Information About Water Lettuce

Information About Water Lettuce

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Care Of Water Lettuce: Info And Uses For Water Lettuce In Ponds

By Amy Grant

Water lettuce plants can add interest to your backyard garden pond. Learn how to care for them properly to keep them in check with tips from this article. Click here for more information.

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Which one do you want? What is most important to you?

How would you describe your water garden feature? A Container Garden, Small Pond, Medium Pond, Large Pond or Natural Bottom Pond? We have listed some information to help the beginner!

Container Garden? Perhaps a large bowl, half whiskey barrel or trough?

Container gardens are an excellent way to showcase small waterlilies and other small plants on your deck or patio. Simply fill a no holes container with water. Your waterlily will need to be planted in a smaller, wide, no holes container, using loam topsoil and pool filter sand. You can purchase a bag of unbranded topsoil at Lowe's or Home Depot, and you can purchase pool filter sand at any store that sells pool supplies.

  • Loam Topsoil is a non-organic (inorganic) topsoil without composted material added. Composted materials will rot and will foul your water.
  • Pool Filter Sand has larger granules than regular sand AND it is pre-rinsed!
Mix your loam topsoil and pool filter sand together

  • 2/3 loam topsoil
  • 1/3 pool filter sand.

When water is added to this mix it should form a clump in your hand.

NEVER add the following to your waterlily, lotus or bog plant containers:

  • No 100% Calcined Clay
  • No Potting Soil as it floats and will rot and foul your water
  • No Stones as they inhibit plant growth

API Aquatic Planting Media or Microbelift Aquatic Planting Media as these are NOT suitable for waterlilies or lotus and are good for submerged grasses ONLY!

Bog Plants (Wetland Plants) prefer poor, acidic soil.

We encourage you to watch our waterlily planting video to make sure you are planting your waterlily correctly. Gently place the container with the planted waterlily 1 - 2 feet beneath the surface of the water. Small or Dwarf waterlilies can be placed 6 - 10 inches beneath the surface of the water. Make certain that your waterlily is completely submerged beneath the surface of the water.

Some beautiful smaller waterlilies for container gardens are:

  • Berit Strawn Waterlily, a small, hardy peach waterlily with cup shaped blooms
  • Hermine Waterlily, a small, crisp, white, hardy waterlily
  • Pink Sparkle Waterlily, a delightful, small pink hardy waterlily
  • Perry's Baby Red Waterlily, A lovely, small, red hardy waterlily
  • Denver Waterlily, a small, soft white, hardy waterlily

Some Marginal plant suggestions for container gardens are:

  • Crystal Ball Pennywort
  • Dwarf Umbrella Palm
  • Snowflake plants
  • Orange Punch Canna
  • Arrowhead (Sagittaria Latifolia)
  • Any Dwarf lotus
You must plant any of the plants listed above in containers or small fabric planters using heavy loam soil and place them at the appropriate depths in your small pond.

Some Pondmegastore Tips for your container garden are:

A small goldfish or two may be added to your container garden if there are no chloramines in the water. The goldfish will eat any mosquito larvae that may be in your container garden. (Use a Water Test Kit to make sure the water in your pond has no toxins, chloramines or ammonia before adding goldfish. It's a great idea to have ammonia remover handy should you do a partial water change and have an ammonia spike

No splashing water on your plants!

Place you container garden where it will receive at least 5 hours of sunlight daily.

Don't crowd your container garden, water plants grow quickly! Choose one, two or three plants that you will enjoy instead of crowding too many plants into your container garden.

Fertilize your waterlily once a month with a slow release fertilizer like Waterlily World Fertilizer Tabs + Humates for optimum growth, best bloom and ease of use!

Small pond, measuring 3 feet by 5 feet with a liner or small pre-formed pond?

A small pond can be a fun and educational way to introduce plants to children or it may be the gem of your landscape, showcasing a prized lotus, taro, waterlily or hibiscus! 60% of the surface of the water should be covered with floating plants or waterlilies to help shade the water. Shading the water will help reduce the occurrence of algae and the floating plants and waterlilies will help to take up nutrients from your pond water.

  • Hornwort
  • Jungle Vallisneria
  • Cabomba
  • Anacharis

Oxygenators help to add oxygen to your pond water in the daytime. Plant your oxygenators in small containers and place at the bottom of your pond. You may plant your oxygenator in heavy loam soil, sand or small pea sized (1/8 inch) gravel.

Waterlilies you may wish to add to your small pond are:

  • Citrus Twist Waterlily, an excellent hardy waterlily in shades of creamy- peach, with lush full blooms that bloom beautifully all summer long!
  • Gloriosa Waterlily is a lively, red hardy waterlily with pretty, 3-5" cup shaped blooms.
  • Andreanna Waterlily is a hardy waterlily in rosy-red shades that fade to silver on the outer petals. The pads are mottled beautifully, adding depth and character to your water garden setting.
  • Pink Sparkle, a smaller pink hardy waterlily that is simply delightful!
  • Denver Waterlily, a smaller creamy-white hardy that looks elegant in the water.
Marginal plants are important in a small pond to add interest, help soften the rockery and to take up extra nutrients in the pond, helping to prevent and reduce algae growth.

Marginal plants that do well in small ponds are:

  • Snowflakes
  • Dwarf Umbrella Palm
  • Small Arrowhead (Latifolia)
  • Orange Punch Canna
  • Crystal Ball Pennywort
  • Water Poppies
  • as well as many others

Some basic rules of thumb for most ponds are:

Build your pond in full sun (5+ hours of sunlight per day)

No splashing water on plants, especially waterlilies and lotus

Remember to fertilize your plants with a slow release fertilizer like Waterlily World Fertilizer Tabs + Humates for optimum growth, best bloom and ease of use!

60% of the surface of your pond should be covered with floating plants or waterlilies

Consider the use of a biofilter when you build your pond. You can recirculate the water in your pond through the biofilter, using plants in your biofilter to purify the water, removing toxins, heavy metals and nutrients. This will help to avoid algae growth in the pond. Some plants you may want to consider for your biofilter are:

  • Variegated celery
  • Canna
  • Iris
  • Pickerel Cordata
  • Chinese Lizards Tail
  • Manna Grass
  • Taro
Adding a goldfish or two is often a nice touch in a small pond-- adding the flash and dart of bright orange fins! A water test kit is important to check the quality of the water and to check for toxins, ammonia or chloramines. (Goldfish are beneficial as well, as they eat any mosquito larvae that may be in the water.) We sell Water Test Kits here at Pondmegastore or you can purchase one locally. Just remember to check your water quality before adding any fish to your small pond. You may want to keep a bottle of ammonia remover handy in case you should do a partial water change in the pond and have an ammonia spike.

Medium size backyard pond measuring 6 feet by 12 feet long?

A medium sized pond will showcase your water garden plants nicely! 60% of the surface of your medium sized pond should be covered with floating plants or waterlilies. This provides shade to your water feature helping to aid in reducing algae growth. These plants will also help with the uptake of nutrients from the pond, which will also aid in the reduction of algae.

Some Waterlilies that are excellent for medium sized ponds are:

  • Citrus Twist Hardy Waterlily, an amazing bloomer with lush, full flowers in creamy-peach!
  • Black Princess Hardy Waterlily, an exotic, dark-red flower with medium-green leaves. Adds drama and excitement to your medium sized pond!
  • James Brydon Hardy Waterlily, a bright, lively red with perky, cup shaped blooms!
  • Siam Sunset Hardy Waterlily, a scrumptious, stellate bloom drenched in golden-apricot colors!
  • Gonnere Hardy White Waterlily, Purity at its finest with this perfect white bloom!
  • Jakkaphong Waterlily is an exceptional waterlily with deep fuschia and white flowers, each bloom is 'one of a kind'!

Oxygenators are an important element in your pond as they add oxygen to your water throughout the day as well as taking up extra nutrients in the water that cause algae to grow! The following are some oxygenators that we recommend:

  • Hornwort
  • Vallisneria
  • Anacharis
  • Cabomba

Oxygenators must be planted in heavy loam soil, sand or small pea gravel. Use small containers that may be placed 1 - 3 feet beneath the surface of the water oron the bottom of your medium sized pond. Oxygenators may also be weighted with plant weights rather than planting them. Weights are important as they will keep your oxygenators from being pulled into a skimmer.

Marginal Plants for your medium sized pond are as follows:

  • Dwarf Giant Papyrus
  • Umbrella Palm
  • Iris
  • Zebra Rush
  • Yerba Mansa
  • Pickerel Rush
  • Taro
  • Watercress
  • Golden Club
  • Orange Canna Punch
  • Variegated Water Celery
  • Arrowhead
  • Thalia Dealbata
  • Lobelia
  • Mexican Butterfly Flower
  • Aquatic Mint
  • Bloody Doc
  • Taro
  • Hibiscus
  • Any Medium sized lotus
  • As well as many other marginal plants
Marginal Plants must be planted in moist, heavy loam soil and placed in shallow water or with water just over the roots or just over the top of the pot, depending on the variety.

Marginal Plants add beauty and character to your pond and bring in honey bees, butterflies and dragonflies. Marginal plants add vertical interest as well as texture to your water garden setting. Marginal plants may be planted in containers and placed on shelves in your pond, or be planted in the bog area of your pond in moist soil.

Adding goldfish to your water garden is always a nice touch! Goldfish will eat any mosquito larvae in the water. If you do decide to add goldfish, do invest in a Water Test Kit to make sure there are no toxins in the water that may harm your fish. You may want to keep a bottle of ammonia remover handy if you do a partial water change and your ammonia levels spike!

Some basic Pondmegastore tips for medium sized ponds are as follows:

  • No splashing water on your plants, especially waterlilies or lotus
  • Make sure your pond has plenty of sunlight (5+ hours per day)
  • Remember to fertilize your plants with a slow release fertilizer like Waterlily World Fertilizer Tabs +Humates for optimum growth, best bloom and ease of use
  • When adding floating plants like, water lettuce, water hyacinths or frogbit, keep in mind that these plants multiply quickly and can overtake your pond

Consider using a biofilter to keep your pond water crystal clear. Simply recirculate your pond water through a biofilter planted with any of the following plants:

  • Variegated Water Celery
  • Taro
  • Orange Punch Canna
  • Iris
  • Chinese Lizards Tail
  • Pickerel Cordata

When building a biofilter, use 1/8 inch pea gravel (the same size as aquarium gravel--no larger)


Large backyard pond measuring 10 feet by 22 feet long?

Large backyard ponds can accommodate almost any plant or combination of plants, that the pond owner desires. You can choose larger varieties of waterlilies and lotus as well as a wonderful combination of marginal plants. When adding plants to a pond of this size, many factors should be considered. The slope of the sides of the pond, planting depths the shelves can accommodate as well the height of each plant. You may wish to showcase plants in the center of your pond, in which case you must be certain there will be no splashing water on the plants, especially waterlilies or lotus.

You will be adding:

  • Oxygenators
  • Marginal Plants
  • Waterlilies and/or Lotus
  • Floating Plants

Oxygenators that you may wish to add to your pond are:

  • Hornwort
  • Cabomba
  • Jungle Vallisneria
  • Anacharis

Oxygenators will help to add oxygen to your pond water in the daytime. The oxygenators should be planted in small container using sand, small pea gravel or heavy loam soil. The oxygenators may be weighted down with small weights or tucked into the substrate as well.

Marginal Plants will add character and personality to your pond and help soften the borders of your pond. Marginal plants will also help with the uptake of nutrients from the water helping to avoid algae issues. Pond plants are the most important element in keeping your water crystal clear and your pond water free of toxins and heavy metals. Consider adding any of the following to add vertical interest to your pond.

  • Iris
  • Canna
  • Taro
  • Pickerel Rush
  • Thalia Dealbata
  • Chinese Lizard's Tail
  • Papyrus
  • Arrowhead
  • Variegated Water Celery

Most of the Marginal plants listed above may also be used in a biofilter using pea sized grave. Simply build a biofilter using pea sized gravel (1/8 an inch, no larger, the same size as aquarium gravel) and plant some marginal plants in the biofilter. You can recirculate the water through the biofilter, allowing the plants to pull out the toxins, heavy metals and extra nutrients, helping to avoid issues and keeping your pond water crystal clear.

Waterlilies are the real jewels of the pond, adding color and beautiful lily pads on the surface of the water. Some of the waterlilies we recommend for large ponds are as follows:

  • Lemon Meringue, a luscious, yellow hardy waterlily with lush full flowers that float beautifully on the surface of the water.
  • Cranberry Waterlily, a hardy, cranberry hued waterlily that is simply fantastic.
  • Clyde Ikins, a hardy peach waterlily that is a dependable bloomer.
  • Pink Pom Pom is a delightful pink hardy with fantastic, full pink blooms.
  • Strawberry Milkshake is a light-pink hardy with lovely, ethereal blooms.
  • Texas Dawn is a hardy yellow waterlily, a reliable bloomer with pale-yellow flowers.
  • Steven Strawn is a strong red hardy waterlily and booms nicely throughout the summer.
  • Snowflake Waterlily is a hardy white and has long, elegant petals on the exquisite blooms. Simply stunning in the water!
  • Wanvisa is a hardy waterlily with mixed colors in the peachy-pink petals--often with a hint of yellow.
  • Detective Erika is a fabulous intersubgeneric, a hardy waterlily crossed with a tropical waterlily which produced this amazing purple waterlily that blooms beautifully like a tropical, but is winter hardy!

Plant your waterlilies in a wide container using heavy loam soil and pool filter sand. Mix 2/3 Loam Topsoil (Inorganic/non-organic topsoil) with no composted material added (as compost will rot and foul your water).

(Never use potting soil as it will float right out of the pot and foul your water as well!) You can purchase an inexpensive bag of topsoil from Lowe's or Home Depot. Make sure it is not a brand like Scott's or Miracle -Gro, an unbranded topsoil is best. You may also purchase a bag of pool filter sand at any store that sells pool supplies. Mix the following

  • 2/3 Loam Soil
  • 1/3 Pool Filter Sand

When mixed with water, it should form a clump in your hand when you grab it.

Pool Filter Sand has larger granules than regular sand and is pre-rinsed. When mixed with loam soil, it helps to create an excellent planting medium for your waterlilies, lotus and aquatic plants.

  • API Aquatic Planting Media
  • Microbelift Aquatic Planting Media

as these products are NOT suitable for waterlilies or lotus or your aquatic plants. These are only suitable for submerged grasses in the pond.

Fertilize your waterlilies with a slow release fertilizer like Waterlily World Fertilizer + Humates for optimum growth, best bloom and ease of use. Simply press 4-5 tabs into the soil of your waterlily container.

Place your waterlilies from 12 - 24 inches beneath the surface of the water, in full sun.(5+ hours) Deeper depths is for mature plants.

If you choose to add fish to your water garden, choose goldfish! Goldfish are not destructive towards plants as koi are. There are very few pond plants that koi will not eat. Don't struggle between plants OR fish. Simply choose some beautiful goldfish with fancy fins for your water garden and enjoy!

Some Pondmegastore tips :

  • Never allow splashing water on your plants, especially waterlilies or lotus.
  • Never fertilize your lotus plants until you have at least 2 aerial leaves growing out of the water.
  • Make sure your plants have plenty of sunlight unless they are plants that will tolerate some shade.
  • Fertilize your pond plants with fish safe, plant safe, slow release fertilizer like Waterlily WorldFertilizer Tabs + Humates
  • Don't overfeed your fish
  • Remember that water garden plants grow and multiply quickly. When adding floating plants to your pond such as Water Lettuce, Water Hyacinths and Frogbit, don't over order as you may be pulling plants out due to overcrowding! Dispose of these plants responsibly or share them with another pond lover!

    Lettuce Plant History

    Lettuce, one of the oldest food plants known to man, is believed to have originated in India and Central Asia. Herodotus wrote of lettuce being served in ancient Greece, and it was a favorite vegetable in ancient Rome. In fact, the word "lettuce" is derived from the Latin root word "lac" meaning "milk," referring to the milky juice found in mature lettuce stems.

    Columbus and other European explorers brought lettuce seeds to the New World. Our early colonists included lettuce in the first gardens planted on American soil. Today, lettuce is a favorite vegetable here and around the world.

    What are Some Tips to Avoid Growing Bitter Lettuce?

    Grow in partial shade

    In order to keep lettuce cool, try growing it in a spot that gets some shade – preferably in the afternoon when the heat is more intense. If you don’t have a shady area, plant your lettuce around other taller plants that can provide shade, such as tomatoes or trellised crops.

    Grow in containers!

    This is a method that I use the most for lettuce. By growing in containers, the lettuce can be moved into the shade when needed, like next to a house or shed. I typically provide my lettuce with cooler morning sun and then keep it in the shade for the afternoon.

    Use shade cloth

    You can build some supports around your garden and use shade cloth to block some of the sun from the plants. Different levels of shade cloth exist that you can buy depending on how much sun you want to block.

    Keep your soil healthy

    Add an inch or two of compost to the top of your soil every fall to add back nutrients. Keep your soil covered with some type of mulch during the winter, such as shredded leaves, grass clippings, or wood chips.

    Keep your soil cool during hot temperatures

    As I already mentioned, keep your soil covered with mulch! This will block the sun, keep the roots of your plants cool, reduce evaporation and retain more moisture in your soil.


    It’s important to monitor the moisture level of your soil and water your plants only when necessary. This is especially important during a heat wave when plants need to be watered each day in the early morning or late evening.

    Succession planting

    As mentioned, lettuce is a cool weather crop, so it is naturally going to last longer in the spring and fall. While it’s definitely possible to grow lettuce in the middle of summer with the methods described, lettuce is still going to bolt eventually and at a quicker pace than it would in cooler temperatures.

    I like to succession plant my lettuce so I always have a continuous crop. Every two to three weeks, we plant more lettuce from seed in a new container or spot in our garden.

    By the time one batch of lettuce bolts, we have another batch that is in the middle of its maturity and one that is just sprouting. The main picture at the top of this post is my own example of this in my garden!

    This Greenstalk Vertical Garden would make a really awesome salad garden/tower! It is unique from other grow towers with its efficient watering system.

    I just recently purchased this grow tower and will be using it this year! I will be doing a full review of it at the end of the season. It would be easy to succession plant lettuce in these different pockets. Also, it can move on wheels so you can easily move it in and out of the shade and spin it so certain plants receive more sun than others!

    If you would like to purchase this and learn along with us, you can use this affiliate link or our coupon code to receive $10 off your purchase! Use “DNDG10OFF” at checkout!

    Secrets for planting and growing corn in your garden

    If we do not have a garden, we can plant lettuce in a flower pot on the balcony. The cultivation of lettuce in pots is not particularly difficult, as long as we prefer a balcony with a western or eastern exposure. We use low pots or flowerpots, 20-30 cm deep, for transplanting, as the lettuce has a deep rooting system that we have mentioned. We supply a fertilizer suitable for horticulture, enriched with nutrients and place pebbles at the base of the pot for better drainage of soil, that is, to remove excess water more easily. More information on how to grow lettuce in a flowerpot can be found in our detailed article.

    Watch the video: Growing Lettuce With Different PH Levels