In this article, we will be discussing what plants can be grown inside container ponds that will flourish in the shade. In a previous article, we talked about water plants that can be grown in a container in full sun, but for completeness, we need to see what plants that can be grown in the shade.
As you can imagine, the selection of plants that can be used in the shade is very slim pickings, as most need some light to put on their best show.
Do not place the container in deep shade as it will not do well. You must choose the brightest spot with the most light for it to do well. Otherwise, you will not be able to grow any aquatic plants in the pond container at all. In partially shaded container ponds, you have much more of a choice, where a colourful reflection can be observed from spring until autumn. Any water plants that you use must be in a pond basket, as this will not only give it its best-growing location and housing, it will stop them from spreading too much.
AQUATIC PLANTS TO USE IN CONTAINER POND DISPLAYS IN THE SHADE
The following plants can be used in the shade in containers:
APONOGETON DISTACHYOS(Water Hawthorn)
This aquatic, rhizomatous, perennial plant is either deciduous or partially evergreen, oval or lanced-shaped floating leaves. In summer fumed racemes or panicles of small, fragrant white flowers appear that are held just above the surface of the water. It is a vigorous spreader but it only grows up to 10cm in height. Grow in a special pond basket with the right pond compost so to give the plant the best chance of survival. It can be planted up to 10cm down.
This is another plant that is grown for its leaves and not its flowers. The leaves look similar to an umbrella palm, but the leaves are statelier on a naked green trunk. The leaves are finer and more abundant in appearance like a feather duster. Can be planted 25cm deep.
EICHHORNIA CRASSIPES (Water Hyacinth)
This is a popular floating plant that grows up to 20cm high. It has a thick clump of roots that takes in nutrients directly from the water. The roundish, light green leaves are not that special, but the purple flowers that are produced in the warmer months are. It is a vigorous spreader so thin them out often, where the thinning can be composted.
PELTANDRA VIRGINICA (Arrow Arum)
This is a plant that is grown for its leaves, not so much so for its flowers. The oval, waxy green leaves can grow up to 60cm in length, where the spandex of tiny flowers appears instead of a regular one. Can be planted up to 25cm in depth but will do well in shallow water as well. A plant that will do well in the shade.
PISTIA STRATIOTES (Water Lettuce)
This is another plant that likes to float, where it can grow up to 30cm in height. It has large green leaves that look more likely a small begonia than a lettuce. It gets its nutrients from the water that the roots are placed in. The flowers it produces are insignificant but the leaves are hard to miss. It can be a thug and so must be controlled by regularly removing and keeping it in a pond net basket.
YOU CAN GROW LILIES
Water lilies, in general, do not do their best in the shade as they need full sunlight to do well. The less light you give, the less likely you are to get big blooms.
If you want to have water lilies, you will need at least 3 hours of direct sunlight each day. These include the yellow water lilies and the water lilies, whose detail on how to grow can be found in my previous article.
In this article, we have talked about plants that can be grown in a container pond in the shade. When I talk about the shade, I am not talking about deep shade as no aquatic plants will do well under these conditions. You do have some choice but not a large amount as most need light to do well. Water lilies, on the other hand, is more of a challenge as they need some light to do well.
If you want to know what pond plants that can be grown in the shade then you now have the knowledge to make a choice.
If you have any questions or comments that you want to make on aquatic plants that can be grown in containers in the shade, please do so in the comment box below.
Happy pond planting in the shade.