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Pond Oxygenating Plants that Quietly Do the Heavy Lifting for Crystal Clear Waters

Pond Oxygenating Plants that Quietly Do the Heavy Lifting for Crystal Clear Waters

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Adding a natural feature like a pond in your garden can accentuate your backyard space and offer you a stress-relieving view.

When cultivating the pond, you’ll want to integrate a wide variety of green life, from floating foliage to pond oxygenating plants.

Although submerged and not as visible as floating species, pond oxygenating plants are beneficial for their filtration properties.

Stick around to learn more about them, their uses, and how to plant them.

What are Pond Oxygenating Plants?

Pond oxygenating plants are those submerged in your pond and filter the water from potential algae growth.

These plants harvest their nutrients through their leaves. As their name suggests, their foliage emits oxygenating properties to the water for fish and other living vertebrae in the pond.

Pond oxygenating plants also provide living spaces and protection for fish. A few of the most commonly grown oxygenating plants include bushy pondweed, hornwort, and Cabomba.

Growing Pond Oxygenating Plants

You can keep the plant submerged by anchoring it in a gravel-filled pot. You can add sand or clay pellets to the container as well.

Plus, don’t use a container with drainage holes. Follow the depth indicated by the oxygenating plant’s instructions to keep it healthy.

Before planting the plant, the pond should have enough carbon dioxide levels from living things. Subsequently, you can wait about four weeks until the gas levels are adequate.

Season-wise, oxygenating pond plants grow best around April and June.

How Many Pond Plants Do I Need?

Aside from appearances and placements, the number of pond plants is critical in maintaining your garden landscape.

Generally, 60% can provide sufficient coverage. Nevertheless, it depends on your filtration system, positioning, and stocking levels.

For instance, you can plant one bunch of oxygenating plants for 100 square feet.

Meanwhile, for every 10 square feet, add a floating plant, such as Cape pondweed.

In addition, place one marginal aquatic plant for every five inches of pond edge. You can add a bog plant alongside each marginal aquatic plant added.

Overall, try to incorporate different varieties to boost your pond’s diversity.

Can a Pond Have Too Many Plants?

It’s possible to have a surplus of plants in your pond. They can negatively impact the landscape’s ecosystem and harm the fish.

During the day, oxygen production is at an all-time high, which leads to raised water pH levels. Likewise, plants also breathe and replace oxygen with carbon dioxide, lowering pH levels.

That said, a lack of balance can lead to a depletion in oxygen and reduce your fish numbers. In addition, plants that naturally dieback or rotting foliage can adversely affect water quality.

What Plants Are Good for Koi Ponds?

Koi fish offer an elegant and colorful addition to your pond. These carp fish can coexist with multiple pond plant species thanks to their hardy nature. Here are some below.


Luckily, there’s no shortage of watercress in the market. The plant is easy to manage and provides multiple benefits for your pond.

Your koi can munch on the plants for sustenance. Plus, the pond vegetation gives protection from single-cell algae.

The good news is that watercress is affordable, and you can shop for them at your supermarket. Place the thickest stem in your pond, and it’ll grow.

Keep in mind that watercress tends to be invasive. Be sure to manage the plant’s growth by removing excess foliage. Fortunately, you can add it to your meals to avoid waste.


Fanworts, also termed water shield, offer bright green, fanned out foliage perfect for fish to hide near. The oxygenator has delicate leaves and stems perfect for amiable species.

One of the unique features of the fanworts are the flowers it grows that reach the surface of the pond.

That said, fanworts grow best in ponds around three to ten feet deep. Plus, a muddy bed is suitable for its roots to cling onto.

Red Rotala

Red rotala provide a distinct pop of color to your pond’s bed. The oxygenator is adorned with thick, vivid red foliage for koi fish to hide and spawn near.

Similar to the fanworts, red rotalas also have blooms that creep to the surface. The rotala’s flowers are purple giving off an exquisite appearance to your pond.


Eelgrass is an oxygenating plant ideal for shading your koi fish and providing a unique decorative appearance to the pond.

The ribbony leaves act as a filtration system and clear excess nitrates from the water. Aside from that, eelgrass usually thrives in deep waters.

Nonetheless, make sure they get some sunlight by clearing out overhead floating plants.

Why Are My Pond Plants Not Growing?

Despite working endlessly to cultivate an exquisite pond, you may witness little to no growth after a few weeks. It could point to several reasons.

Insufficient Sunlight

Whether it’s too much or too little sunlight, pond plants usually turn a yellow shade. Most pond plants require direct sunlight. Subsequently, they’re likely not growing due to not enough light.

When creating your pond, keep your aquatic plants out of shaded regions. Typically, pond plants need approximately six hours of direct sun to flourish.

If the plant is still experiencing some difficulty growing, you can place it in a separate container. Once initial growth is underway, put it back in its pond basket.

Inadequate Temperature

Aquatic plants survive best with temperatures ranging between 70 to 80 degrees F. Maintaining that range is critical for your plant’s growth process.

If your pond is overheating, add a landscape feature to provide extra shade for the water to cool off.

Additionally, you can use a water pump to keep your pond’s circulation going and less prone to overheating. A waterfall feature also works similarly to keep temperatures stable.

On the other hand, if the water gets too cold, you can opt for a pond heater. It’ll work by sucking cool water and introducing warm water into the pond.

Placement Issues

Pond baskets can withstand specified depths, as detailed in their packaging instructions. When placed too deep, the plant will likely experience slow growth.

In turn, check the details of its packaging. You can increase the basket’s level by adding crates or paving stones underneath it.

Excessive Chemicals

Landscapers add chemicals to ponds to manage aquatic weeds, eliminate insects and vertebrates, and enhance water quality.

Nonetheless, excessive use of chemicals can harm your pond plants’ growth. For this reason, you can opt for naturally-derived options to reduce risks.

If your pond already has too many chemicals lurking, you can counteract their effects with fresh water. Plus, plants like water lettuce can help alleviate toxic water levels.

Imbalance in pH Levels

Most pond plants survive best in a 7.0 water pH level. Some pond blooms, like water lilies, can withstand more acidic waters, whereas pond fish prefer more alkaline levels.

For this reason, a 6.8 to 7.6 pH level range is acceptable. If your pond water dips below or goes above those levels, you’ll likely face growth issues.

Outside factors, like rainwater, can alter pH levels. Use a testing kit to gauge your pond’s pH levels.

You can incorporate pH-balancing minerals to maintain balance if levels are too high or low.

What Are Marginal Pond Plants?

Marginal pond plants are the vegetation growing alongside the edges of a pond. The plants provide a pond with a more natural appearance, mimicking their wild counterparts.

They grow around shallow waters where their soil, crown, and in some cases, lower foliage, are fully submerged.

Two conditions for a plant to be considered marginal are that it can survive with waterlogged soil and a wet crown throughout the year.

If the plant can tolerate the prior without the latter, it’s more appropriately termed a marsh plant.

Benefits of Marginal Pond Plants

Marginal pond plants provide their area with a natural filtration system, especially around streams.

As water passes through their roots, they grab nutrients that benefit harmful algae species. In addition, marginal plants shelter wildlife.

They also come in multiple varieties, colors, and blooms. The edge-growing plants are easy to maintain since you primarily need to prune them.

Luckily, fertilization isn’t required since they extract their nutrients from the pond water.

Do Pond Plants Cause Algae?

Pond plants don’t directly cause algae. Adding a potting plant with excess nutrients can create an ideal environment for an algae bloom.

Algae live off of nitrates and phosphates suspended in your pond. You can reduce the likelihood of blooms by introducing pond plants to compete for the water’s nutrients.

One particular species of algae, known as string algae, can be challenging to ward off since it prefers crystal-clear waters.

The algae grow during the resting phase of most pond plants. For this reason, we suggest growing a diverse variety of plants with different growing seasons.

Additionally, you can add more fish, like koi or goldfish, to the pond since they enjoy munching on the invasive blooms. Reduce the swimmers’ food volume, so they eat the algae.

Substances like Zeolite are also well-suited to control algae because it absorbs excess nutrients.

Avoid using algaecides, which can harm your pond plants and fish. They don’t target the root cause of the algae issue, making them a short-term solution.

Do Pond Plants Clean the Water?

Pond plants are effective at cleaning water. Not only do they filter the water from excess nutrients such as nitrates, but they also benefit from fish waste.

Picking the Right Plants

You’ll want to add the right amount and variety of plants to create a pristine ecosystem free of toxins and algae.

Submerged plants like oxygenators ensure protection from algae since they absorb nitrogen from fish waste and plant decay. In turn, they hoard nutrients from the blooms.

Floating and surface plants also play a significant role in maintaining clean water. They inhibit too many UV rays from entering the pond, where algae can grow.

When planting them, keep two-thirds of the surface covered to allow some passage of light for submerged and oxygenating plants.

Does Pond Dye Kill Oxygenating Plants?

In most cases, pond dyes don’t affect the growth cycle of your pond plants. Landscapers use these dyes to enhance your pond’s appearance by infusing a brighter or darker hue.

The solution can also turn a pond bluish-green. These colors tend to affect sunlight penetration and inhibit the photosynthesis process.

In turn, it may impact the growth of your submerged oxygenating plants. For this reason, you’ll want to be mindful when using pond dyes.


Pond oxygenating plants are a critical member of your pond family. They absorb excess nutrients, keep your water filtered, and shelter your fish.

The good news is that the pond plants are easy to care for and readily available in most aquatic plant stores.

Overall, pond oxygenating plants provide a necessary balance to the pond’s ecosystem.


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