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Tuesday
Jun082010

Container Water Gardens

Not everyone can afford a full-scale pond feature in his or her backyard space. For those looking to include aquatic plants without professional construction, try a container water garden. They are a great alternative (like a flower container to a flower bed) and give you more control over environmental factors including invasive plants and pest control. Here are a few tips to get started:

Containers: While even a small bowl or Mason jar can hold a water plant, a nice size container is about 12 to 24 inches wide by 12 to 16 inches deep. Plastic containers are the easiest (since they’re already water-tight), but ceramic and wooden vessels are the most attractive. Just make sure the ceramic is sealed and the wooden barrels lined with plastic before building your garden. Remember, you can group various size containers together for a real statement.

Selecting Plants: Depending on the size of the container, select a spiky, erect plant, such as sweet flag, Acorus calamus, or yellow flag iris, Iris pseudacorus. Combine with a broad-leaf plant, such as Giant arrowhead, Sagittaria latifolia, or calla lily, Zantedeschia aethiopica. Add a cascading plant, such as water mint, Mentha aquatica, or parrot feather, Myriophyllumaquaticum.

Planting: Pot your plants in containers filled with a heavy, packed clay and then submerge them underwater. You may have to place them on an item like a brick or old, terracotta pot to keep the plant’s foliage above the waterline. Add floating plants like water lettuce, Pistia stratiotes, or water hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes, but be careful not to crowd the container.

Care: Position the container so it receives about six hours of sunlight per day. Make sure to add water every few days, as the sun will evaporate some. Add a fertilizer tablet once the plants start to grow. You can find one at any garden center. If algae develop, remove the plants, empty the container and refill with clean water.    

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Reader Comments (1)

Great home ideas! I have reading along and really enjoy it.
February 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersabine

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