PLAIN PLANT TALK FOR NEWBIES

Mmathis

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

TurtleMommy here, again, with questions about plants:

Zone 8 (mild winters with occas. freezes), small pond (300-400-ish gals), a few goldies but mostly will be a watering hole for my box turtles. Pond is still in the planning stages. In general, my gardening philosophy is the more self-sufficient a plant or shrub, the better for all concerned :)

1. What should I look for in a plant when choosing for my pond?
2. What are good "newbie" plants?
3. What are NOT "newbie" plants? (no matter how tempting)
4. What happens in the winter: can they over-winter outdoors? Do some go dormant? Etc.
5. Are there tips for "scaping" a pond???
6. Can't think of any more, but sure there are more questions to be asked/factors to be considered...

Oh, almost forgot to add that box turtles are omnivores, but so far haven't seen evidence that my little guys are consuming their terrestrial surroundings.
 

addy1

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In your zone most will do fine.

Depends on what you are looking for, submersible, marginal, out of the water in the water etc.

Most water plants stick them in and they grow fine. Just pick some out you like, don't spend a ton on them and see how they do. Here the water plants go dormant and in the spring.......poof........they are back, just like land plants.

Not sure what you mean by scraping a pond.
 

Mmathis

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Sorry, that was "scaping," as in landscaping -- I guess waterscaping, as in where to place the plants? The "surface, marginal, submersible," is sort of where I was going with that idea -- like how to "layer" them so they look natural.
 

addy1

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Got it. I just put them in when I like the look that is where they stay.

Put along your back edge some tall growing plants, rushes stay green all summer, big root mass though, you can groom them to keep smaller. Iris stay green and are tall.
Front viewing part of the pond place lower growing plants. If you want plants in the center of the pond try some lilies, nice coverage for the sun and pretty.

as long as your turtles don't eat them

Look through some pond plant sites and pick out ones that will give you the look you want.
 

addy1

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Addy, thanks! How much water space do lilies like/need?

Most like 4-5 feet, but you can get some that tend to take up a smaller foot print. I only have hardies, survive our winter here.
 

Mmathis

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Yeah, I'll have to go with the hardy varieties! Was just reading a few articles where they talked about bringing plants inside -- 1) we don't have much sunny window space, and 2) we have cats .... :)
 

addy1

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3) too much work..............and mess lol
 

sissy

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Most plants will survive your winters MMathis and you should not have to worry to much as long as winter is not as bad as last winter.I only bring in my floating plants so I don't have to buy them next year .
 

HARO

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Hardy waterlillies come in a variety of sizes, from the miniatures which only need an area of 12 to 15 inches around, to the very large, which can take up 40 square feet or more. And don't forget that a plant in deeper water will take up more surface, since the stems will be longer and spread out more. Any grower can advise you of the suitability of a variety. John
 

Mmathis

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Thanks, all -- I had been intimidated by the idea of having plants, though know I want them. That will be one of the last things on my to-do list, so have lots of time for research.
 

addy1

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Keep reading about plants, it will help you pick out the ones that will work for you
 

taherrmann4

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I would do a variety of plants, some floaters, marginals and taller ones toward the back if you can. I even have a 5' cypress tree growing in a pot in my pond so you are really only limited to your imagination and what will grow in your zone. Be cautious about some varieties for example cattails will spread easily, you only need a few and by next year you will be giving them away by the buckets.
 

fishin4cars

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here are some good choices to give you a starter list of what I have here that have done really good.
water Lilies, hardies you can leave alone, they come back no problem, tropicals need to be dropped down to at least 3' during the winter. Most will live all winter without having to bring indoors in your area. night blooming lilies are one tropical lily I highly recommend trying, big blooms, is open during the time you enjoy the pond the most, I know they wil do go from Vicksburg Miss, to past New Orleans LA.I've kept them in several ponds over the years and they have come back year after year, SMELL GOOD TOO!
Thalia- marginal- will die back and go dormant each year, will need to be divided yearly, can be brought inside during winter and if kept warm will live all through the winter out of water as long as the roots stay moist ( reaches heights with bloom stalk of over 9' high!)
Louisiana Iris,- marginal - won't die back in winter,comes in multiple colors with yellow and violet being the two most common wild variaties found but also include yellow with violet, whitw with blue, brown, blue, game Cock (DEEP Purple with bright yellow stripe in the peddle),, and be dazzle (hybrid commonly found at aquatic stores last year. I have not gotten this one to bloom for me yet!
Taro, marginal, Good starter's are the green and black marble,Once planted can be left alone, they will go dormant but come back. black Magic does good if you can find it, Mojito, chartrues mojito, micky mouse need to be brought in until you have some established outddors. Seem to like moving water better than still for getting more baby reproduction but will clog and stop a stream if left unchecked.
Parrot's feather, floating aguatic vine the grows long roots and is great for shade and grows most of the winter, best grown near slow moving water will die back down here in the heat of the summer but comes back once the water cools
Hyacinths, easy to get in your area! (wild) does die back in the winter if there is a freeze.
dwarf papyrus, marginal, very hardy and will re- produce can be left outdoors year round.
Floating heart and snowflake, floating, grows best in early spring and late fall but survives year round.
lotus, deep marginal,(Plant at depths like a lily in winter), move to a shallower area, to get started in the spring.
anachris, great oxygenator! under water, makes great supplemental food for the fish, helps add oxygen and clears green water, grows year round and makes a great spot for fish to lay eggs
Pickeral rush, marginal, dies back and goes dormant in winter, LEAVE OUT DOORS! will double it's size the next spring, best to plant this one in a LARGE pot, If allowed to grow on it's on in the pond it can take over a pond down here in just a couple of years, attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, roots are edible (And GOOD!)
Spiral rush, Not a common plant to find here, slightly pricey if you can locate it, So far it has stayed green year round and continues growing, but slow, I have not fully over wintered this one yet so stay tuned or better ask me in the spring to see if it lived all winter.

plants I would avoid (Buying), cardinal plant, hydrilla, water orchid, red stem parrots feather, I have tried each of these with only limited sucsess, ( maybe something to do with the heat or humidity??) If you find someone willing to give you starts by all means give them a shot if the person growing them gives you growing tips. Then pass them on! LOL
 

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