers would stock them before May.

The Irises are doing very well and are both thick and with leaves poking 6-8 inches above water. The Pontederia (pickeral plants) have grown a couple of inches over the past week and about a dozen leaves are above water as well. Still no sign of activity from the Umbrella plants. This was my first winter for them, but I did bring the water up 6 inches over normal for the winter so all the plants were well out of the 2" of ice that formed over a week long cold snap. Bottom of the pond made it down to 39 degrees. The lilly pads looked pretty torn up from normal, but there are 8-10 small submerged pads making their way up. They are at the house side of the pond and see the sun last in Spring. I think they are also where the racoon(s) staged an attack last Summer. No coon signs so far with the pond covered with 3/4" deer netting. A heron came by a few times but I think it has given up in frustration. Pond bottom temp ranges between 47 in the morning and 52 in the afternoon after the main waterfall pump has been run for 6 hours. The filtration pump caught a pebble and froze which is why I had to go in today with the chest waders. Hopefully a couple of days will clear the water again.

I found a floater in January, one in February, and fished 3 out today as I did maintenance work. All were bright silver colored, and the most recent two showed signs of fin rot. I was in the pond a week ago to clean the submerged filter and may have kicked up some detritus. I've counted as many as 20 of the original 40 comets I bought for a dime apiece 2 years ago. They are all 4-6 inches now and well filled out I figure I lost 8 the first year and 12 last year, with all but one going to predators. I'm guessing I have around 100 of the fry born last summer, and all of the floaters have been from that group. All of the floaters have been silver in color, which may be a sign of sickness or weakness. About 3/4 of the fry were fully orange. Do they turn over time? Last summer I had 24 orange and 8 blacks of the original fish, but now all the big ones are orange. I find it statistically improbable that the coons only snagged the black ones, so do they turn color even after a year?

All in all things looked good. I plan to add a 12-18" high cedar fence on the grass side to discourage the heron. Not sure about trapping coons again after the skunk incident last summer. =8-O

We have a neighborhood coyote so perhaps it is helping to curb those pests w/o affecting the fish.

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All of the floaters have been silver in color, which may be a sign of sickness or weakness. About 3/4 of the fry were fully orange. Do they turn over time? Last summer I had 24 orange and 8 blacks of the original fish, but now all the big ones are orange. I find it statistically improbable that the coons only snagged the black ones, so do they turn color even after a year?

We brought in a silver fish in the fall, and he started turning orange within a few months. I think they do turn fairly quickly, THOUGH we've found some pretty large fat fish who have remained silver. I would guess that the coons would go after the brightest ones first. Easier to evade the predators when you are silver I am thinking; it is hard to see them. Saw just one this week after the ice melted - he looks to have been born last summer, but still silver.

I'm sorry you have so many predators :( Our pond is very deep with not much ledge, so we haven't had a coon or heron yet. *knocking on wood*. We did, however, have a young mink at our pond last fall. What a carnage :( Live-trapped him and set him loose in a swamp/woodland area FAR FAR AWAY.

Even with the predators, sounds like you have a very lively and active pond! Nice!

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  • 11 months later...
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Papyrus plant, or otherwise known as Umbrella plant, is another great variety for a plant. They are naturally water loving to begin with, and grow amazing in the pond. There are a few different varieties out there, and I usually look at the one that is a bit more winter hardy. The one I bought this spring from Lowe's can withstand temperatures up to 20 degrees or so, which is perfect for a Georgia winter. It won't make it through a Massachusetts winter, so you have to bring it inside most likely.

Basically, I bought ONE plant, and put that into a rubbermaid pond. Over the course of a year, I got SIX 6ft tall plants out of it, and I kept dividing and dividing and dividing. And it was the dwarf variety, and it still grew 6 ft tall and one foot wide at the base. I tell you, that plant loves the fish water.

JikinTub.jpg

Its roots grow out of the pot, and its an excellent natural filter addition - using the nitrates as fertilizer. Dwarf my foot! :rofl3

Other plants I read about are:

- Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris)

- Bog Iris

- Taro plant (used that, and I loved the purple variety). Its a close relative to the elephant ears, and they do probably

well in water also, although I read somewhere the elephant ears might have a toxic part to it (probably the bulb)

- Red lobelia (Lobelia cardinalis)

- Bee Balm

- some fern varieties, like the lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina), ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris), royal fern (Osmunda regalis) and giant chain fern (Woodwardia fimbriata)

Hey Ranchu girl!!!! this is great info ... I will check this out .. thanks

tom

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  • 2 months later...
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If you have submersed growth plants that also have a emerged growth state, you can let them grow out of the water and get a float ring to help support the upward growth. It will grow roots and leaves underwater as well as leaves/stems above the water. Wisteria is the most common. It's nice because the plants in the water add air and clean the water while the above plants absorb extra nutrition and mulm if you have any.

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  • 8 months later...
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I just bought an African Iris. I read that Iris can be planted in a pond. Is this true? I want to put it in the pond, but if it won't do well in the pond, I'll plant it next to the pond. I think that if they do well in ponds, I'll cut some holes in the sides of the pot so the roots can get to nutrients in the water. Has anyone tried Iris in ponds?

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I put plants in the top of my filter, and in a a box of lava rock that my filter empties into. I put the plants in small flowerpots of pea gravel, and the roots grow into the water. Then I have tables or stools in the pond that I set larger plants on. I like to use the mesh plant baskets like this: http://www.homedepot...d&storeId=10051 I have planted them in kitty litter clay and in pea gravel. Both work, but it's a lot easier to handle them in pea gravel. I don't use soil, because I have them there to take their nutrients from the water. I prefer to have the top of the plant pot out of the water to keep the fishies out. Otherwise the planting media is all over the bottom of the pond.

I just read that African iris grows naturally in marshes, so it should do fine in the pond. Cannas are wonderful in ponds.

I try to grow water lilies, but my goldies eat them.

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  • 2 years later...
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I love my pink and green water celery here in zone 9.5  This is hardy in Zone 6 or higher

 

water-celery.jpg

 

and this pink and green grass called Phalaris "Strawberries and Cream" is hardy in zones 4-11

Phalaris.JPG
 

Edited by mysterygirl
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  • 3 years later...
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Iris do well in ponds in a few inches of water, bog iris and planted iris are the same thing. Iris are very hardy and do well moved from one environment to the other. I'm also in Pa. and have never had luck over wintering floating plants for my ponds. I have had Parrot feather survive from one year to the next. Another nice plant is watercress, if you find it at the supermarket with a root system just clean it off and put it in your waterfall. 
 

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