BEWARE of invasive species of plants! When planning your landscape around and in the pond, always picture the mature plant, the amount of space required, and if you want it to look natural and healthy, pick species that are native to your area.

I have a lush garden, planted for all seasons living in the northeast, because I chose plants that are hardy HERE. They like the soil HERE, the sun and temperatures HERE, and the drought HERE. If you want ease of maintenance, choose plants compatible with your area. Always look at the recommended zones on labels when buying plants. I also prefer to shop locally rather than mail order because I feel fairly certain these plants are more suited to my needs.

In my pond, I do the same. My pond is a koi pond, but not in the traditional sense as it contains plant pockets I like to call “bogs”. Each is planted with only one or at most two specie of plant. I tried for years to grow a certain lotus or lily only to be disappointed when nothing happened, or worse, it died altogether, the subsequent year. Then I realized there are amazing types that will bloom and flourish in my pond with very little care. It is these varieties that have given me such a good name. All I did was to give up trying to be the best, and suddenly, I got better! Of course, although this is sound advice, it is only my own opinion….

I would recommend the typha minima (miniature cattail) rather than the tall cattail for anyone wanting a natural look without the mess and bother. It is not invasive like its taller cousin. I want a water garden, not a swamp. If a plant is marked, “can be invasive” or “spreads easily” it is not a good choice for small gardens. Maybe it is not a good choice for the large garden either unless that is the predominant plant desired. Something that is a “good groundcover” will spread with abandon, so you should consider rampant growth pattern when choosing its neighbors because they will be outgrown quickly.

Ask at your local nursery and ask friends to share plants from their gardens. Once the pond plants get established, the koi don’t seem to bother with them anymore. So, plants and koi CAN coexist after all!

NOTE: MICROBE-LIFT/Ensure and Bloom & Grow are specially formulated to assure the plants in your pond have the ability to utilize nutrients from the pond water. They should not need additional fertilization. Healthy, vigorous plants can withstand infestation better than you’d think!

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