Many people think plants in ponds are just for looks. Boy could that not be further from the truth.
Pond plants are like a vacuum in a pond, sucking up all the waste and potential toxins thus keeping the pond cleaner and healthy. As part of the normal life cycle in a pond, waste from fish and other creatures accumulates and breaks down, creating toxins in the form of ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. With some help from beneficial bacteria, pond plants utilize the waste as a food source to grow strong a big while at the same time removing these pollutants from the water. The result is a cleaner, clearer and healthier pond.
Additionally, the removal of those wastes also prevent the outbreak of algae, which is a pond owners worst nightmare and an absolute bear to prevent. Ponds with upwards of 60% coverage with various pond plants will experience noticebaly improved water quality and a minimal occurance of algae.
Pond plants come in several varieties, primarily sorted by Lotus, Lillies, Marginals and Submerged Grasses. While all of these are beneficial, some are better at certain tasks than others. Lotus and lilies float on the surface and have blooming flowers. They are ideal for provided shade to the water, while also removing waste. Marginals are the best at absorbing waste and excess nutrients from the water, however they only grow in the shallow water along the edges. Finally submerges grasses or often added to help added extra oxygen into the water. These grasses grow under the surface of the water and can also proved additional nutrient filtration as well.
So the next time you see a pond or water garden loaded with plants and think they are just there for looks, think again, chances are there is a larger plan in place.