Rdest: how to grow in a pond and aquarium

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Rdest: how to grow in a pond and aquarium
Rdest: how to grow in a pond and aquarium

Description of the pond plant, advice on caring for an aquatic representative of the flora in a reservoir and an aquarium, how to reproduce, facts to note, application, types.

Rdest (Patamogeton) is a representative of the flora that grows in the water element. Scientists have attributed it to the family of the same name Prestovye (Patamogetonaceae). This family unites only 8 genera, which include plants that feel comfortable above the surface of the water surface or in its thickness, as in rare cases have floating inflorescences.

All representatives of the genus are perennials that grow throughout the world, in reservoirs with stagnant or slowly moving water (some species prefer a fast current), while the latter can be both fresh and brackish. Because of this, rdestas are recognized as "cosmopolitans". The genus has combined 143 species according to the information provided by The Plant List in 2010.

Family name Rdestovye
Growth time Perennial
Vegetation form Herbaceous
Breeds Seed or vegetative (cuttings or rhizome pieces)
Timing of transplantation into the ground Summer period
Agrotechnics of planting Immersion in water to a depth of 10-200 cm
Priming Nutritious, oozy
Water acidity values, pH 7-8 (sour)
Growing temperature, degrees 23–30
Illumination level Well-lit place or partial shade
Water hardness level, dH 7–15
Special care rules Limit overgrowth
Height options Waterfowl, depending on the depth of the reservoir
Flowering period June August
Type of inflorescences or flowers Spike inflorescence
Color of flowers Grayish green or brownish greenish, yellow
Fruit type Drupes or nuts
The timing of fruit ripening August
Decorative period Spring-autumn
Application in landscape design For landscaping natural and artificial reservoirs
USDA zone Anything where flora representatives can grow

The plant bears its scientific name due to the combination of words in Greek "potami" and "geiton", which translates as "river" and "neighbor", respectively, which directly indicates the environment in which it lives. The people also have the name "water cabbage".

Usually, by means of pondweed shoots, it happens that rather extensive thickets are formed in the reservoir, which interfere with both the movement of boats and small vessels. Naturally, swimming in places where such a dense “green carpet” of leaves has formed is also difficult. But if you want to decorate an artificial reservoir on your personal plot, then pdest is the very thing. Such plants become not only a refuge for fish and other aquatic fauna living in it. By the way, such a representative of flora is quite rare in aquariums, since all the beauty is manifested when they look at the shoots and foliage from above, which is quite difficult to do when kept in a container installed indoors.

The pond root system is fixed in the soil of the reservoir, while becoming the source of the emergence of long shoots that reach the surface of the reservoir. The roots in the soil remain to winter, and with the arrival of heat from the buds, stems begin to grow. The leaves on the shoots are arranged in the next order. They can grow both sessile and have petioles. The outlines of the leaf plates are characterized by a wide variety, they often differ in both shape and size. The foliage of pondweed takes on a form from filiform and linear to elliptical to almost rounded.The edge of the leaves can have an entire outline, and sometimes it is characterized by teeth or is curly-wavy.

Leaves of "water cabbage" are usually divided into underwater ones or those that grow both under water and float on its surface. The surface of the leaf plates is decorated with arcuate veins or veins are arranged in parallel. Near the base of the leaf plate, you can see transparent stipules resembling films. Such stipules are characterized by both free growth and grow together with the petiole.

Some shoots tend to break away from the roots and move with the flow, without stopping their development. Dead stems gradually sink to the bottom of the reservoir, gradually becoming silt, rich in nutrients. The foliage of pondweed can feed not only fish, but mollusks and insects. Thickets of stems are used by many fish as a hiding place in order to spawn there or so that fry can hide from eternally hungry relatives.

When flowering, which is stretched over the period from July to August, a spike-shaped inflorescence is formed, which has a grayish-green or brownish-greenish color. Flowers in inflorescences of both sexes, their size is rather small, a large number of them are formed. The color of flowers is either brownish-greenish, so pure green or yellowish-green. In the inflorescence, they can grow close or apart. Perianths are composed of two pairs of rounded lobes, resembling valves. Each flower has four filamentless stamens. Inflorescences on leafless legs rise above the water or float on its surface.

Pollination of pondweed flowers can take place in two ways:

  • when the inflorescences are above the water surface and are pollinated by the wind;
  • inflorescences float on the surface of the water and then can be pollinated with the help of water (hydrophilia) or by water birds or animals (zoophilia).

After pollination, fruits ripen, which in pondweed are represented by drupes or nuts. They possess a woody pericarp and are composed of two pairs of drupe-like lobes. The seeds are devoid of endosperm, since it is completely absorbed by the embryo. Ripe seeds have the property of both being carried by the water stream and by birds.

This representative of the aquatic flora is actively used for landscaping water bodies, and occasionally in the aquarium business. Growing it is simple, it is only important to ensure the following maintenance rules.

Rules for growing pondweed in a pond and aquarium

Rdest in water
  1. Landing place Kelp should be picked in stagnant water and only a few species (eg Potamogeton pectinatus) prefer fast flowing rivers or streams. Landing can be carried out both in an open sunny place and in a semi-shady location.
  2. Soil for pond it is preferable to choose nutritious, rich in organic matter, the muddy bottom of a river or pond is best.
  3. Planting pond can be performed throughout the warm period of the year, preferably in summer. The depth will directly depend on the species that is supposed to be grown. So, if plants are characterized by floating foliage, then they can feel comfortable in shallow water, but species immersed in water need at least a depth of 20-30 cm. Cuttings can be planted in a container filled with silty soil and buried in the bottom soil, or the seedlings are drowned using a load to the required depth in the reservoir.
  4. General advice on care. Since it was indicated above that aggressive growth is characteristic of many types of "water cabbage", it is important to limit this process in a timely manner. For this, it is recommended to use container growing. However, if the plant has taken root, then it will be problematic to remove it.For wintering there is no need for any trick and protection, since with the arrival of autumn, pondweed sinks to the bottom of the reservoir and spend the cold there.
  5. Tips for growing in an aquarium. Although "water cabbage" is rarely used as an aquarium plant, since all the beauty of pondweed is visible from above, some people still successfully grow it in such home reservoirs. At the same time, the temperature of the content should not go beyond 23-30 degrees Celsius. The hardness of the water is maintained in the range of dH 7-15, and the acidity of the water is preferably pH 7-8. Soil for growing in an aquarium "kale", as in the natural environment, should be nutritious, well silted with a high content of clay.
  6. The use of rdesta in landscape design and other purposes. Here everything will directly depend on the size of the reservoir on the site. If we talk about small streams, then it is recommended to grow "kale" of the following varieties: brilliant (Potamogeton lucens), comb (Potamogeton pectinatus) and pierced-leaved (Potamogeton perfoliatus). In principle, all species are valued for their sheet plates, which look great when floating both inside the reservoir and on its surface. Also, grace is complemented by spike-shaped inflorescences that begin to rise above the water with the arrival of summer and throughout it. It is important to remember that pond is used to enrich water with oxygen, especially if fish are grown in the reservoir. Then the thickets will serve as a refuge for fry and spawning.
  7. Blank it is carried out mainly of the type of floating pondweed (Potamogeton natans). It is recommended to collect the leaf plates and the grass itself throughout the summer months. After the raw materials are collected, they are thoroughly rinsed under running water to remove the remnants of soil, swamp mud and litter. Drying is carried out outdoors in shade, but you can dry such material indoors, but then it is important to provide high-quality ventilation. When the foliage and grass are dry (a sign will be that they break easily), then everything is put in bags or cardboard containers. The place in which such medicinal raw materials can be stored should be dry, without temperature extremes (within 20-24 degrees) and in full shade. The shelf life of the dried material will not disappear throughout the year.

See also the rules for planting and caring for peonies in the open field.

How to carry out pond reproduction?

Rdest blooms

To get such a waterfowl in a garden pond or aquarium, you can use seeds or cuttings of shoots, as well as pieces of rhizome.

  1. Reproduction of pondweed using seeds. Usually, seed material can be obtained at the end of August, when they are fully ripe, begin to separate from the mother plant and float on the surface of the water surface. It is recommended to lay the seeds in a lump of clay, which is then lowered into the muddy soil of the reservoir (or aquarium) in the chosen place. The depth to which the "planting" is carried out should vary between 40–90 cm. But if such species as potamogeton pectinatus (Potamogeton pectinatus) or brilliant (Potamogeton lucens) are cultivated, then the deepening should be at least one and a half meters.
  2. Reproduction of pond by cuttings. It is recommended to cut blanks for planting in the spring-summer period. Their length should be about 10 cm. Then the cuttings can be planted in nutritious silty soil, poured into a pot, or simply stuck into the soil of the reservoir. In the first case, it will be necessary until the plant takes root to maintain the substrate in a fairly moist state. In the second, so that the cuttings do not float, they are pressed with weights. After it becomes clear that the young "water cabbage" has taken root, the planting capacity can be successfully buried in the soil of the reservoir. This, by the way, will serve in the future as protection from the rapid growth of this aquatic representative of the flora. In the same way, you can propagate pond with rhizome segments.

Read also about the breeding features of tansy.

Facts to note about the pond water plant

Rdest is growing

Although this plant does not have a wide range of uses, due to the fact that it contains a large amount of lime, it can be used as a fertilizer. In vast aquatic thickets, which mainly grow under water, fish spawn, sometimes even choosing the lower part of the leaf plates for this. Some species are used as food by aquatic birds and animals (for example, beavers or muskrats, and the like). But most likely the fruits, characterized by woody pericarp, are not so much food as they are suitable for grinding the food eaten by representatives of the fauna, that is, they act as a tour.

If the shoots of pondweed grow too much, then small vessels will not be able to move through such reservoirs, and also because of such thickets, silting and clogging of rivers and ponds occurs.

The use of rdesta in traditional medicine

Leaves of Rdesta

For a long time, Arabian healers have noticed the medicinal properties of this plant growing in water. The pondweed foliage has been used to treat problems in the gastrointestinal tract. Today, all parts of this representative of the flora can be used for medicinal purposes. It is recommended to be engaged in harvesting throughout the summer period.

The herb "kale" contains the carotonoid rhodoxanthin, and the tannins present can also have a bactericidal and astringent effect. But the composition is not limited only to these components, there are also aromatic substances that provide anti-inflammatory properties and help stop bleeding. A large amount of ascorbic acid will help to strengthen the immune system.

Preparations that are made on the basis of pdestine can be used as compresses applied to tumors of oncological origin, they will help remove boils, ulcers or abscesses on the skin and not only. If a patient complains of itching caused by skin diseases, then such remedies cannot be dispensed with here either. Typically, the foliage is dried and then ground into a powder, which is then used for treatment. Sprains, bruises, fractures and sprains - all such problems can be eliminated by applying "water cabbage" as a compress. Traditional medicine recommends preparing decoctions or tinctures for the treatment of diarrhea using the shoots and foliage of pondweed.

Due to the large amount of ascorbic acid and other active substances in all parts of the plant, it is possible not only to strengthen the immune system, but to use shoots, foliage and roots as a sedative.

Contraindications to the use of kale has not yet been identified, but it is necessary to check when using the above-mentioned means for the individual tolerance of an individual patient.

Also, such a plant has found application in cooking, since it is not for nothing that the people call it "water cabbage" All due to the fact that the floating Pdesta species (Potamogeton natans) has thickenings on the roots that resemble tubers. They, in turn, are very rich in starch and are edible.

Description of the types of pond

In the photo Rdest floating

Floating pond (Potamogeton natans)

characterized by foliage, the surface of which is so glossy that it seems varnished. Leaf plates float on the water surface of the reservoir. The outlines of the leaves are oval. Leaves that grow under water completely disappear by the time flowering begins. Inflorescences during the whole summer can rise beautifully above the reservoir on leafless stems. Inflorescence shape, spike-shaped, greenish color.

If a river or pond dries up during dry periods, then the plant continues to exist as a land plant, while its leaves take on a heart-shaped shape, their surface becomes leathery. The foliage is attached to the shoots by means of petioles. With the arrival of autumn, the leaves begin to turn yellow and die off, while the stems fall to the bottom and there they take root.With the arrival of spring, the growth of shoots resumes. It is most often found in ponds, lakes and slow-flowing rivers.

In the photo Rdest Alpine

Alpine pondweed (Potamogeton alpinus)

differs in leaf plates, in which a reddish tint prevails. Foliage floating on the surface. The stem of the plant is simple; underwater leaf plates are also preserved on it (in case of unforeseen weather conditions). Their shape is narrowed. The length is 25 cm.

In the photo, Rdest is cereal

Grain pondweed (Potamogeton gramineus)

Leaves that grow underwater are attached to a branched stem. Their length does not exceed 8 cm.It has the property of losing all the leaves that float on the water surface if the depth is too deep, but if the reservoir dries up, then the plant goes into an aerial form, while the surface of the leaves becomes leathery, the shape gradually narrows into a petiole.

In the photo curly Rdest

Curly pondweed (Potamogeton crispus)

It is because of the outlines of the leaves that the plant received a specific name. Their surface has a strong waviness, and the edge is decorated with fine serration. The foliage is somewhat similar to some species of sea kelp, on which three brightly highlighted veins can be seen. Stems with four edges, characterized by a reddish tint. They grow completely under water, and only when it is time for flowering, the cob-shaped inflorescences (spikes of few flowers) of yellow flowers begin to rise above the water surface. Pollination occurs through the wind. The leaves on the stems grow sessile (without petioles), their outlines are lanceolate.

In the photo, Rdest pierced-leaved

Prickly leaved pondweed (Potamogeton perfoliatus)

The stems are elongated and well branched. In cross-section, they are round, green in color. The shape of the leaf plates is rounded, at the base they are heart-shaped and wide, and the edge with slight waviness. The leaves are translucent in appearance. On the surface, 5–9 veins can be counted. The leaves grow on the stems in such a way that one gets the impression that they are simply strung on it.

When flowering in summer, the inflorescences in the form of dense spikelets rise above the water surface. If the shoots break off, then they continue to grow successfully, forming a separate copy. The most common species in water bodies. Its stems, growing, begin to cling to the oars of boats and can interfere with small vessels, as they are wound on the propellers of motors.

In the photo, Rdest is brilliant

Rdest brilliant (Potamogeton lucens)

It differs in rather large leaf plates, which reach 30 cm in length and about 5 cm in width. The color of the foliage is bright red, the surface is shiny, the edge is slightly wavy. The stems usually grow completely submerged in water and only during flowering do the inflorescences rise above it. This helps the wind to pollinate the yellowish-greenish flowers. The species feels most comfortable in running water, and often because of this it grows in rivers, and not in ponds or bodies of stagnant water.

In the photo Rdest comb

Rdest comb (Potamogeton pectinatus)

This species is very different from other members of the genus because of the very strong branching of the stems, narrowed and thin foliage. The length of the leaf plates can reach 15 cm. When flowering, which begins in June, above the water, crowning a thin stem, whorled inflorescences appear. The flowers are brownish green. Prefers shallow water for growth, where flexible shoots wriggle and can sway from any even the weakest current. Such thickets are used by schools of fry for shelter.

In the photo Rdest flattened

Rdest flattened (Potamogeton compressus)

characterized by a stem with flattened winged outlines and its upper part is often equal in width to the width of the leaf blades.

Related article: Growing liverwort in the open field, care rules

Video about growing pondweed:

Photos of rdesta:

Photo Rdesta 1 Photo Rdesta 2 Photo Rdesta 3 Photo Rdesta 4 Photo Rdesta 5

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