From:White Lake , MI Region: Midwest Topic: Water Gardens Title: Native plants for retention pond in Michigan Answered by: Nan Hampton and Chris Caran
What native plants would you recommend a for a southeast Michigan retention pond perimeter? Also are there native water plants that help algae control? The pond is about 75x30 feet and ranging from 2 ft. to 6 inches at max. depth depending on the time of season. This is for an Eagle Scout project to create a natural self-maintaining ecosystem that is attractive. Thank you.
First of all, let's address your algae problem. Algae grows prolifically when it has an abundance of nutrients in the water to feed it; so, the way to reduce the algal growth is to reduce the nutrient supply. Is the surrounding area being fertilized heavily? If so, is there any chance of reducing this? Are there fish (koi, goldfish) that are being fed in the pond? If so, perhaps the amount of food could be reduced. One of the best ways to attack the problem is to introduce flowering plants that will compete with the algae for nutrients. Reducing the available light for the algae with floating plants will also help with the competition.
That said, here are some suggestions for plants that are native to Michigan that would be attractive for your project and all of which will grow in full sun. After the edge plants are established it is possible you could add some part shade or shade plants to the edges. You can find more plants for your project by doing a Combination Search in our Native Plant Database by selecting Michigan from "All states and provinces" and then Wet from "Soil moisture". You can find nurseries that specialize in native plant in your area by searching in our National Suppliers Directory. For instance, Rolling Acres Native Landscape Nursery in Reedsville, Wisconsin has many of the plants listed below grown from nursery stock, not taken from the wild and they will ship their plants.
Floating, submerged and emergent aquatic plants (some of these will also grow at edges in mud):
The origin of Juncus effusus var. Big Twister May 04, 2008 - Juncus effusus, var. 'Big Twister' We're trying to figure out the nativity of this thing, and whether it is safe to plant in our very wet rain garden. Thank you for any assistance... view the full question and answer
Tropical Texas landscape from Houston March 04, 2013 - Do you know of any public (or at least photographed) place in Texas that has been landscaped entirely with native "tropical-looking" (i.e. evergreen but NOT conifer and NOT succulent/arid) species? ... view the full question and answer
Plants for under a fountain splash line in California January 29, 2009 - What plants should we plant under our fountain's splash line in our Mediterranean style courtyard? The area will get wet from the fountain's splashing and have "full" sun. We are on a rock ridge... view the full question and answer
Understory plants for Lake Forest IL June 21, 2009 - We have a large mostly hardwood lot in Lake County. It floods when it rains hard and remains damp most of the year due to the amount of shade and clay based top soil. Besides the hardwood trees and ... view the full question and answer
Plants for area around a fountain in full sun near Dallas May 19, 2010 - I'm seeking advice on what I can plant around the base of a fountain, in full sun, that can tolerate the fountain water splash/spray.
I'm seeking something that can be maintained to a maximum h... view the full question and answer