Aquatic Plants

Various plants have an inevitable influence on the appearance of the interior and exterior of the house. Outdoor gardens can bring a vibrant scene and add energy to the backyard landscape. Indoor potted plants will also absorb carbon dioxide and contribute to a good living environment. Unlike the plantings we often discuss, aquatic plants are also a part of establishing a green landscape. Its establishment is a key part of the formation of an aquatic landscape.

If you have a pond or aquarium, adding aquatic plants will have a unique aesthetic. To achieve this, we will provide the most comprehensive information to help you create a water wonderland.

Aquatic plants in the pound

(Aquatic plants in the pond) 

What are aquatic plants?

Aquatic plants are those that can photosynthesize in water. They have, particularly well-developed cellular interstices and often develop special aeration tissues. This is to ensure that enough oxygen is available in the submerged part of the plant. Due to long-term adaptation to the water environment, the mechanical tissues within the stems of plants living in water almost disappear completely. 

Types of aquatic plants

Aquatic plants are usually divided into the following four categories.

Emerged plants

Emerged aquatic plants are tall, with colorful flowers, and most of them have stems and leaves. They are upright, with the lower part or base submerged in the water. The roots or stems grow in the mud, while the upper plants stand up out of the water. This is because they still need sunlight to thrive. Emerged plants are diverse and include some common aquatic plants, such as Lotus, Irises, and Cattails.



Floating-leaved plants

Floating-leaf aquatic plants have well-developed rhizomes and leave that floating on the water's surface. The leaves are usually hard and flat, and common species are Water lilies, Water Pennywort and Duckweed. Besides their beauty, some floating-leaf aquatic plants provide shade for pond life and limit the growth of algae.

Water Pennywort

(Water Pennywort) 

Submerged plants

Submerged aquatic plants have rhizomes that grow in the mud, and the entire plant sinks into the water. The leaves are mostly narrow or filiform and can absorb some of the nutrients in the water. They can grow normally under low light conditions underwater. There are certain requirements for water quality because turbid water will affect its photosynthesis. It includes goldfish algae, Najas and Anacharis.



Floating plants

There are fewer types of floating aquatic plants. The roots of these plants are not in the mud, and the plants float above the water surface. They can absorb minerals from the water. At the same time, they can shade the sunlight into the water, so they can also inhibit the growth of algae in the water. But, some species grow and multiply particularly rapidly. For example, for hyacinths, you need to regularly prune or even fish out.



How to plant aquatic plants

Preparing the growing environment

  • If you are planting aquatic plants in a pond, then you need to make sure that it is in a location that gets plenty of sunlight. Different plants have different requirements for sunlight, water quality, and planting depth. So, choose the type of aquatic plant you want to plant. For example, floating plants can be placed on the water surface, while floating-leaved plants may need a suitable container to hold the roots in place. 
  • If you want to reach the "underwater garden", then you need to prepare your aquarium. If there are fish in the aquarium, then you need to choose the right plants for compatibility. Some plants are more demanding and require high light, CO2 injection, and regular pruning.

Planting in ponds

Planting aquatic plants in a pond should be done according to the habits of different species or varieties. For aquatic plants whose rhizomes need to be in the soil, the easiest way is to use containers. This is because it is convenient to take out in the spring when the soil needs to be changed, fertilized, or divided. Moreover, this method keeps the pond water clear.

For beginners, water lilies, mugwort, and iris are much easier to grow.

  • Planting time. Plant aquatic plants in spring or early summer, when the water warms up and plants begin to sprout vigorously. 
  • Water depth. Floating plants are the easiest, requiring only enough water depth to keep them afloat. Emerged plants must be kept at a depth of 1.5 to 3 feet because the stems and leaves rise to the surface.
  • Fertilizer. Suitable substrates and fertilizers should be used to grow aquatic plants. It is best to use professional aquatic compost so that it does not pollute the water and does not drift away easily.
  • Containers. Choose special aquatic pond plant baskets that have smaller mesh to prevent soil spillage.
Pond Garden

(Pond garden) 

The process of planting aquatic plants in a pond is:

  1. Fill two-thirds of the container with garden soil that is free of chemicals.
  1. Place the aquatic plants in the basket so that the soil surrounds the roots. Make the growing point slightly above the soil level.
  1. Water the plants so that the soil becomes moist.
  1. Finally, cover the soil with a layer of gravel, which is to prevent soil loss.
  1. Water again, and afterward slowly place the container into the proper depth of water. You can use bricks if you need to adjust the height.

Growing in aquariums

If you are using an aquarium to keep fish and want to give them a natural sanctuary with some aquatic plants. Or if you want to adjust the environment in your aquarium, you can choose some easy-to-grow ones such as Anubias, Java fern, Java moss, or hornwort. 

  • Substrate. You can use a soil substrate that can provide nutrients for the plants, usually maintaining a thickness of two inches or more. It will prevent the plants from floating up. Base fertilizer is usually added in the middle of the substrate. You can lay half of the substrate first, then add base fertilizer, and then pour in the rest of the substrate. Then add a 1-inch layer of gravel on top to prevent the soil from mixing with water.
  • Lighting. Install lighting above the aquarium. Although it can grow underwater it also needs light so it can get energy and nutrients. Lighting time is preferably 6 to 8 hours per day.
  • Water temperature. Plants in aquariums have strict temperature requirements, preferably between 75 and 80 °F. And do not go below 60 °F.
aquariums plants

(Aquariums plants) 

The process of growing aquatic plants in an aquarium is:

  1. Fill the tank with water roughly 1 inch or so higher than the substrate before planting. This will ensure that the plants stay in place when the water is finally filled. And shallow water is less buoyant and easier to plant.
  1. It is best to prune the plant first to remove the rotten leaves and rotten branches. This is so that the environment inside the aquarium will not be polluted.
  1. For aquatic plants with stems, you need to plant them one by one. They will branch out quickly and cannot be planted too densely, which is not conducive to growth.
  1. And aquatic plants like mosses need to be fixed on rocks or sunken wood with fishing lines. Since they have no roots, they must be fixed with external force. Even if the fishing line is exposed outside, the moss will soon grow up to cover the fishing line and will not affect the ornamental effect.
  1. Slowly fill the water until it is full, now there may be plants floating up, just need to replant. The rotten leaves and mud floating on the water's surface will be removed in time.
  1. Open the filter and oxygen bottle. Because the water will appear turbid at this time, it takes a few hours to filter the water clean. Finally, turn on the lighting to promote plant growth.
Aquarium planting process

(Aquarium planting process) 

How to care for aquatic plants

For aquatic plant maintenance in ponds or other water features.

  • First, if the floating plants in the pond are too large and the foliage is covered with each other, they must be divided.
  • Second, if aquatic plants are spotted with pests. The best way is to flush it directly to the bottom of the water with a hose. This way there is no need to use pesticides and thus pollute the water.
  • Finally, remove the dead leaves and stems of plants in and around the pond so that decaying vegetation does not accumulate in the pond.

For plants in an aquarium, the most important thing is to change the water.

  • You can change about one-fifth to one-fourth of the water a week. If the water is cloudy, you can change one-fifth of the water every day. If the situation does not get better, you can add nitrifying bacteria.
  • The light period should be between 8 and 12 hours per day.
  • Afterward, prune the plants regularly and remove dead leaves by hand. This will prevent decaying vegetation from contaminating the water and promote healthy growth.
clean the aquariums

(Clean the aquariums) 


Mastering the basic skills of growing aquatic plants is a journey that requires knowledge and patience. Understanding how to cultivate aquatic plants has many benefits. Apart from adding charm to various water features, they can also contribute to improving the health and environmental balance of a water feature.

At Quictent we offer a wide range of gardening supplies including a portable greenhouse. Help you immerse yourself in the world of aquatic plants and achieve continuous improvement in your gardening skills!

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