When to plant pond plants

If you are new to pond plants, you are likely keen to get started with some beautiful water lilies, marginal plants to encourage wildlife or oxygenators to keep the pond clean and clear.  But when should you plant your pond plants in the UK?

Similar to ground plants, most pond plants are best planted in mid/late spring to early summer in the UK. Depending on the weather this may be Mid-April to mid-June as a suggestion.  What you want is for the pond water to just be warming up so that the plants can establish themselves well

You can also plant some pond plants in the autumn, ready for early spring but this is not recommended for bare rooted water lilies and irises.  These plants should not be planted until at least March. Expect any plants placed in the autumn to lay dormant until the spring.

When to plant marginal plants

Marginal plants are like most other plants in that they are best planted when the weather is warmer and there’s sufficient sunshine.  So ideally mid spring to early summer.

When to plant water lilies

In the UK water lilies are best planted in late spring until summer.  After flowering in the summer you can expect them to blossom until autumn, after which they will die back over winter.  You can help protect them by moving them lower just before winter, to about half the ultimate depth on the ticket.

When to plant oxygenators

Not all oxygenating plants produce oxygen for the whole of spring/summer.  It is often recommended to swap out oxygenating plants between those for winter and spring and summer and autumn.

Suggestions include:

Spring/Winter – Water-crowfoot (Ranunculus aquatilis)

Summer/Autumn – Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum)   

If your pond already has algae, you should avoid planting any oxygenating plants; this is because the algae will consume oxygen from the pond water and prevent plants from growing sufficiently.  Instead you should use a skimmer, algae net and/or algaecides.

You should ensure that your pond water is of sufficient quality before planting any oxygenators, there should be sufficient CO2 and water hardness to get the oxygenators going effectively to do their job.  You can use a pond water testing kit to help you determine this.


If you notice that any of the pond plants on our website are out of stock at any time, it is likely that they are out of season and it is not the appropriate time to plant them.

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