How do I place a corkscrew rush in the water?

Portland, OR

I am just beginning to put plants in my new water feature.. I have a small stream falling about 15 feet into a 800 gallon pond. I have nothing planted around it yet. I do have a few lilies, and hyacinths in the pond have some rush that I am transplanting from another part of my garden and was wondering if it needs to put the rush in soil or can I just weigh down the roots with rocks. Won't soil muck up the pond? Is there a web site someone can recommend for rookies like me? I don't want fish, but I do want to attract frogs and birds, and I want plants around the edges, but once outside the liner, the soil is very dry.......it must be different for people with natural water features in their yards.

Will plant roots eventually destroy the liner?

Sorry about these questions. I'm sure they've been answered hundreds of time in this forum, but I've spent hours going through the threads.

anne

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

I have mine in a pot, which is sunken in my pre-formed pond - it's growing well so far.

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

All my plants are in pots sunken at the right depth. Hyacinths are just floating as is water lettuce.
I am in the process of making a screen corral for them with a hoola hoop as their root systems break off and clog my skimmer. I don't put any dirt into my ponds. Plants live fine with just rocks around them here. Nutrients come from fish poop. I have never fertilized as lots of folks do. I had soft rush in my old pond and it did fine just in a pot rocked down. Spirul rush (Juncus) is the same way. I have 2 of those in floating pots and there fine but they were just set in rocks before around edge in about 8 inches of water.
That umbrella plant will grow in soil or in water. I have 4 sections of that and it mumtiplies and then I break it apart and make more pots of it.
Bonnie

Portland, OR

Well, I don't have any fish poop (no fish), not even frog poop yet, but I will try the soil-less method. I have plenty of rush to experiment with.

Thanks for the help!

anne

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Anne,
I'll bet they will do fine. Nothing ventured nothing gained. Also, I have canna growing same way in pond. They bloom and are very happy. I used to put them down too far in water now I know 6" in deep enough or else rizhomes don't get enough oxygen. Learned my lesson when I lost some.
Bonnie

Johnson City, TN(Zone 6b)

Bonnie
Did I understand you correctly that you use the soilless method for rush and cannas? Mine are planted is soil in a pot on the ledge of the pond. If these will do well in a floating container, I would love to try it.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Oh my. Bonnie. You mean that the plants need to have the top of their planting media above water level. I thought when it said they could be in (for example) 10" of water it meant the entire plant from top of the pot up.

If the plant says 10" depth, to me, that means to plant the plant in 10" depth of water. 10" from the bottom of the plant up.

Phyllis - a lot of these plants can grow well without soil. I know a lot of people on this forum use the unscented cat litter. Myself, I use pea gravel for all my plants.

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

I use small river stones (the black ones from Lowes) in a half-sized cement block (like a vase filled with rocks) Eventually the block turns dark and fades away visually. The roots of the plants that sneak out of the bottom get nibbled away by the koi, so the whole thing stays neat and tidy. I plant cannas, water lilies and lotus, umbrella palm, and taro/elephant ears that way.... So far, it's been a very easy and clean way to grow pond plants. I never fertilize, I just let the roots take the nutrients out of the water, which also helps keep down algae.

Johnson City, TN(Zone 6b)

Thanks for the planting info. This is my first full summer with a koi pond so I am still learning. Many of my water plants are in soil in black pots and put on the ledge. I love the idea of using the waterless method. Is the cement block placed on the ledge and does it have to be seasoned? My problem is that my ledge is not deep enough for many plants and the actual pond is about 3.75' deep. My water lilies sit on the bottom in a big pot. I would love a lotus but have not acquired one yet. Any help that you all can give will be greatly appreciated.

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Phyllis,
You understood right. I don't use any soil or kitty litter in any of my pots that are in the water. I don't fertilize them either. Rush and canna are too large for floating pots so I put them in large pots usually ceramic ones or plain old nursery pots whatever I have on hand. Then just rocks all around them. Also, I think Merry Mary soaks her blocks in water a couple of months so lime can leach out before using them in her ponds. I like her method also.
Oberon,
Refer to Carolyns description of depth for planting. Sometimes I just drop them in anywhere but make sure there tops are above water.
My canna right now look awful. Something is eating all the leaves off. Buggers. Will have to remove many leaves. Guess I'll go wading again tomorrow. Yesterday they looked good today they look like somebodys had a good meal off them.
Bonnie

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Bonnie, so if it says that the lilies do best in 18" of water, that is 18" from the bottom of the pot? What if it is an 18" pot or a 10" pot? Then the amount of water they are in would vary. I guess mine have been too deep although TWL says that they will grow in 1-3' of water sometimes, but prefer 18" or 12". Kind of confusing.

Mary

It means 18" from the bottom of the pot - waterlilies prefer about 18" or so of water but will do well in deeper water. I moved mine deeper out of necessity as I had some cubes in the bottom of the pond to elevate my waterlilies to the right depth. I had a fish get caught between the cubes and he could not get out - so DH and I decided the heck with the depth of the waterlilies, we couldn't have fish getting caught and the cubes came out. We have not had any problems with the waterlilies and they are in about 3 1/2 feet of water.

Thumbnail by Carolyn22
(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Hmmm. But your water temp is warmer than mine. I wonder if having them closer to the surface and getting greater benefit from sun and warmth (such as we have) might be the answer. I will have to figure out how to elevate them except in my pond you see everything so I don't want something unsightly nor do I want something very heavy out of concern for the liner. I finally do have two lilies that bloomed. Good old Anna Epple. Never lets me down. lol I did send a note to Dusty at TWL and he recommended several (one of which I had bought that didn't make it.) I will try again and be much more attentive next spring when I plant them. Will also not have them sent until the middle of May. I can break their dormancy indoors then immediately put them in the pond close to the surface until they start growing longer stems on the pads. I wonder if putting the fertilizer in the pea gravel (the stakes you recommended) dissipates the plant food more quickly into the water. I would think it wouldn't hold it near the lily roots as well as mud. Yuk. but it (mud) makes such a mess.

True, Mary. My water temps are warmer than yours - you make an excellent point.

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

If I ever get water lillies I am going to do what I do with everything else. Just throw them into pond and tell them to live or croak. I will anchor them in sunny end and calmer water. Geez these plants can be pretty picky can't they.
Bonnie

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

Bonnie,
I'll give you some of my lily starts...they're small enough to tuck away anywhere.

Johnson City, TN(Zone 6b)

Since I am so new to water gardening, I appreciate your patience and any advice you can give. I just don't understand about the depth of the cannas. I just have mine in a pot on the shelf of the pond. They have done very well there so far. Where should the actual water level be on the plant? Could you please explain what I should do with the canna and rush during the winter? My lilies just sit on the bottom of the pond and they came back great this year.

Phyllis

If your canna is doing well, then I wouldn't fix something that isn't broken. The only thing is that it will need to come in for the winter. Corkscrew rush can stay outside for the winter as it is winter hardy in your zone. You may still want to consider submerging it in your pond for the winter. There are other types of rush that are hardy in cooler zones than yours and do fine by wintering outside as well.

If your waterlilies are hardy, they should come back every year. They will benefit from dividing and fertilizing every year. Truth be told, sometimes I cheat and divide my waterlilies every other year - they are heavy feeders, so will need fertilizing. I use the once a year fertilizing stakes - if I had to do it monthly, it wouldn't get done.

If your waterlilies are tropical, they will require more care than the hardy wl and will need to be brought in for the winter. I know we really had a nonwinter last year (not that I am complaining about that! ^_^).

Johnson City, TN(Zone 6b)

Thanks so much for the info. By submerging the plant, do you mean placing it on the bottom of the pond?

I have noticed my koi are spawning. Our mornings have been in the upper 50's. In this photo, can you tell me if the suds I see are where they have eggs? It isn't a very good pic, I took it with my cell phone.

Thumbnail by PhyllisJ
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

No, the eggs will be along the side walls and on plants....the males need something to sqaush the female against, so she releases the eggs for him to fertilize. If you don't remove the eggs immediately, they will be eaten. Usually, by the time you see you koi spawning, the eggs have already been eaten, they do it that quickly. If any of your plants are in movable pots, and you see eggs on them, remove them from the pond and put them in a tubby of pond water with air, or you won't have any fry.

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Phyllis,
Your canna sound happy where they are. Mine are in my pond in a fiber water bag sitting on stones to hold them up. Water is at top of roots and stems and leaves are up out of water. They were doing fine until something had all the leaves for supper. I took them out put them in a bucket and cut off all the leaves scraps that were left. They are already leafing out new. I used to have some rush from a nearby swamp and it really lasted well and grew like crazy. I potted it and put it into water with most all of the plant sticking above the water.
My corkscrew (Juncus) has floated around the pond for 2 years in a small floating pot. I chopped it in 1/2 this year and put 1/2 into another floating pot and put in new pond. Looks ok so far. I have bacopa also in a floating pot and it does well. Will also grow in soil. Fish do keep eating it off but theres still a little left. In both ponds I have hyacinths floating around and they make a lot of mess with shedding but I just scoop broken pieces out. Have never taken any plants inside for the winter but was told hyacinths won't make it outside all winter so might take a couple in for winter. Last winter was so mild here it didn't effect much of anything in ground and nothing in ponds.

Mary would love to have some lillie starts. You can tell me where to put them. LOL I mean in tubs or ponds. Wish you could see how Orca & Blue Boy are growing. They look great and all the fish eat like piglets. I so enjoy them all.

Bonnie

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