By Gail Barnhill
The Tucson Watergardeners
The most popular water plant is, of course, the water lily. There are two major types of water lilies, the hardy water lily and the tropical water lily. The later may freeze here in the winter unless it is protected by placing it in the deepest part of the pond (probably minimum of 24") or the tuber lifted and kept in damp sand.
Another much loved water plant is the lotus. However, this might grow in So. Az, but it does not bloom due to the combination of high heat and lack of humidity.
Most water plants multiply very rapidly. Free floating plants are the most notorious for this, and when you run out of friends to give the excess plants to, they make wonderful compost fodder.
In addition to many nurseries in town, a great source of water plants is The Tucson Watergardeners. Club members regularly bring their excess water plants to meetings to be given away as free doorprizes. The Tucson Watergardeners also hold a water plant sale in May each year where you can find some of the more uncommon or unusual water plants to be had.
There are many other water plants worth growing, some of which are:
Free Floating (not planted in a pot): These are also good "filtration’ plants as well as favorite spawning places for fish:Azolla
Marginals or Bog Plants: The majority of "other" water plants are plants that thrive in very moist to boggy soils or in the watergarden with the top of their pots 1"-6" (depending on variety) below water level:
FULLY SUBMERGED PLANTS: These are primarily plants that help oxygenate and clean the pond and provide nourishment and spawning areas for pond insects and fish: