Gardens suffer during Winter. Their colours dull, many plants hibernate or die off entirely and those that are left standing often find themselves battling the elements with far less assistance than they would normally receive. While we understand that in many cases, it’s just far too cold to spend that much time outside at this time of year, there are some steps you can take to protect your lovely plants throughout the season.
While your aquatic garden is no different, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a lush pond with plenty of flora to keep your fish safe from predators, help create oxygen for your ecosystem and pretty up your backyard, you just need to select the right plants. Much like how those who grow their own fruit and veg will plant Winter variants in preparation for, and during, these months, you can do the same with your favourite water feature.
The first thing you’re going to want to do is remove any plants that you don’t think will make it through the season. Since our Winters aren’t as cold as those in many other parts of the world, you may find that much of your current flora will be able to hibernate and/or protect itself but this does not apply to all species and it is far better to remove those that seem too far gone than let your otherwise healthy plants suffer because your sick ones are trying to recover.
Once you have a healthy baseline, you can either stick to your regular maintenance and have a less colourful pond for the season or you can build up a collection of plants that will happily flourish through the next few months.
Water Hawthorne, also known as Cape Pondweed, is one such plant that thrives in colder temperatures. These guys will provide cover for your fish from land and air predators and thanks to their pretty white flowers, they’ll give your aesthetics a boost as well.
Coontail is another great option for this time of year and comes with the added benefit of being a plant that is particularly good at assisting your aeration system. Just remember not to rely on these guys as your only source of oxygenation.
Certain water lilies can also deal surprisingly well with colder temperatures, although they generally much prefer the warmer months and will need to be closely monitored and cared for in order to keep them happy through the Winter.
So, long story short, yes, aquatic flora and colder temperatures can be successfully mixed as long as you are willing to put in a little work.