Impatiens Walleriana in Floating Island


AndyZoner

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Hey everyone - first time poster and lover of this forum!

I'm adding plants to our elementary school pond and would like to make a floating basket with impatiens. Supposedly a particular kind of Impatiens (Walleriana) is non toxic while all the other kinds are very toxic. Does anyone have experience with impatiens and goldfish? There are no plants right now and I'm worried the goldfish will nibble on the impatiens roots and go belly up. As soon as William Tricker will ship to Georgia, I'll put in a water lily, four leaf water clover, hornwort and blue flag iris.
 
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addy1

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I yanked the island when the heron decided it was a good fishing spot.
 
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I've used impatiens in and around my pond every year - never had a problem. The idea of certain plants being toxic is highly overstated, as we have found many many times. just about every plant that I have used appears on the "toxic" list. A few plants MAY make your water toxic if they fall into the pond, but most plants have to be eaten to cause a problem and fish just don't eat them in my experience.
 
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Mmathis

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@AndyZoner Hello and welcome!

Just a cautionary note — I have come across 2 different types of aquatic clover (I love ground clover!), but have no idea what they were. The first one must have been “tropical” because it didn’t come back over winter. The 2nd one I got turned out to be VERY invasive, to the point that I wasn’t able to keep it under control. Not that it’s a bad thing, because while it spread everywhere (and I do mean everywhere, in every nook an cranny, under every rock....), it did have massive root systems that were probably helpful in controlling algae. Thought I would give you a heads-up.
 
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My watercress is booming - you can get a couple of handfuls at a grocer for less than $10. Parrots feather does well also
 

AndyZoner

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@AndyZoner Hello and welcome!

Just a cautionary note — I have come across 2 different types of aquatic clover (I love ground clover!), but have no idea what they were. The first one must have been “tropical” because it didn’t come back over winter. The 2nd one I got turned out to be VERY invasive, to the point that I wasn’t able to keep it under control. Not that it’s a bad thing, because while it spread everywhere (and I do mean everywhere, in every nook an cranny, under every rock....), it did have massive root systems that were probably helpful in controlling algae. Thought I would give you a heads-up.
Thanks - the variety I'm buying is Marsillea mutica. The Internet tells me this strain is "highly aggressive", so I'm planning on potting it and watching it like a hawk. My 9 year old helped me pick the plants and the four leaf clover was a must have. I've got a local pond place that will take my trimmings/extra plants - I'm thinking I'll be giving them lots of hornwort and water clover.
 

brokensword

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Thanks - the variety I'm buying is Marsillea mutica. The Internet tells me this strain is "highly aggressive", so I'm planning on potting it and watching it like a hawk. My 9 year old helped me pick the plants and the four leaf clover was a must have. I've got a local pond place that will take my trimmings/extra plants - I'm thinking I'll be giving them lots of hornwort and water clover.
I can't plant that variety in the pond anymore as the fish and turtles eat it up. In my experience, it isn't that badly invasive. I have some on order this year because I haven't been able to keep it alive by over wintering in my basement--yet!
 

Mmathis

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Thanks - the variety I'm buying is Marsillea mutica. The Internet tells me this strain is "highly aggressive", so I'm planning on potting it and watching it like a hawk. My 9 year old helped me pick the plants and the four leaf clover was a must have. I've got a local pond place that will take my trimmings/extra plants - I'm thinking I'll be giving them lots of hornwort and water clover.
It’s great that you know this in advance — it must be the same one I had. I didn’t pot mine, though, so maybe that would help. I LOVE clover, and just knew I had to have it, as well. It grows so fast that it will reach out a runner and before you know it..... It forms massive roots and masses of runners! But it does give great cover.
 
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addy1

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I had clover one time, it did not like our area, so no more. But it was pretty!
 

AndyZoner

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The Impatiens are in!
They are Impatiens Walleriana from Home Depot ($5 for 6 plants). I gently patted the roots in a bucket of water to dislodge most of the soil - couldn't get off the top 1/2", so I left it. They're potted in well rinsed pea gravel from Home Depot, mostly bare root with enough gravel to keep the plant from floating away. Everything is floating and anchored to the bottom of the pond except the two flowers planted in a bin on the shelf.

All the containers are random containers from Goodwill (well washed before using). The round baskets are plastic colanders and the large planter with 6 plants is a swimming kick board. My husband and I used a hole saw to make the holes and I drilled a bunch of small holes in the yellow plastic cups that were then squished down through the holes in the kick board. All the containers have holes in all the sides - I'm hoping the Impatiens will spread their roots through the water.

Is it okay if the crown of the Impatiens is slightly under the water? The 2 round floating planters dip a bit too far in the water, so the crowns of the plants are about 1/2" under water. All the other plants have their crowns above the water.

Also - how far up is the water supposed to be? The picture "Impatiens 2" gives you a view of the skimmer box. Is the water supposed to be all the way to the bottom of the fake rock cover?

I was pretty bummed about the green water, but 2 people stopped to tell me the pond was looking so much better already. I put golden moneywort and Lucerne blue eyed grass in the waterfall box to act as a makeshift bog, but I need to do a lot more research so I can maximize that area for filtration.

Thank you all so much for your help! Y'all Rock!
 

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addy1

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Give them time to grow and gets those roots going, every little bit helps! Love the floating islands
 
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I think your pond water level is about right as it's looking like it's close to the top of your liner? The height/gap in the skimmer intake looks to be about right.
I'd be interested in hearing other's thoughts about the depth of the crown in relation to the water level.
 
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