What are Bog Plants?

Malcolm Tatum

Sometimes referred to as marginal or shallow water plants, bog plants are decorative or food producing plants that require a minimum of soil to root. Instead, the plants thrive in conditions where they are surrounded with water and are exposed to direct sunlight for much of the day. Some of the plants in this category produce lush greenery that is ideal for use in water gardens and similar settings. Others produce flowers or even fruit that can be harvested and enjoyed.

Man mowing the grass
Man mowing the grass

Caring for bog garden plants is somewhat similar to caring for any type of garden plants. It is a good idea to not plant different species in close proximity, as they tend to grow quickly and will compete with one another for the limited amount of ground space. Fertilizing the bog plants two to three times a year will often help them to continue blooming as well as keep the foliage green and lush. In all instances, the plants do best when they can enjoy exposure to direct sunlight for at least seven to eight hours each day.

However, there are some distinctive qualities connected with bog plants. The typical bog plant requires topsoil that is high in quality. A soil mixture composed of loam and clay is an excellent choice, both for nourishing the roots and retaining more water. This heavier mixture is also likely to settle on the underlying ground and not float to the top of the water, as is the case with some types of potting soils.

Plants in bogs also should be pruned regularly. Any leaves, blooms, or other foliage that yellows and dies should be pinched off immediately. This will help the plants to make the most efficient use of the available nutrients and also encourage new growth.

Identifying the proper water depth is also very important when it comes to growing plants for bog use. Some varieties will require very shallow water. Other varieties, such as any of the tropical bog plants, may require a little more depth in order to grow properly.

It is important to remember that bog plants that tend to grow horizontally will do much better in shallow water that is calm. Vertical bog plants tend to perform equally well in both moving and calm waters. If there is a need to stabilize the integrity of the pond or riverbank, the vertical type of plant tends to be a better option.

Today, it is not unusual for bog plants to be started in controlled environments such as green houses and then transferred to bogs after reaching a certain level of maturity. Bog planting of this type can be especially important if there is a desire to harvest blooms or fruit from the plants at a future date, since they are already hardy and healthy at the time they are placed in the bog.

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