AMES, Iowa ― Water features can be an impressive focal point for any yard or garden. Starting a water garden – even one as simple as a large container of water – can also expand the gardener’s choice of possible plants to be enjoyed.
The type of plants that can be best featured in a water garden is the subject of one of the articles in the July issue of the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Small Farm Sustainability newsletter. The article is titled “Water Gardens: Aquatic Plants” and is written by Cindy Haynes, associate professor and extension specialist in horticulture at Iowa State University.
“Water gardens have the ability to bring both beauty and sound into the landscape,” said Haynes. “Not only are they pretty, but often times they have a waterfall or fountain feature and this combination of beauty and sound is really relaxing. Due to wildlife they can attract there is also an entertainment value with a water garden that you don’t always get with other landscape features.”
The article features information on selecting plants, providing details on common varieties that can be used as floating plants, submerged plants, shallow marginal plants and deep water plants.
“The first thing to think about when picking plants for a water garden is their hardiness,” Haynes said. “Not every plant will overwinter well in a water garden, and some things like floating or submerged plants will need to be purchased every year because the winter weather will kill them. For shallow or deep water plants, if they are hardy enough there are ways to protect them through the winter.”
The article also provides information on best practices for planting and fertilizing aquatic plants that are added to a garden.