Gardening

Aquatic plants


Aquatic plants


Aquatic plants are plants, usually shrubs, that have specifically specialized organs that make them survive completely submerged in water, or with the whole root system constantly submerged in water. Many aquatic plants are widespread even in nature, even in Italy, and do not fear the winter cold; others, on the other hand, are of tropical origin, so they cannot stand frost.
The first type of plant always lives in water, with the leaves and stems floating underwater or on the surface of the water; the second type instead has only the foot in the water, while the rest of the plant develops like any other shrub, in the air.
The aquatic plants have particular root systems and also particular leaves or stems, modified so as not to excessively absorb water and to make the most of all the oxygen they can find.

How to plant aquatic plants



Buying an aquatic plant it is important to know if it will live, as for example water lilies do, completely submerged, or if instead it prefers to be buried on the edges of a pond or pond; in this way we will be able to position it in the best place for its development.
Then, once the position has been identified, we will plant our plant directly in the ground, even in the common garden soil, covering the substratum with a good thickness of sand, so as to prevent the earth from going to muddy the water.
If our pond is still empty, or we can empty it, we can then place plants inside it, on the bottom, while if it is already full we will position the plants on the banks, or we will place them in a container; in this way we are going to place the container in the place we prefer or we can also put tropical plants in the pond during the summer, and we will move them to a protected place during the winter.
We use plastic containers, without holes, to fill with sand-covered earth; the container is then fixed to the bottom, or weighed down by pebbles so that it does not float.
Some plants can be placed directly in the water, since the root system does not need to be buried; in this case we can use special grilled baskets, which allow us in any case not to have to "free" the plant in the pond, but to be able to place it in the place we prefer.

The constant presence of water causes a rapid supply by the plants of nutrients; spent aquatic plants suffer from over-fertilizing, or tend to develop excessively. For this reason it is advisable to avoid excessive fertilization. Generally we proceed by inserting a small amount of slow release granular fertilizer into the soil at the time of planting, to be placed in depth in the substrate and in small quantities. There are also specific fertilizers on the market, to be dissolved in the pond water: remember to avoid excesses.
Pests and diseases can be cured by using products to vaporize on the foliage; remember, however, to avoid chemicals when there are fish or amphibians in the water, as these products are often harmful, we prefer organic products or those that do not harm aquatic life.
During the summer we also remember to watch the appearance of mosquito larvae, which often infest shallow waters; against this insect, annoying more for the man than for the plants, we can use the bacillus turingensis, which only affects the insect and does not disturb the fish; or we can place goldfish in the pond, which are particularly fond of mosquito larvae.

Most of the more decorative aquatic plants, such as water lilies, nelumbo or eichornia, do not need very large spaces of water to develop and to produce their beautiful flowers. We can prepare a small water garden even in a large tub or in a tub; in this case we will introduce the plants in a container, and we will also be able to cultivate tropical species, as we will be able to move our water garden to a sheltered place during the winter.
To know a good number of species of aquatic plants consult the section of the site dedicated to these plants