Trailing or creeping plants are plants that grow out over the pond surface, creating a mat of foliage.
These water plants can be selected not only for their ornamental beauty, adding lush colour and texture, but can serve to help us with some of our pond keeping or design problems. Pond edges and liners can be protected, you can use them to hide or camouflage ugly wiring and plumbing from pond pumps, filters and lighting.
Creeping plants are great for planting alongside waterfalls and also help to soften harsh looking pond edges. They help to blend many pond designs into the surrounding landscape. Patio ponds such as large urns or tubs, look like they are more established when some of pond plants trail out and drape down the sides.
Animals can cause major destruction not only to the pond, the plants, but also our treasured fish and frogs.
How do I protect my fish from predators?
The number one culprits are the predatory birds that fly over head eyeing off the smorgasbord below. They are extremely efficient feeders, not even chewing before they swallow. A well planned pond needs rocks and ledges for the fish to hide underneath and creeping plants help with this too. The test is that we need to work out how much of the pond surface to cover. This can be difficult to measure, but if you have a deeper pond (60cm or more), with many rocks and ledges for the fish to hide under, then the need for lots of creeping plants may be only a third of the water surface. A shallow pond is ultimately bringing the dinner plate up to the surface, so more needs to done to protect the fish, possibly cover two thirds of the pond surface with creeping plants.
If all else fails then bird repellents can be sprayed around, but not into the pond water. Loud noise, sprays from the garden hose and other forms of harassment act as a deterrent. As a last resort physical barriers such as netting may need to be placed over the pond.
Just like the birds, they see their buffet in the pond and if the fish are too close to the pond edge, then the opportunity is too inviting. Pond design can help here. Ponds designed with vertical sides tend to make it harder, as the water is still deep at the pond edge. A pond with sloping sides means that there are more chances for the cats to catch their prey in the shallow edge waters. Creeping plants along the pond edges provide shelter, but it also means that the clear water is further from the pond edge and much deeper.
Cats can also damage pond liners with their claws, especially if they walk out over the mat of creeping plants, fall and then try to scramble out of the pond. A squirt with the garden hose or a motion activated garden sprinkler is often the best deterrent.
What creeping plants should I plant for my fish to breed?
Creeping plants that not only form a mat on the pond surface, but also create a small tangle of roots and foliage under the water. The Water Milfoils and Bacopas are popular for this. Not only can they grow up and trail over the pond surface, but also produce a wonderful tangled web of leaves, stems and roots. These plants create an environment for the fish to feed, explore, hide in and provides them the privacy to spawn.
- Most creeping plants are grown in the marginal areas of the pond, or Zone Three. For more information on the Oz Watergardens pond plant Zoning system go to out Zone Map.
- For information on the plant care and maintenance, go to our Tips & Hints page.
- Click on the following link for information on fish ponds.
- Click on the following link for information on frog ponds