Water features and ponds add an elegant touch to the home landscape. Many of these ponds are lined with a hard plastic liner in order to keep the water in, making it impossible to plant pond plants directly in the bottom of the pond. Aquatic plants must be potted up in the proper containers with the proper soil before being placed into the pond. Preparing the plants properly ensures your pond plants look natural and attractive in their new environment.
Purchase pond baskets in the appropriate size for the type of plant you are growing. Pond baskets look like 6- to 12-inch diameter plant pots except they have opening in the sides and bottoms. Small plants require smaller baskets while large plants, such as water lilies, require larger baskets.
Fill the pond basket with a heavy potting soil that is rich in clay. These soils are available at garden centers. Fill the basket to within 1 ½ to 2 inches of the basket's rim.
Transplant the aquatic plant into the basket, planting it at the same depth in the basket that it was at in its nursery pot. Firm the soil around the stem of the plant with your hands.
Fertilize the soil with aquatic plant fertilizer pellets. Use as many 10-gram pellets as recommended for the type of plants you are growing. Insert the pellets 2 to 4 inches into the soil near the rim of the basket.
Place 1 inch of gravel or small pebbles on top the soil in the basket. Gravel helps anchor the soil in the pot so it doesn't float out underwater.
Place the pot into the pond, lowering it slowly as the soil in the basket absorbs the water. Place the pot so the plant is sitting at the recommended water depth for the type of plant you are growing. For example, water lily baskets should sit 6 to 12 inches under the water surface.