Aquatic plants are extremely important to the health of your pond. Aside from providing shade and shelter for your pond fish, they also increase the oxygen level in the water and help reduce algae. There are three types of aquatic plants that primarily provide shade and oxygen to the water.
It is never too late to add plants. Here are a few suggestions:
Ideally, about 60 percent of the water's surface should be covered, allowing ample oxygen production and keeping water temperatures stable from morning to night. Common floating plants are: Water Lilies, Lotus, Water Hyacinth, Water Lettuce and Water Fern.
These submerged plants provide essential oxygen and act as a natural biological filter, benefiting the entire pond ecosystem. One bundle of oxygenators is recommended for every square foot of pond surface. Some popular varieties are: Anacharis, Eelgrass, Pondweed and Parrot's Feather.
Marginal (or bog) plants are used along the pond perimeter for a natural, relaxed design. They add some shade and absorb nutrients to keep pond water healthy. They grow best in shallow water and should be submerged to a depth of ten inches. Usually marginals are placed in fabric or plastic planters along a shallow shelf within the pond's edge. Common examples of marginals are: Water Hawthorn, Umbrella Grass, Canna Hybrids, Irises, Lizard's Tail and Cattails/Reed Mace.