Best Pond Plants for Koi

Pond plants not only give the water a lush, natural aesthetic but can also, with a bit of work, heavily benefit the Koi within. This includes:

  • Reducing stress on the Koi by providing shade to help reduce the day-night temperature differential.
  • Filtering out contaminants and toxins and helping to oxygenate the water during the day – creating a clean environment for the Fish.
  • Shade and protection which leads to happier Koi. Shade allows the fish to stay cool/be safe from predation and provides a beautifully colourful backdrop for them.

Despite the many benefits of pond plants for a koi pond, these fish are notorious grazers and have a habit of munching on whatever they have access to. When selecting the right plants for a koi pond it’s important to select “koi friendly” plants that won’t be munched away and that will support the fish.

We caught up with online pond plant distributors Artisan Aquatics who shared some of their top recommended plants for Koi ponds.

Jumbo Water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes)

Water lettuce is a gorgeous and noticeably stunning plant, although it is all green with no other colouration, many people regard the plant as visually very pleasing due to its simplicity.

Pistia Stratiotes as it’s professionally knowon is a substantial floating plant and mature leaves can extend up to 16 cm long. The leaves are emerald green in colour like cabbage, have wavy margins with parallel leaf veins, and are hirsute (hairy). Also, this plant very accessible – being widely available in garden centres and aquatic centres.

  • Position: full sun
  • Rate of growth: average to fast
  • Ultimate spread: 150cm +
  • Height above surface: 15cm
  • Flowering period: June to September

Water Soldier (Stratiotes aloides)

This unique native UK species resembles the spiny foliage of a pineapple which is complimented by an attractive snow white flower perched in the centre.

Water Soldier works well in a koi pond as this plant species is generally pest and disease free so you don’t have to worry about causing any harm to the fish.

  • Position: full sunRate of growth: average to fast
  • Ultimate spread: 50-100cm
  • Height above surface: 10cm
  • Flowering period: June to August

Variegated giant reed grass (Arundo donax variegate)

An area that is often not given enough attention is the shallow edges of Koi ponds. These areas are a great place to add marginal pond plants such as Variegated giant reed grass as the large leaves act as convenient sources of shade for the fish which is especially important during hot summers.

  • Position: full sun
  • Rate of growth: Average
  • Ultimate spread: 100cm
  • Height above surface: 200cm
  • Flowering period: May to September

Water Lily (Nymphaea Andreana)

Nymphaea ‘Andreana’ is a hardy yet charming plant that gently glides on the water surface. It possesses red/copper flowers with maroon blotched green leaves.

The Andreana water lily is unique in this list as it does not need rooting into the soil, instead the plant gains it’s nutrients from it’s surroundings. This adaptation fits in well with a Koi pond’s dynamic nature.

  • Position: full sun
  • Rate of growth: average
  • Ultimate spread: 30-45cm
  • Height above surface: 15cm
  • Flowering period: May to August

Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum)

Hornwort is an excellent British Oxygenator which floats around the pond like a natural filter. It has delicate dense whorls of slender dark green leaves and usually sinks to the bottom of the pond during winter to protect itself from the cold and ice.

  • Position: full sun
  • Rate of growth: average
  • Ultimate spread: 30-90cm
  • Height above surface: none
  • Flowering period: May to July

Posted in Homeowners on Oct 21, 2020


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