Plant size and quality

Typically wetland and water plants are available in 9 cm pots. Vigorous reed plants are occasionally sold in 11 cm pots and water lilies in 13 cm pots. Plants must have a well – established root system. Barerooted plants and plants in trays with a root-ball size of about 3-4 cm are suitable for wet sites because there is very little danger of drought damage. However, there should be low weed competition for successful establishment, and planting should be carried out after the possibility of spring floods and before the end of June. Water lilies should be planted in shallow water, the shoot heads have to be located above the substrate’s surface.

Plants for zones 3 to 5 should be reliably fixed to prevent them from being pulled out by currents or waves. In Germany, good results were achieved with Flor-Recult – Logatainer plants, which are cultivated in special trays (Ziepke 1990). Each plant develops a flat root ball of 100 cm2, shaped like a cigarette box. Planting with a spade is rapid and, if the flat rootballs are lined up parallel to the current, they withstand erosion better along the riversides and streams. Vegetation mats on floating islands or roof gardens can be planted by laying Flor-Recult-Logatainer plants flat on to the surface (see, for example, Ziepke (1992)). New roots will anchor the perennials and their shoots will emerge within a few weeks.

Several companies offer ready planted mats and fascines with reed- or tall forb vegetation (see, for example, BGS (2002)) for establishing along shores that are strongly exposed to erosion. These elements consist mostly of coconut fibre and should be fixed with wooden stakes or stones (Bestmann 1993; DIN 2002).

Submerged and floating-leaved species without roots are traded in transparent plastic bags or boxes. Closed receptacles must not be stored in full sun because the heat would destroy the sensitive plants. They are best stored in an open water bucket in the shade. Rooted submerged plants should be fixed with their base in the substrate, whereas floating species should be just thrown into the water.