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Preparing Your Pond Plants After Winter

As spring appoaches here in the Northeast, many aquarists turn their focus to outdoor ponds and water gardens. Please welcome Patty Little, our resident pond plant pro, to ThatFishBlog and read on as she gives you a few pointers on how to ready your pond plants for the coming warmer months.

Spring. The very thought of it sweeps away the winter doldrums and evokes a plethora of new ideas for outside projects and activites. For many of us, one of the biggest projects is our backyard fish pond or water feature. Whether your pond is already established, or is in the planning stages, now is the ideal time to start thinking about how you want to plant your pond and how to maintain pond plants you may already have.

As with terrestrial gardens, as soon as the threat of frost is passed, new marginal plants may be introduced, and dormant hardy plants like lilies, cattails, and irises will begin to reach for the sun. As the weather warms, and plants really start to take off, you may want to consider dividing established plants like these, as they can become rootbound and stunted in small containers. This is accomplished by removing tubers and roots from old containers, rinsing and cutting the tubers into smaller portions, repotting them in new soil, and resubmerging them in your pond, or sharing them with a friend.

Marginals introduced in spring will become lush and beautiful within weeks with the right care and conditions. Many marginals will bloom throughout the season providing color and attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. Some favorites include cannas, cardinal flowers, blue bells, and irises. Others are prized for their unique and interesting foliage, like creepers, cattails, rushes, and papyrus. Whatever your fancy, there are hundreds of marginal plants available for you to create your own backyard pond paradise. Be sure to consider sun exposure, pond size, depth and your hardiness zone when adding marginal plants, but above all have fun and enjoy your work of art!

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