Water/bog plants for small preformed pond w/ cascades - winter hardy in S. Vermont?


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Ok, so I got my pond done this year, but didn't have time to plant it, so I'm researching plants now. I found this cool site that allows you to put in your state, the conditions, and find native plants, and I'm sure that some of these must be appropriate for planting in a small garden pond, no? I'd like to stick with non-invasive perennial natives that will ideally overwinter outside in the heated pond, or at least things that are not super-invasive and that I won't have to buy over and over year after year, if possible. The catch: they must not be toxic to cats! I'm thinking this eliminate irises completely, since their rhizomes are toxic and if they are in the water, it might leech into the water? Iris versicolor is native to my area and can be grown in water, but I need to be sure it's not going to make the water toxic to cats.

Anyone want to help me make some rational decisions here? This pond is only 18" deep and the shelves are only about 10" below the water surface, so there is limited space and a depth issue, and I don't want a "water garden" in the main pond, I just want enough plants to control algae growth - I like seeing the water and seeing into the water. I have four shallow cascades that the water flows through fairly rapidly, but I have 3-4" of gravel in them that doesn't shift, so it's not such rapid flow that the gravel is pushed around. I'd like those to all be planted if possible. The top tier I'd like to make into a shallow planted mini bog type area, it's a preformed cascade that's got about 3" of gravel (I can add more) and can hold about 6" of water/gravel before the water flows out the spillway (I can tilt it back some to make it deeper in the back if that helps a lot). It's all in mostly shade except for about 3 hours of strong evening sun (from like 2pm-5pm) that blasts the hillside just enough to make it hard to grow moss on it.
https://www.wildflower.org/plants/combo.php?distribution=VT&habit=&duration=duration_perennial&light_partshade=1&light_shade=1&moist_wet=1&height_01=1&height_02=1

I see one plant called
Cardamine bulbosa that doesn't seem to be toxic at first glance. It likes wet shade.

Here's one called American Water-willow (Justicia americana). Doesn't seem to be toxic. Anyone used it in a water garden? It looks nice.

Menyanthes trifoliata appears to be a bog plant native to my area, and not toxic.

As for traditional water plants, it seems that Yellow Pond Lily (Nuphar lutea) is native to my area, as is American White Water-lily (Nymphaea odorata), Green Arrow Arum (Peltandra virginica)
and Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata). Not sure if all those are non-toxic or the size/space they need or will consume in the main pond?


I really like this Creeping Snowberry (Gaultheria hispidula) and I also really like Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) and I'm wondering if they would grow in gravel with moving water? It says they like Moist , Wet, Acidic (pH<6.8) soil. I've not tested my water, mind you, and have no idea of its pH. I'm probably going to plant both of these in other places as I like them as groundcover, but it would be cool if they could be bog plants too.

Photos of pond set-up attached.
Toss me ideas, I have all winter to plan. Needs to be stuff I can buy online or from someone here in the forums and have shipped to me (unless I can go find it in the wild and dig some up that way).
 

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Someone with more plant experience will come by and be of more use. I had a deck pond this year with water willow that did well. I have a newly built bog, and put the water willow in , as well as bog bean.
 
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Someone with more plant experience will come by and be of more use. I had a deck pond this year with water willow that did well. I have a newly built bog, and put the water willow in , as well as bog bean.
@Tula How are you going to winter it? just leave it and see what happens?
 
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@Tula How are you going to winter it? just leave it and see what happens?
Yes. I planted them a couple weeks ago and they seemed to take hold. The bog is turned off, but the water level remains just beneath the surface of the gravel. I have some pictures posted on my thread titled Tula's BBB ( Baby Bog Build ) under pond construction.
 
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Plants won't make your water toxic - any plant that's considered toxic would have to be eaten, and probably in considerable quantity to cause a problem.
 

addy1

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Here's one called American Water-willow (Justicia americana). Doesn't seem to be toxic. Anyone used it in a water garden? It looks nice.

Menyanthes trifoliata appears to be a bog plant native to my area, and not toxic.
I have both growing, the water willow grows right in the water, great filtering root mass, it grows in the bog, it grows in wet dirt. It spreads, slowly by itself. Plant a stem laying down and you can have xxx plants grow out of the stem.

Really nice light purple flowers.

The bog bean, buck bean, is also a great plant. I put the roots in dirt and it grows across the water, great filtering root masses. I do have a bit in the big pond just sort of floating around and it is doing fine. A slow spreader. Neat white flowers. Pond, bog, wet dirt.

The water willow gets maybe 12 inches tall, the bog bean stays ground level.

I have the yellow floating heart, it does fine in my small hot tub pond. Looks like a mini lily.
 
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Plants won't make your water toxic - any plant that's considered toxic would have to be eaten, and probably in considerable quantity to cause a problem.
That's a relief. I do like iris a lot and was sad to have to eliminate them.
 
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I have both growing, the water willow grows right in the water, great filtering root mass, it grows in the bog, it grows in wet dirt. It spreads, slowly by itself. Plant a stem laying down and you can have xxx plants grow out of the stem.
Clarification question: When you say "grows in the bog, it grows in wet dirt" does that mean it won't grow if not in dirt? I have gravel, but not dirt, since it's a preformed pond. Could it live in shallow gravel? What if I add some Flourite aquarium substrate to that section (substrate for planted aquariums)?
 
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addy1

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When you say "grows in the bog, it grows in wet dirt" does that mean it won't grow if not in dirt? I have gravel, but not dirt,
The bog plants grow in the bog just in pea gravel, they also grow outside of the bog in wet/damp dirt. IE they are "volunteers" grow where they want. Some even grow in normal garden dirt not wet, not dry. I don't water anything and they managed to survive our very dry and hot September
 
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The bog plants grow in the bog just in pea gravel, they also grow outside of the bog in wet/damp dirt. IE they are "volunteers" grow where they want. Some even grow in normal garden dirt not wet, not dry. I don't water anything and they managed to survive our very dry and hot September
Perfect! Thank you.
 

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