How To Avoid Drowning Plants

by | Oct 31, 2022

Many pond and water garden owners live in places that get cold during winter, but want to keep aquatic plants anyway, some of which only grow naturally in warmer climates. This presents a challenge that must be overcome, because while aquatic plants can be safely kept in cold climates, if it is not done correctly they can die.

Typical Advice That is Given For Plant Winterization
Those that live in areas which receive below freezing temperatures must prepare their aquatic plants for winter. While some pond owners think that you should get rid of any tropical or floaters, and only keep aquatic plants which are hardy, this isn’t the best advice, especially when they recommend that the hardier aquatic plants will need to be sunk down to the deepest area of the water garden or pond. The idea is that once spring arrives, the plants will need to be pulled up and returned to shallow water for spring and summer. While it sounds good on paper, things aren’t this simple.

Why You Shouldn’t Drown Your Plants During Winter
The best solution for protecting plants during winter is to leave them as is. While you will need to make some preparations, you should never submerge them. Plants, even aquatic ones which are designed for water, can die if exposed to too much of it. A better method for preparing and protecting your plants during the winter months is to remove the leaves, stems and spent flowers to the plant’s crown. For marginal plants like parrot feather or watercress, you will want to slice down the growth to its crown, while leaving one or two inches for stems which are in good condition.

For plants such as pickerel or iris the stems or leaves can be cut to about six inches over the plant’s crown which should be near the water level. The plants should not be fertilized, at least not yet, and any hardy plants that are already performing well do not need to be moved at all, or sunk to the pond’s bottom. When you’re dealing with aquatic or marginal plants which are hardy they are already evolved and acclimated to handle extreme cold or heat. The water’s edge of the pond is the toughest area, and any plants that reside there will be very resilient.

Nature has already equipped them to deal with these conditions, so there isn’t a whole lot of additional work that is required from the owner. It is unnecessary to drown the plants for months, and should they manage to recover from this, in most cases they will not thrive or recover rapidly. In fact, it has been found if plants are drowned for two seasons they will succumb by the third. So to those that live in areas with colder weather, it is best to cease the practice of submerging plants and instead use alternative methods, as it will help your plants live a healthier and longer lifespan.

Quick Contact Form Call Us