Propagating Water and Marginal plants


There are a number of methods of propagating water and marginal plants e.g. seed, division, root cuttings and runners to name but a few.


As the water begins to warm up circa Week 20>, you can propagate oxygenating plants by taking cuttings

This is done by taking tip cuttings from healthy young shoots and inserting them into pots containing a mixture of sieved organic matter (home made compost) and commercial potting compost.

Submerge the pots into the pond to root.

floating on a Pond

At this time of the year the cuttings should root quite quickly.

Once rooted pot up the cuttings into their permanent containers and position in the pond where required.


circa Week 20> Fibrous root types or those with creeping roots can pulled apart by hand, whereas larger specimens may need levering apart between two forks.

Cut rhizomes apart with a sharp knife ensuring that each section has at least one bud on it, two / three buds for water lilies.

Tidy up the division by trimming the foliage, and cutting back any long roots, replant in suitable containers, placing the rhizome just below the compost surface.

When established transplant the divisions into their final quarters.

Root cuttings:

circa Week 20> Tuberous water lilies can be propagated from root buds or eyes that are cut from the rhizome.

Pot the rhizome sections/cuttings into suitable containers and keep them just submerged.

Runners / Suckers:

Some plants such as water hyacinth produce plantlets.

These can be snapped off and placed on the water surface to grow on separately.


Collect seed after flowering and sow on the surface of containers filled with aquatic compost.

Cover the seed with a 6mm (¼”) of fine grit.

Submerge the pot just a few millimetres below the water surface in a well lit spot.

Germination will take place the following spring.

When large enough to handle prick out the plants into individual containers and grow on, until such times as they are of a size to put in their final quarters.

Plants raised from seed can take three or four years to reach flowering stage.


Some water plants produce fleshy young shoots or suckers (Turions) that sometimes become detached from the parent and survive the winter months at the bottom of the pool.

In spring, these float to the surface, where they can be collected and potted up and treated like root cuttings.

All that required is to grow them on in the pots until they are of a size where they can be planted out into their final quarters.

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