Pond Planting Tips: How to Grow Wild Petunias, Creeping Jenny & Pond Lilies

Today, we’re diving into the wonderful world of pond plants. We recently joined our friends John and Lisa from KGTropicals as they completed their beautiful pond. Now, it’s time to bring in some lush greenery and vibrant flowers to create a natural oasis right in their backyard. So, grab your gardening gloves and let’s get planting!

Introducing Stunning Mexican Petunias

First up, let’s take a closer look at these stunning Mexican Petunias. These plants are native to Central and South America, but have become naturalized in many regions of the United States. They’re a great choice for your pond because they’re extremely hardy and easy to grow.​

These purple beauties are not only easy on the eyes, but they also have a cool secret. Each day, a new bloom emerges while the old ones gracefully fall away. It’s like a continuous bloom party! While they may not attract butterflies, these petunias are a magnet for bumble bees and carpenter bees, who absolutely adore them. John and Lisa’s previous yard was filled with these purple petunias, so we just had to bring some to their new pond.

Stabilizing Tall Petunias

Now, when it comes to planting these tall petunias, we want to make sure they stay upright despite any strong gusts of wind. Before planting, I like to break them at the node, simply by hand or with a pair of clippers for a nice clean break. This allows the stem to branch out and continue growing. By breaking it below the node, we risk stunting its growth and eventually losing the stem. We wouldn’t want that, right?

These petunias can grow quite tall, so find a spot on the side of the pond where it’s consistently damp. I nestled one of them between a few boulders in a nice wet area. To give it some extra support until it takes root, I grab some pea gravel from the bottom of the pond and use it to prop up the plant. Just make sure to keep the crown of the stem above the water to prevent drowning. These petunias are terrestrial plants, after all, but they’ll be perfectly happy next to the pond as long as we’re mindful of their needs.

Now, some folks might raise an eyebrow at not using a bag to contain this petunia before planting. While it can be considered quasi-invasive, we’re placing it on the pond’s edge, where it can easily be removed if necessary. No need to worry about it taking over the entire neighborhood!​

For extra stability, I stack some small rocks around the base of the stem. This prevents it from toppling over until its roots establish themselves. After about a week, those roots will dig into the gravel, giving the plant a strong foundation. By next year, this little area will be conquered by these vibrant petunias.

Embracing Creeping Jenny

Next on our planting adventure is the Creeping Jenny. Similar to the Mexican Petunias, this is also a terrestrial plant that we’re placing in the pond. Look for a plant that has some nice healthy white roots. They do an excellent job holding the soil in place, but we actually want as little soil as possible. So, let’s shake off the excess soil and get down to those beautiful white roots.

It may take some time and effort, but trust me, it’s worth it. We want these roots to go bonkers in the nutrient-rich water, especially with the fish adding their own special touch (aka: fish poop). When you see the majority of those white roots, you’re good to go. These roots will go to town in the pond, absorbing all those excess nutrients and taking over the area. Embrace the invasion!​

Exposed Root System of Creeping Jenny

Just like with the petunias, find a spot on the side of the pond and gently tuck the roots into the water. Make sure those roots are in contact with the water right from the beginning to help the root system establish itself. You might even want to give it a little splash of water for the first couple of weeks to ensure it’s getting enough hydration. Then, carefully tuck the small rocks back around the creeping Jenny. This stuff is borderline invasive, so it’s going to take over no matter what you do. And trust me, it’s going to look absolutely stunning as the leaves cascade over the rocks and into the water.

Planting Pond Lilies

Last but not least, let’s talk Pond Lilies. These young plants can be planted directly into the gravel at the bottom of the pond. Just make sure the leaves can reach the surface of the water. If they’re a couple of inches below, no worries, they’ll grow towards the surface. However, it’s important to note that you should only plant Pond Lilies directly in the gravel for one season. If you let them go longer, they’ll start to spread and can take over the entire pond. We definitely don’t want that surprise!

Creating a Vibrant and Thriving Pond

So, there you have it, three beginner-friendly plant picks for a vibrant and thriving pond. Mexican Petunias, Creeping Jenny, and Pond Lilies will transform your pond into a breathtaking oasis. Remember to choose damp areas for the tall petunias and tuck in the creeping Jenny’s roots to give them a head start. And when it comes to Pond Lilies, keep an eye on their spreading tendencies.

With these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to creating a stunning pond paradise in your own backyard. Enjoy the beauty, the sounds, and the abundant life that these plant additions will bring. Your pond will become a focal point of your outdoor space, sure to be admired by friends, family, and neighbors alike. Cheers to a blooming and thriving pond!​