Monday, October 13th, 2014...7:08 pm

Protecting Your Pond Plants In Winter

As the colder weather makes itself all the more apparent, it’s important to take steps to ensure the survival of your beautiful pond plants.


This is a key point. Trim back any leaves or other foliage and remove dead leaves and waste from the pond and surrounding areas. This will stop it rotting and releasing toxins into the water. For this reason, it’s a good idea to remove any sludge and waste from the pond floor too.

Put together an arsenal of equipment that will take you through all of the seasons. A net, pond vacuum and some plant scissors are ideal. Swell UK has a wide range of maintenance equipment that will keep your pond looking its best.

To keep the pond tidy, think about purchasing a pond net. This will keep the pond tidy all winter and cut down on maintenance for you.

Remove less hardy plants

Exotic and delicate plants should be removed at the start of the cold weather, if not before. They do not fare well in frost and may well not recuperate. Keep them in a greenhouse or in the home, and well watered over the season.

If you have exotic lilies they need specialist care over the winter months. Keep them well watered, at least once a week. Keep them in a warm garage or cellar, as long as it’s heated and dry, anywhere is fine!

Wrap sensitive plants well in damp newspaper and store in bin liners in a warm place. Check the wrapping every couple of weeks to maintain the moisture and preserve the plants.

Not all plants need to be brought inside, many are hardy and will weather the climate well. They also provide helpful oxygen to the pond over the winter which is essential for healthy fish.

Food and warmth

Place a heater in or on the surface of the pond to stop it fully freezing over. If the surface has no outlet, thanks to ice, then toxins can poison the hibernating fish and any plants underneath.

A surface heater will create a ‘blow hole’ in the surface and allow the poisons to escape, and oxygen in. This can be a vital piece of equipment, especially if it is a very harsh winter. If you have a Koi pond, then an in pond heater is better, as it heats the whole pond, rather than just a surface area.

Don’t overfeed fish during the winter. Many will go into a ‘hibernation’ state in cold conditions but some remain active. Don’t feed too much, as the waste can turn into ammonia and more which can be dangerous to other life forms in the pond, including plants.

Pumps and filters can be turned off over the winter months, as the fish don’t need the circulation or produce as much waste. Also, if the weather is very cold, the pipe work runs the risk of freezing causing a myriad of problems.

With regular maintenance and some preparation, there is no reason why your pond plants shouldn’t survive the cold weather, and flourish again in the spring.

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