Problems With Water Garden Plants

A water garden is a fragile ecosystem that can become off balance and produce a wide range of problems within the space. Remember that each plant has special needs that must be met in order for it to thrive. Look for aquatic plants that fit your specific climate and carefully examine all new plants before adding them to the garden.


Many aquatic plants are vigorous growers and sprout new shoots, producing more plants inside the water garden. Soon there can be too many plants crammed into a small space. As a result, the air circulation in between the plants is diminished and the plants suffer. Having little oxygen within the water garden can lead or contribute to dieback of the plant, causing leaves to wilt and yellow. Be selective when adding water plants to your garden and observe how they inhabit the space.


Often aquatic plants will experience root rot. This is where the roots start to turn dark brown and black. The healthy white-tipped roots are no longer present and the roots become limp, a symptom of root rot. This fungal disease is common when the water depth is inappropriate and the water is lacking sufficient oxygen levels.


Water lilies are susceptible to the leaf beetle. This pesky pests enjoys chewing holes in the leaves of the plant, causing a speckling of the lily. To remedy leaf beetles, keep all dead foliage away from the water garden. Periodically check the undersides of the leaf for eggs and wipe away if present. For severe contamination, remove the plant from the water garden.


The pH of the water garden should be a neutral range of 6.2 to 7.4 for healthy plants. Above or below can lead to problems with the aquatic plants and susceptibility of producing algae. Monitor the levels inside the water garden every two to three months to ensure healthy and prosperous plants.

Keywords: water garden problems, overcrowding aquatic plants, plant fungus, root rot, leaf bettle pest

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer and photographer in North Carolina. Her work has appeared in Forbes and Automotive News magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.