Pond Prescriptions

Ailment: I have never had water plants before, but have heard my pond should have them.

Are they really something I should consider this spring for my water garden?

Prescription: Water plants are another way to maintain an ecological balance in your water garden. A variety of surface, submerged and marginal plants will help keep your water cleaner, provide oxygen for fish and help starve out algae growth by eating unwanted nutrients in the water. Plants also provide a safe haven for fish.

Ailment: For the first time this spring, I added aquatic plants to my water garden. Now that I am anticipating colder temperatures, what should I do with my water lilies during the winter?

Prescription: If they are tropical plants, you can try over-wintering them indoors. Children’s small plastic pools or tubs, such as those made by Rubbermaid, usually work well.

Hardy lilies that are potted can be pruned flush with their container and put into the deepest part of the pond for winter.

Water lilies that are planted in the pond bottom itself can be pruned back at the end of the growing season. They should re-emerge once the water warms in the spring.

Ailment: All our frogs died last winter in our pond. We had around 20. What would cause the frogs to die? Would an air diffuser keep this from happening?

Prescription: Frogs cannot survive in the bottom of a water garden. Frogs enter a water garden thinking it is an ideal home for them. Frogs actually (in the wild) hibernate in the mud on the banks of a pond. The mud allows for oxygen to be provided. they cannot live submersed in water.

An air diffuser is always recommended during winter months to oxygenate your water. The diffuser will keep water clearer and provide better oxygen for all wildlife. Also, when other food sources become scarce, animals such as raccoons, will find water gardens and eat frogs. That may also explain your frogs disappearance.