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The Pond Plant Girl
Since 1999: I will teach you how to Grow Your own Water Garden Big or Small


       

         
Sweetheart Artichoke Company
LARGE Gourmet Artichoke plants from Southeast Texas.
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October 2014
Winter is Coming 

Yes indeed, and sooner than you may think!  It is time to start thinking about how you are going to care for you pond plants thru the cold fall and winter months.  Most pond plants can be sunk down below the freezing level in a pond.  Tropical water lilies and other tropicals should be stored indoors if you live in snow country.  If you want to prevent your plants from going dormant, they can be stored indoors or in a greenhouse with a grow light bulb. These can be purchased at Home Depot for about $8 dollars or more, depending on your growing needs.  But remember, it is healthy to allow plants to go dormant. Coming soon will be a new and improved hoop house! For small floating plants, think about building a simple aquarium light box.

FROG NATION:  Saving the Planet One Frog at A Time

Frog NationFrog Nation is my new fun Facebook group that is all a frogs, frog care, and frog factoids. Learn about frogs all over the planet and in your backyard too.  Post your own frog pics with friends and save the planet one frog at a time!  Come and Join Us!
Afterall, "You'll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut."  Dr. Suess

You can Build a Floating Pond Plant Light Box

light boxIn the cold seasons of the year, tropical plants especially need extra care.  Some pond plants (such as frogbit) will grow just fine with a regular florescent light and others will survive outdoors even in freezing temperatures.  Other more tropical plants need a little extra help with lighting, heat, and humidity.  Water hyacinth is one such plant.  You can setup an aquarium for your floating plants for under $25.  It's easy!  Learn how you can do it too...

Souix Water Lily Water Lily and Lotus Care
If you are just getting started with water lilies and water lotus, I highly recommend that you DO NOT purchase from seed.  Sees are the most difficult way and most time most unsuccessful way to start lilies and lotus. Most times seeds are not fertilized and will not grow or bloom. I recommend that you search Youtube for "How to Pot Water Lily" for video instruction.  Also see my article and video about planting and care.

Queen Victoria Purchasing Bare Root vs. Potted
One of the drawbacks with purchasing online is that plants that are shipped bare root often struggle to survive and establish. Although potted plants may cost twice as much, you will also receive a plant that is twice as large.  It will also be hardier and easier to establish into its new garden environment.  Small plants such as parrot feather and anacharis are always shipped bare root, but plants such as tall uprights (such as elephant ear and water iris) are shipped either potted or bare root.  Bottom line is that it all depends on the weather, climate, and your own comfort level whether you should choose a bare root plant or a potted plant.  Most plants sold in my eBay store are bare root, but I all plants sold in my website store will arrive potted. 


Sun BurnSunburned Pond Plants 
Some plants grow well in full sun, while the same plant may grow better in part sun in a different region. Sometimes it depends on the plant maturity. Younger plants are more vulnerable to plant burn than a mature pond plants. Water Lotus, for example, grows better in part sun when it is a seedling. Plants with dark colored leaves oftentimes get sun burned, such as this Australia Water Canna. After I moved mine into part sun, it grew great and even produced flowers.

Shade Cloth:  Another option for hot dry climates is to hang a nursery shade cloth over the pond.  The ones sold at the hardware store are 75% shade, which is too shady.  Shade cloth for plants should be 30%-40% shade and can be purchased online.  Not only will it protect your plants from sunburn, but it will protect your fish from predatory birds and will help reduce algae growth as well. 

So if your pond plants are starting to look brown and shabby, try moving them into a more sheltered part of your garden or hang a shade cloth overhead. It might be all you need.

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Night Blooming Shade LilySHADE BLOOMING WATER LILY Info & Care

Shade blooming water lily are actually called night blooming tropical water lily.  This beautiful lily has fragrant flowers that bloom all night long and into the morning hours.  Will also boom on cloudy overcast days.  All tropical water lily grows well in climate zones 9-11.  In climate zones 9 and below it is best to remove the lily from the pond (after dormant) and place in cool storage safe from freezing weather.  Tropicals may also remain in-pond if kept in a heated lily pot.  All potted lilies (hardy and tropical) should be divided and repotted once per year to prevent overcrowding to prevent plants from becoming root bound.


Keeping a Beginning Pond Clean & Clear Without a Filtration System
Easy beginner pond plants include: floating water hyacinth, floating water lettuce, pennywort, parrot feather, water iris, and primrose creeper. The featured pic on the left is water poppy which is also easy to grow.

Beginning pond plants require little care, and many are easy to winter over.  Floating pond plants oxygenate and clarify the water.  All the ponds at The Pond Plant Girl nursery have no filtration systems and only use floating plants to keep the water clean and clear.  This method works well for ponds up to 200 gallons.  Also keep in mind that it takes 1 to 2 seasons for a brand new pond to have a balanced ecosystem with no algae.  This can also be accomplished by adding good bacteria to the water once per week.


Build a Lean To Greenhouse
Which type of greenhouse is right for your climate zone...
Protect your Plants
An easy way to protect your pond and plants is by building a hoop house to shelter your small water garden.  The hoop house design on the left uses PVC pipe and 6 mil. thick plastic sheeting.  The PVC pipe can be inserted inside the pond or anchored down outside the pond into the ground using stakes that fit into the ends of the pipe. 

 

Upgrade for Severe Climate:  In more severe climates, I recommend  using 2 layers of of 6 mil. thick plastic sheeting with 1 inch bubble wrap used as insulation in between the layers of plastic.  If you have heavy snowfall, heavy duty chicken wire can be used as reinforcement over the hoop house.         

Heating the Hoop House:  You will want to keep the climate inside the hoop house above freezing.  Hanging large C7 or C9 Christmas tree lights will raise the indoor air temperature by 20.  These can easily be purchased on eBay and at Etsy.com.  In colder climates, a cold frame house with glass walls is a wiser choice along with an oil heater.  See:  Getting Winter Ready


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