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Pond plants typically grow best in full sun, but what do you do when you have a pond in a shady area?
There are many plants you can grow in a shaded pond, but if you are looking for flowering plants your options are limited. There are a few things to consider before chosing your plants...
A good rule for any pond in limited light is choose plants that are cold climate hardy for zones 3-6. Plants that are hardy for colder climates do better in complete shade. You can grow water lily and water iris in the shade, but they may not bloom.
Plants that grow well in shaded ponds:
Cattail, Rush, and Reeds
Red Stem Parrot Feather
Water Hawthorne (picture above)
Partial Sun Ponds
I have a very successful pond located in filter light under an apple tree. The same "complete shade" rule applies for filtered light ponds. Choose plants that are zoned for cold climates 3-6. Depending on how much sun your filtered light pond receives, you might be able to grow blooming pond plants.
The plants in my partial light pond grow very tall, because they are stretching up toward the light. This made for some very unusual water hyacinth this year, that looked more like pickerel rush. It is also important to remember to add a professional grade fertilizer, such as Highland Rim; which promotes healthy growth and flowers too. I have used several different kinds of fertilizer and found this is the absolute best to use.
Plants in My Partial-Sun Pond:
Water Lotus - Water Poppy - Water Hyacinth
Primrose Creeper - Water Mint - Pennywort
Fairy Moss - Pickerel Rush
Red Stem Parrot Feather (left)
Morning Light Ponds
Pond that only receive morning light will probably not produce flowers. Most pond plants require 4-6 hours of sunshine per day in order to produce flowers. If you want to grow water lily, a good choice would be the night blooming tropical water lily. You can grow water hyacinth and water lettuce in morning light ponds in the summer season.
Morning Light Pond Plants
Frogbit (picture above)
.More Partial Sund Pond Plants: For a complete list of partial sun plants with pictures available see: Cold Climate Plants zones 3-6. Some plants are available all season long (such as pennywort and water lettuce). Others are available starting every February and March.
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