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Container Planting

This is a discussion on Container Planting within the Aquatic Plants and Plant Care forums, part of the Water Gardening category; ...

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  1. #1
    TundraKev's Avatar
    TundraKev is offline Banned
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    Default Container Planting

    Everything I grow in my pond is in containers Ė water lilies, bog plants etc. Iíve noticed on a number of occasions that plants in containers with holes in the bottom of the pots do much better than ones planted in containers with no holes. A couple of times when adding new plants to the pond I used containers (by accident) that didnít have the holes. In both these cases, I was stumped as to why the plants just didnít grow the way they should have. When I took the plants out of the pond to do further inspection, I discovered my mistake. I was really surprised to see the plants had all the symptoms of root rot. After transplanting to containers with the holes, the plants flourished.

    I seem to remember reading an article about this somewhere, but I can no longer find it. If I remember correctly, in containers with no holes there can be a buildup of some sort of toxic organic compounds or maybe an acid that can lead to the root rot symptoms. When you have the holes, these compounds dissipate with the constant supply to fresh water to the root zone.

    Does this make sense? Iím always surprised to see many of the informational sites on water gardening recommending the use of containers with no bottom holes. Thatís always been deadly for me.

    Comments? What kind of containers do you use?

  2. #2
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    Hey Kev,

    I am glad you posted this. I was thinking about this same thing because we just got some water lilies for the pond here. They came with a plastic basket/pot in which to be planted. I was thinking of just putting them in some old cracked and broken clay pots. I figure the weight of the pot would help keep them under water and "planted." Maybe that is not such a good idea after-all.

    Also, for whoever would know, what would happen if we just planted our water-lilies (the hardy kind) directly in the pond? On the package it says they can be planted up to five feet deep. My mom cautioned me because she said that she and my dad had so much trouble with water-lilies taking over the entire pond. I don't think that will happen here as there is a very steep drop off in our pond. It goes from about two/three feet to fourteen feet in a matter of inches. I figure the worst that could happen is that they spread all around the edges of the pond. ANYWAY, my thinking is probably jumbled here, but why plant them in a pot at all in our situation?

    Ok, that was two questions--kind of asking the same thing. LOL. I will stop writing now.

    Cheers!
    BD

  3. #3
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    I don't think the clay pots would be a problem since there is still a hole in the bottom. I plant a lot of things in clay pots in the pond. The weight does make it harder for them to blow over. I've only had problems when I've used plastic pots with no holes at all.

    I don't think water lilies are that aggressive as to become a problem in your pond. Maybe I'm wrong here since I don't have any experience with that. Lotus can be fast spreaders from what I've heard. The one problem you might have is with the catfish. I think they can be really bad at tearing underwater plantings to pieces. I know Koi are very destructive that way.

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    I just remembered something else about the article I referred to in my original post. I thought it said that decaying organic matter which would be present in all soil gives off as a byproduct carbonic or carbolic acid. If that is allowed to build up in the container, it can kill a plants root system. That was the reason why a container with no bottom holes is not a good idea. When you have the holes a constant exchange of fresh water would take place. That would dissipate this acidic buildup around the roots.

    I sure hope I didn't dream all this up.

  5. #5
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TundraKev
    The one problem you might have is with the catfish. I think they can be really bad at tearing underwater plantings to pieces. I know Koi are very destructive that way.
    Oh no! We have monster sized catfish. Maybe they will leave them alone if there are enough bugs to keep them busy. (Lots of grasshoppers, etc during the summers in Arkansas.) Bummer.

    Thanks for the info about the clay pots!

    Cheers!
    BD

  6. #6
    Gilda is offline "Master of the Moth and Phrags "
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brutal_Dreamer
    Hey Kev,


    Also, for whoever would know, what would happen if we just planted our water-lilies (the hardy kind) directly in the pond? On the package it says they can be planted up to five feet deep. My mom cautioned me because she said that she and my dad had so much trouble with water-lilies taking over the entire pond. I don't think that will happen here as there is a very steep drop off in our pond. It goes from about two/three feet to fourteen feet in a matter of inches. I figure the worst that could happen is that they spread all around the edges of the pond. ANYWAY, my thinking is probably jumbled here, but why plant them in a pot at all in our situation?

    Cheers!
    BD
    Your Mom is right..lilys will take over your pond if not planted in a container....we frequent a place called "Wildcat" lake in NC. The lake has to be dredged occasionally because the lilys take over !! They dredged it year before last, and last summer the lilys were had already muliplied like rabbits again !
    Containers are best .... and lilys and lotus will find their way out of these on occasion. We always use plastic pots, with rocks placed on the top of the dirt after planting the tubers.

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