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Re-potting your pond plants. Can I use normal compost for pond plants?

Updated: Dec 2, 2023


Pond Compost - re-potting pond plants

Can I use normal compost for my pond plants? Do pond plants need fertiliser?

We would ideally recommend that you always use proper aquatic compost for all submerged aquatics plants in garden ponds and streams.

Aquatic Compost is a medium to heavy loam soil. It will hold water and nutrients without floating to the surface. It is free from fertiliser and herbicides and therefore is safe for all fish and aquatic life. It will also not encourage algae growth.


Garden soil or multi purpose compost often has too many of the wrong nutrients in it. Things like Nitrogen and Phosphate, great for garden plants but not so much for pond plants. High levels of nitrates and phosphates will upset the water chemistry of your pond. This in turn will lead to increased algae growth and green water.

We sell several different types of soil and substrate which you choose according to the types of plants that you want to grow.

General Marginal Plants

Plants like Iris, grasses etc will require a regular aquatic plant soil. This contains all of the required nutrients for them to grow healthy. It is also guaranteed to be acid free, and not effect your water chemistry. We currently stock Velda Pond soil


Water Lilies

Water lilies are best planted in a specialist lily compost. We are currently stocking Velda Lelite. It is fortified with blue loam and nutrients to encourage lots of good flowers. The light structure allows oxygen around the roots and prevents choking.


Oxygenating plants

Oxygenating plants will do far better in 'Super Densa' from Velda this substrate is light and porous and perfect for these fast growing plants. You can also use a regular Aquatic compost if you prefer.


Top Dressing Pond Plants

It is also a good idea to cover the top of the pots with gravel. This will keep the soil in place, and should stop the fish from digging the plants up. It also helps to keep any weeds away from marginal plants that are right at the water surface.

Feeding your pond plants, Pond plant Fertiliser

As an added extra it is a good idea to use some plant fertiliser tablets in the pots in the Spring. This will set the plants up for the year ahead, especially Water lilies. There is also a liquid fertiliser that you can use as an alternative, great is great for plants that feed mainly through the water.

All of the products mentioned above are available in our retail shop! To keep up to date with plant availability follow our Facebook page where we will post plant availability weekly through the water gardening season.


If you found this article useful then you might like to read about choosing water lilies.

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