Maintaining an outdoor pond can be tricky because there are a lot of elements to control. One of the most important aspects of maintaining an outdoor pond is ensuring that the water is oxygenated enough to support your fish. Certain species of fish like goldfish and koi have very high needs for oxygen, so adding oxygenating plants to your pond will help to make your pond fish-friendly. Below you will find a list of some of the top oxygenating plants for use in outdoor ponds.
Recommended Species for Outdoor Ponds
The plant species on this list are particularly recommended for outdoor ponds due to their capacity to oxygenate pond water.
Hornwort – This group of plants are typically used as floating plants in ponds to help disperse sunlight. Hornwort has a feathered, spiny texture and produces tiny flowers. This plant tends to do well with very little maintenance and, though it will die back in winter, it will grow back from the fruit once the weather starts to warm.
Canadian Pondweed (Elodea canadensis) – This plant species tends to tolerate cold well but doesn’t do well when the temperature varies little between seasons. Canadian pondweed requires bright sunlight but it can be grown either in pots or left to float on the surface of the water. This species grows quickly in the spring and summer, achieving lengths up to 4 feet. If not properly controlled, this plant can become invasive.
South African Curly Pondweed (Lagarosiphon major) – Though this species doesn’t grow as quickly as Canadian pondweed, it has similar requirements for care. This plant can be grown in pots within the pond or allowed to float on the surface.
Water Milfoils – This group of plants requires good light and prefers to be rooted in pots. Water milfoils produce feathery leaves and whorls of little white flowers that rise above the surface of the water. These plants are very hardy, being tolerant of both hot summers and cold winters. Popular species of water milfoil include alternate-flower milfoils (Myriophyllum alterniflorum) and whorled water milfoil (Myriophyllum verticillatum).
Fanwort (Cabomba carolina) – Also sometimes simply referred to as Cabomba, fanwort is a feathery green plant with reddish-purple leaves. This plant typically doesn’t survive freezing winters and silty water will interfere with its growth. These plants prefer soft, slightly acidic water without too much flow.
Willow Mosses (Fontinalis spp.) – These plants are a type of aquatic moss that tend to thrive when provided plenty of rockwork to grow on. Willow mosses grow slowly, so they are most recommended for small ponds where there is less ground to cover. One of the most popular species of willow moss is Fontinalis antipyretica).
Curly Pondweed (Potamogeton crispus) – This species of pondweed is less common than either the Canadian or South African varieties, but it is a good option for smaller ponds. Curly pondweed produces pink stems with large leaves that grow 3 to 4 inches long. This plant does best when rooted and can grow in large canopies that float just under the surface of the water.
Other Tips for Pond Maintenance
In addition to adding oxygenating plants to your pond, you may also want to consider installing an EcoBio-Block Wave. EcoBio products are infused with beneficial bacteria as well as the nutrients they require to thrive and reproduce. Once installed in your pond, the beneficial bacteria in the EcoBio-Block Wave will establish and maintain the nitrogen cycle to ensure that your pond water stays clean and clear. This, in combination with your oxygenating plants, will make your pond a safe and healthy environment for your fish.