Early spring is a great time of year for assessing the plants in your pond. As some may have outgrown their aquatic baskets or become too large for the pond. Or just are looking past their best and not flowering so well.

Overgrown pond plants can lead to a lack of oxygen in the water, potentially harming fish and other aquatic life. Plus, they may end up clogging pumps and filters and encouraging green algal growth.

Lifting and dividing plants in the spring will mean the plants can make use of the fresh supply of nutrients in the newly replaced aquatic soil.

As a rough rule of thumb, most pond plants should be divided or re-potted approximately every two to three years.

Before you begin…

Make sure you have all the items needed with you. These include planting baskets, fresh aquatic compost, a sharp knife, secateurs and aquatic gravel.

Plants that have outgrown their baskets

Plants that have outgrown their baskets should be lifted, removed from the existing basket and re-potted into a large one. Then, top dress with aquatic gravel and place back into the pond.

Dividing pond plants

After gently removing the plants from the pond, you can either use your hands to pull, or a sharp knife to cut the roots of the plant into smaller sections. Make sure each section has a growing point.

Cut off old leaves and trim the roots of each divided section before re-planting into baskets. Give them fresh aquatic soil and top dress with aquatic gravel.

Overgrown pond

Flowering pond plants

Early spring is a good time of year to lift and divide plants that have just finished flowering. This includes marsh-marigold (Caltha). Or plants which don’t flower until late summer such as pickerel weed (Pontederia), mint (Mentha) and bulrush (Typa).

Remember, if you divide pond plants now that flower in early summer, they probably won’t flower this year. Examples include irises and waterlilies.  Therefore, you may want to wait until after they’ve finished flowering in late summer, or early autumn before lifting and dividing.

Marsh marigold
Iris plant pond

Make sure your pond plants are as healthy as possible by lifting and dividing in early spring.

Find out more about the best plants for your pond:

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