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Water Gardens: Correct planter size for Mini Cattails and Lilly- need help

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sprout13
Palmyra, MO

March 12, 2012
9:50 PM

Post #9040528

I'm very new to the Pond world :) My pond is extremely small, but I'm wanting to add some water plants (no fish).

I want to add a miniature Cattail and Hermine Lilly, and not sure of the right container size. I'm ordering from thewatergardenshop and would like to use the aquascape fabric planters. My choice of size is 6x6, 8x6, 12x8, or 14x7. Which should I chose? They come in 2 packs so I was hoping to get one set that would cover both plantings.

The Cattails are going on my shelf and the Lily will go in the center. The pond is so small I figured keeping these plants in control should be fairly easy (I hope) lol. Also would adding frogbit or water hyacinth as well be too much? I figured these would also be easy to control in a small pond as well - OR - should I skip the Lilly and just go for the the frogbit and hyacinth instead.

I added a picture of the pond. We just started so it's a work in progress. The hubby wants to redo the waterfall part (that's the next stage) and place stones around the outline to hide the liner. Then I have a ton of planting to do to fill things in. Any advice would be much appreciated!


This message was edited Mar 12, 2012 11:03 PM

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MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

March 13, 2012
8:51 AM

Post #9040989

It depends just how much water you want to see(and/or anything IN the water) Many aquatic plants are very invasive, so I would monitor just how much your tempted to put in. Your pond is very small, and cat tails are extremely invasive, so you may want to consider another type of upward plant, if that's the look you're going for. For a pond that size, one small water lily, will take up most of the surface, so I'd stick with only one. They have minature varieties, with intense colors, to make an impact. Umbrella palm, variegated iris, some cannas, are all water uprights. I would caution you to not use cat tails or water lettuce. If you use water hyacinth, I'd choose between that OR the water lily. Both will spread fairly quickly and take up a lot of space, but both bloom and are very pretty.
sprout13
Palmyra, MO

March 13, 2012
2:31 PM

Post #9041432

MerryMary wrote:It depends just how much water you want to see(and/or anything IN the water) Many aquatic plants are very invasive, so I would monitor just how much your tempted to put in. Your pond is very small, and cat tails are extremely invasive, so you may want to consider another type of upward plant, if that's the look you're going for. For a pond that size, one small water lily, will take up most of the surface, so I'd stick with only one. They have minature varieties, with intense colors, to make an impact. Umbrella palm, variegated iris, some cannas, are all water uprights. I would caution you to not use cat tails or water lettuce. If you use water hyacinth, I'd choose between that OR the water lily. Both will spread fairly quickly and take up a lot of space, but both bloom and are very pretty.


Thank you so much for your help. I think I will go with one miniature Lilly and see how that goes.

Now just to be clear on the cattails. I understand they are invasive, and I have never done this before so I want to make sure I fully understand this. Even if I get a miniature variety (not the regular or dwarf, but the mini) I think they max at 18 - 24" and I plant them in a planter on my shelf, they will still spread? I have a prefab hard liner and I would bag the one plant - it would still take over? The reason I ask is the hubby is so set on these mini cattails, I think that's why he put the pond in to start, before I break the bad news to him lol I want to make sure I fully understand why he can't have them.

The pond is for attracting frogs only. Last year when we put in the pond I literally did nothing but fill it and add the waterfall. The frogs loved it. I didn't understand about plants at the time and I put in those plastic water lily's and they were very tacky looking. I hated them. The frogs still loved them, but I was hoping to give them something real this year.

This was so helpful as I'm learning as I go.









This message was edited Mar 13, 2012 3:32 PM
MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

March 13, 2012
7:14 PM

Post #9041834

Tadpoles and me...totally BFF's!! I pretty much cater to frogs and tadpoles, all over my yard. I grow plants in water filled vases, with nothing but tadpoles and water. It works like a dream!
I have never ever ever wanted a single cat tail in my yard. I had been warned about their invasiveness. However, one seed or something, must have come in on one of my plants. To date, after a year and a half, I have not been able to eradicate it from my yard. It has shown up in my potted plants, the edge of my pond, my compost pile, etc. I hate it, I don't want it, I can't stand it, I want it GONE! (and have not yet been able to do so)
sprout13
Palmyra, MO

March 13, 2012
7:44 PM

Post #9041880

MerryMary wrote:Tadpoles and me...totally BFF's!! I pretty much cater to frogs and tadpoles, all over my yard. I grow plants in water filled vases, with nothing but tadpoles and water. It works like a dream!
I have never ever ever wanted a single cat tail in my yard. I had been warned about their invasiveness. However, one seed or something, must have come in on one of my plants. To date, after a year and a half, I have not been able to eradicate it from my yard. It has shown up in my potted plants, the edge of my pond, my compost pile, etc. I hate it, I don't want it, I can't stand it, I want it GONE! (and have not yet been able to do so)



I understand now. I do not want a plant that I can not control, and can possibly spread like wildfire. That would be very very bad. I will look into another type of upward plant to add to my mini lily that won't try and take over my life lol.

MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

March 14, 2012
6:05 AM

Post #9042168

Horsetail rush can be pretty...as well as the water iris's (there's a variegated one too) They are tall and upright, like the umbrella palm papayrus. Some of the elephant ear taros will grown on a ledge too, if you want a more tropical look.
BonnieGardens
Clermont, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 14, 2012
6:08 PM

Post #9043003

I had horse tail in my pond and they spread rapidly. Only way to control them is in a very strong pot.
Yesterday I smashed a lovely ceramic pot to get umbrella palm out as it had grown over the side of the pot and was in there tight as heck. I split it up today and got 5 new plants from it that I put in the cheap nursery pots so I can cut it out next time.
I had taro in my pond and fish will nibble on it and its not good for them I now find out but along the sides should be fine. It was sold to me as a plant safe for fish.

http://www.koi-pond-guide.com/toxic-plants.html
Hope this link takes you to it. The site is Koi Pond Guide and very helpful. Good luck with your pond.
Bonnie
MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

March 14, 2012
7:48 PM

Post #9043151

Bonnie,
I grow my taro in half cement blocks (like underwater vases) and the koi nibble the roots that grow out farther than the edge of the block. I know they always list taro as not good for fish, but I've never had a problem, nor has anyone I know. I wonder what it is they think is bad about it?
I know they say oak pollen, oak leaves, and acorns are also toxic, but plenty drop into my pond. Although it makes my water a mess, I've never had a "fish" issue over any of it.
I could only WISH that my horsetail rush would grow more! Mine barely crawls along. Poo! I've seen pictures of it, in mass, that looks really cool!
mothermole
Deer Park, IL
(Zone 5b)

March 15, 2012
7:51 AM

Post #9043543

skip those cattails. What is a "nice plant" at first becomes nearly impossible to keep under control. I have a little bog with plants in it and put one cattail in it and two years later it crowded out the lotus - which was expensive and my favorite. So now I am using chemicals or having to have to dig the entire bog out to get rid of the cattails and to start over. Nightmare.
sprout13
Palmyra, MO

March 15, 2012
10:03 PM

Post #9044524

Skipping the Cattails for sure now. I have read too many nightmare stories here for me. I'm going to go with a mini Lilly (Indiana) and a Variegated Iris. I think I can manage those both.

I'm still unsure about the planter/container size tho. any suggestions?



MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

March 16, 2012
9:39 AM

Post #9044909

The variegated iris can be in a normal sized pot, especially since you have a smaller pond. Once it get's too big, you can split it in half, and put 1/2 back in the pond. They are very controllable. The mini lilies also work very well. Eventually, through the years, you can split those, too, and have more of them if needed.
mothermole
Deer Park, IL
(Zone 5b)

March 16, 2012
11:47 AM

Post #9045035

BTW: Best place to get plants and pots advise would be Texas Water Lillies. Excellent prices and they will tell you if a plant likes to be crowed or not. They really know their stuff. Most of the watergarden people here at Daves buy from them.
sprout13
Palmyra, MO

March 18, 2012
5:35 PM

Post #9047838

After doing some searching I ran into Texas Water Lillies , so thank you I'm am going with them for sure. Everyone was so helpful with what to do with my mini pond. Thanks to everyone :)
BonnieGardens
Clermont, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 20, 2012
7:40 PM

Post #9050808

M Mary,
I was up at Kanapa Gardens one year and they had such a problem with horsetail they were digging it all out of the ground. I thought it looked nice but they said it was out of control. I bought some from Biosphere Nursery and they warned me to keep it in strong pots if in the water. I did and it broke the ceramic pot. I still love the way it looks. Like mini bamboo. It was about 5 feet tall when I finally took it out. I bought some Black Magic (calocasia) for pond and fish nibbled leaves to pieces so it is recovering in a pot of dirt now. If I put it back into pond I will put on shelf where they can't reach it just to be safe. if oak leaves killed fish mine would all be dead by now. This year has been an unusually messy one for leaf drop from them. Like I said before next year I'll make sure I have screen enough for all 3 ponds.
BTW Biosphere sells horsetail really cheap.
Bonnie
MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

March 21, 2012
6:07 AM

Post #9051147

Is Bioshere online or some place local? I have some purple stemmed taro for you if you want some. It grows a bit taller than the solid purple, but it's been in my pond for a long time (in 8inch cement block vases) The fish only nibble the extending roots. Have you been out to Pondtastic over past Florida Mall on 441?
BonnieGardens
Clermont, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 21, 2012
6:46 AM

Post #9051217

MM
My original fish came from Jim at Pontastic on SOBT. Nice folks but pricey. He's the one that told me he'd rebuild my pond for about 16,000. I just laughed. Thats the oldest pond. It is built all wrong by his standards. He uses all round rock from what I saw in front of showroom. It's pretty.

Biosphere is on 14908 Tilden Rd. about 2 mi. from you. 407-656-8277 http://www.biospherenursery.com
In the swamp surrounding the nursery they have water plants. Went there years ago for a butterfly seminar and bought plants accordingly. Very nice people.

Would love some taro for when I refill ponds you saw last Oct. just before RU. Goldfish seem to be more desease resistent. No problems in their sick tank.

Got to get outside to work. Have a good week.
Bonnie
pondlove
Lewes, DE

March 21, 2012
9:14 AM

Post #9051381

Bonnie,

Would Jim at Pondtastic be a "certified Aquascape installer" by any chance? That's the company was trying to convince me also that my pond is all wrong. Run, Bonnie, run! They care more about closing the deal, selling you their brand of equipment only and selling price annual maintenance fees.
MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

March 21, 2012
9:41 AM

Post #9051421

They are very knowledgable about what they do...but STILL in business to make money (as most places are) Being fairly smart myself, I have been able to figure out a pond all by myself, even if I have to correct or adjust things from time to time. It keeps me busy and off the streets, and saves me 15, 995.00 from their 16,000.00 quote if I do it myself. That allows me to use my extra billions on pretty fish, pretty plants, and food for friends to who to see it when it's all done!
pondlove
Lewes, DE

March 21, 2012
10:04 AM

Post #9051441

I do it myself, too and am in the process of hauling dirt to build a new waterfall. I agree with you, that they have a right to make money, but my guy is charging $45 per can for expanding foam on his written estimate! I think that's a little too much.
MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

March 21, 2012
12:03 PM

Post #9051542

He has the carry the can from his car, lol...Oh wait, I do too...therefore, I'm back to being happy about doing it myself for zero dollars! :)
mothermole
Deer Park, IL
(Zone 5b)

March 21, 2012
8:58 PM

Post #9052254

M. Merry your posts made me laugh and $45.00 a can??? Really? REALLY? That is a ridiculous amount!!!
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

March 22, 2012
1:45 AM

Post #9052325

Apparently we are all in the wrong business - acting as middlemen for pond products is the place to be!
BonnieGardens
Clermont, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 24, 2012
5:49 PM

Post #9055696

You girls crack me up. Don't know what Jim is certified but he isn't doing any pond work for me. I didn't just fall off the turnip truck. Lots of folks in bus. have a BS degree and I don't mean from a college.
Even in my own industry I saw so much gouging. I never worked for Interior Decorators because of what they ended up charging clients. I dealt directly with home owners or businesses and made a decent bus. for 30 years. When I was asked to sell furniture 3 times its wholesale price I couldn't do it, Remember "Caviat Emptor" (buyer beware).
Mary I'm glad your fairly smart. LOL
Bonnie
pondlove
Lewes, DE

March 25, 2012
7:17 AM

Post #9056181

What I found more offensive than the $45 can of spray gunk was the fact that he treated me like a stupid old ninny. I'm old enough to be his mother! I've had a pond for over 10 years and enjoy reading and researching about the subject. I know how they work and what's good for the fish.

I don't like being patronized or talked down to and he did both.

By the way, he just changed the name of his company to include the words "big boulder". Personally, I think he should have used the words "big balls"!
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

March 25, 2012
9:49 AM

Post #9056348

Pondlove -

He will work himself out of business if he continues with that type of attitude!
BonnieGardens
Clermont, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 25, 2012
6:14 PM

Post #9056836

That might be a blessing to many if he works himself out of business. Think of all the folks who would save money. LOL

Bonnie
estrail1rider
Melfa, VA
(Zone 8a)

March 27, 2012
6:04 AM

Post #9058822

My pond is also small but larger than the one you have. I have the umbrella pond in it and it is beautiful leaving the top of the water open. It does not spread fast and therefore easy to control.
For invasive plants that need (or can live in as well as water) a bog type area to grow in...I had my DH cut a 5 gal bucket in half with NO holes in the bottom. I then dug a large hole that the bottom of the bucket rested in deep enough so the rim could be covered lightly with soil or gravel (I used river pebbles and shells) so it cannot be seen. I planted my spreader in the dirt I filled the bucket with and then watered it until the soil was completely wet and water was running over. The bog/water plant can easily be controlled this was and I can keep it soggy in the heat of the summer.

I thought of this to solve a problem I was having with my monarda spreading everywhere. I spent way too much time pulling the runners out. Instead of a bucket, after digging my hole, I lined it with a heavy garbage bag with a few small holes in the bottom for drainage. Filled it with dirt and planted my monarda back in there. It is working wonderfully!!! Now I want to do this with some other plants I planted that are invading other parts of my beds. I didn't know that these plants spread so badly when I planted them.
Our old house was in too much shade for sun plants so I grew shade plants and everything grew so sloooooowly. I never expected things to grow so fast and actually spread so fast.

BajaBlue

BajaBlue
Rancho Santa Rita, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 31, 2012
7:18 PM

Post #9064888

what about artificial cattails ?

I KNOW I have seen them before !

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