Pond in a Pot: Create a Container Water Garden

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Do you want to add a water feature to your small garden? If yes, then create a pond in a pot. Learn how to make a container water garden full of water lilies and irises blooming, fountains bubbling and fishes swimming.

Pond in a pot is a combination of potted aquatic plants. It is easy to maintain and needs less care. You can arrange plants whenever and wherever you like.

Choose a container

Take as large as you can, a tub, bowl or container, whichever you can use. Ceramic and Plastic containers of 15-25 gallons are best or use your old wash tub, porcelain container, old wine box or whiskey barrel (check out its leakage).

Choose a Container painted with dark color from inside, this way, your pond will look more spacious and deep. If possible take container more than 16 inches wide and 10 inches deep.

Decide a Place for it

Your container water garden will provide a serene ambiance to garden so place it wisely after deciding, whether the source of water is near to it or not, will it receive sunshine of about six hours but shade in the afternoon or not. Then you will need to check how it is looking from different angles. If placed well, it can become a beautiful focal point of your small garden.

Plants for a Container Water Pond

Choose three to five plants according to the size of your container, take different types of aquatic plants–Erect plants like ‘yellow flag iris’ and cattail, floating plants like water hyacinth, and broadleaf plants like the giant arrowhead, elephant ear or calla lily.
If your container’s size is more than the suggested 16 inches wide and 10 inches deep (ideal size), then you can grow deep-rooted water plants like lotus and water-lily, too. These aquatic plants need at least 10 inches of water over their roots and some space to spread their foliage.

Setting up your Container Water Garden

Once you’re done with choosing a container, placing it in a suitable spot and picking plants, you’re ready to set up your pond in a pot. Just fill up the container with general tap water and dip the potted plants you’ve bought. All you need is to place them up in specific depths of the container, for this use bricks to vary height to make a picturesque arrangement, see the diagram below for better insight. You can also install a water fountain and add fishes in the pond.

Container Water Garden Maintenance

It is easier than planting in grounds: no need to worry about soil, overwatering and weeds. Partial shade and the moderate temperature is optimum for the growth of water plants.

Restore water after every couple of days. Algae is the problem, and to prevent this–paint dark color inside your container and occasionally drain the water when decomposed matter populates on the bottom.

Mosquitoes can be a problem as well, to avoid their larvae to thrive, install bubbler or fountain or add goldfishes.

Additional Tips

  • To overwinter it in cool climates, keep it indoors.
  • Use plants in diversity, but don’t overcrowd your pond in a pot.
  • For fishes, you need to de-chlorinate water using chlorine removal tablets.

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Do you want to add a water feature in your small garden? If yes, then create a pond in a pot.

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    • Find a local source for water plants and more plant information, asking also about adding fish and how to feed them, as they can be a great, fun asset to the water plants! It’s not very expensive- get at least a bubbler and get one lotus, or more but if possible, but do not miss out on that experience!!

  1. Fish need to be fed a high quality fish food. They need space to swim and oxygen from the bubbles from a fountain. They will also eat algae and mosquito larvae, but do need supplementary feeding.

    • Absolutely, thanks for commenting here, as I was wondering why anyone would not learn that fish need to be fed, too! The bubbler was also an important part of the little pond and are not expensive.

    • Not really, you’ll have an overgrowth of algae that way. It’s best for a very dark pot or liner. I had a “half-whiskey barrel” planter and a black liner that was made for that half barrel. (Lowe’s Home Improvement, lo these many years ago when they were ll the rage.) This was a few years ago, and I even got algae growth in that anyway. I never fed my gold fish, didn’t even know they were still in there!! They were, and one a big ol’ fella too! They overwintered, both fish and my lily, in 6b area temps (90 degrees down to -10 degrees), so when I moved and couldn’t keep it, I emptied it and found the fish still in there – total amazement!! I wouldn’t try clear unless it’s a table top size and you can empty and clean it often. Also, I’m wondering – maybe too hot for gold fish? They don’t care for too high a temp water which is why they don’t need an aquarium heater.

      Hope this helps! (I’m not the author of this article…)

  2. These are so pretty and encourage people to start out with the basic hard shell, approximately 3’ diameter, available at Lowes. It’s a great thing to see a lotus blossoming outside your door. We live at our farm, zone 7 Piedmont of N. C., and definitely plan to have the “fancy-tailed” goldfish in addition, which do need feeding btw, don’t understand not doing so. Be sure to get a bubbler and now curious about a mini waterfall!


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