Who has not wanted to have water lilies at home? What a curious plant, right? In general, aquatic plants produce admiration for us. The fact that the plant world adapts to almost any situation makes these plants a real enigma.
Perhaps because of how little accessible they are, they call us so much attention. Did I say inaccessible? Up to now. We are not going to tell you to build a pond , because you still don’t have a place or a garden. But if you have a balcony, we can fix it with a slightly large pot. You dare?
CHARACTERISTICS OF A WATER GARDEN OR MINI POND
In general, it might seem easy. It is not that it is difficult but you have to take into account certain aspects that we will comment on.
- In the first place, the general thought is: «Since I don’t have to water because there is always water … how easy!
- There is no substrate (or almost). Almost everything is water… much easier!
- Zero maintenance! LOL…
Good good good. It is not that a water garden is an impossible work of engineering but so so so comfortable it is not going to be.
LET’S ANSWER THOSE THREE POINTS ABOUT THE POTTED POND
- It is true that you do not have to water, which is usually the “great inconvenience of plants” (note the ironic tone). I warn you that in a certain way you do have to water. From time to time, you will have to replenish water. Evaporation exists and in summer it is much faster than you think. In addition, it is very possible that from time to time you have to renew the water almost completely; yes, like an aquarium… from the tap ??. Chlorinated water should be avoided.
- Well, actually there is substrate . The plants do not feed on nothing, and the roots are at the bottom of the ponds, where there is a substrate. And what substrate? Well, it’s a bit different, but nothing we can’t get.
- Zero maintenance !. Careful! Have you thought about microalgae ? Do those in stagnant water leave everything an impregnable green mucus? The aeration pump is present.
All this (among other things) must be taken into account to make a micro-pond.
Let’s first think about what a pond is as a whole. When we see a clean, crystalline pond, with water lilies and plants naturally, there is actually a lot that we do not see. It is an ecosystem with many entities and variables.
Among other things, fauna that feeds on algae (fish, snails …). Flora on the surface that prevents much of the light from entering (prevents excessive growth of algae).
If our small “pot” pond is not going to have fauna, we are already unbalancing the ecosystem and the algae will appear sooner or later leaving the water as a “flubber”.
[alert style = »green»] The natural pond has its own environmental characteristics (outside temperature, water temperature, ambient humidity…). We must also take this into account if we want the pond to be durable. [/ Alert]
AND THE SUBSTRATE OF A POTTED POND?
The substrate of a pond is another of those elements that we must take care of and above all choose well. Only stone? Normal plant substrate or is there a special substrate? Humus? everything?
To start with, for example, humified matter, whether worm or not, is a very aerated and light substrate that tends to float. so we should mix it with at least heavier soil fractions.
The stone is recommended on top of the substrate if you are going to have fish (which is not in general the case at hand, for space more than anything) to avoid scratching and muddying.
The most common is to have a fraction of soil at the bottom, some substrate and stones on top to prevent it from becoming too muddy. We do not think that the set of land and substrate should be like on dry land. A total of 10-15 cm approximately.
In addition to normal substrate, specific nutritious light substrates with good drainage are also available for aquatic plants, such as water lilies for example.
WHAT SPECIES TO CHOOSE FOR THE MINI POTTED POND?
Well, this point is already more than commented. In Gardenprue we did a very interesting article on this topic. We have floating, submerged, riverbank or marsh aquatic plants … Being a small space, water lilies and papyri tend to be plants with vigorous growth and they may grow too large if you do not control them.
The Sagittarius is a good example that gives height to the pond since it rises about 20-30 cm from the surface and gives a good appearance to the whole. Floating and marshy if we look online there are a few that can be useful.
[alert style = »yellow»] Since the potted micro pond has the advantage of being able to change the water at a certain moment, it is recommended that most plants have the typical aquatic pot like the one you see in the photo. [/ alert]
DO I NEED A PUMP FOR MY POTTED POND?
There are aerating plants that play their role, but many times they are not enough to keep algae, both unicellular and those known as filamentous, at bay. They will end up showing up.
Therefore, a small water filtration pump will help you not have to renew the pot every two by three. Can you keep a pond balanced so that there is not too much algae without the need for a pump? It is not easy at all and most of the time it is not achieved.
Achieving a good balance between plants, nitrifying bacteria that largely prevent the formation of algae, is something that requires time, a lot of time, trial and error. A basic advice is not to expose the pot too much to full sun and less during the summer.
Here we tell you more about nitrogen , its cycle and the importance of nitrifying bacteria.
You can try, but a small pump in the end will be necessary and still … you will have to do maintenance and manual “weed” of algae from time to time.
And if you really want to build a real pond, take a look at this article on how to build a pond.
What was said. Anyone who wants a micro pond …. let it get wet!