liner fold and pond plant roots

zeeicemachineMay 5, 2014

so I just finished making my pond and time to add plants but due to the unusual shape of my pond I have some good folds in my shallow water area.

the pond is small, about 200 gallons and I was wondering what plants I should stay clear of so my liner does not get pierced by their roots?

I know to stay away form cattails, yellow flag iris and bull rush in general but are the folds especially sensitive to possible root piercing?

I say this because I plan on planting and not doing pots.

any help is appreciated, ty.

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waterbug_guy(Phoenix AZ (Melrose))

Plants roots can't pierce even PVC liners so I wouldn't let that limit your choice. It's a myth.

Many people believe it's true because there have been a few, very few, pictures of roots growing thru pond liners. The actual cause is there already was a hole in the liner, which water leaked thru into the surrounding soil. I've seen pictures of pond plants growing thru the hole and also terrestrial plant roots growing into the pond. It's kind of like when a tap root in plastic pot grows thru a hole in the bottom and gets big enough to stretch the hole. It sure looks like the root punched a hole in the pot. But because it's a pot you know what happen.

Roots grow at the tip like a wedge to get thru soil. The wedge has to make an opening in the soil for the root tip to grow into. The tip itself can't even push thru soil. The tip is very soft and delicate even on a bamboo.

Also in the past few years some researchers found some interesting things about how roots grow. How they find water and nutrients and how roots know to spread out. In was documented in the show "What Plants Talk About". It explains why roots turn when the hit a liner or side of a pot.

As an experiment to test the myth I once planted Giant Reed, Arundo donax,in a small (like 2'x2'x2') "pond" made of EDPM. Now Giant Reed I think makes bamboo (which I have grown) look like Pussy Willow when it comes to fast growth and the nastiest looking roots I've seen. The roots did not grow thru the liner. After a year or so it did become root bound and did push out the liner, like a root bound plant in a plastic pot. But the EDPM had no trouble stretching and handling being pushed very hard against the surrounding soil. That was as an extreme test as could imagine to disprove the myth.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 8:37AM
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zeeicemachine

ah well that is good to hear but it is a common statement around the internet. ty for the info.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 7:35PM
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waterbug_guy(Phoenix AZ (Melrose))

It sure is common. Even many pond "professionals" believe it's true. Normally it's just bamboo that gets the bad wrap, but sometimes trees too.

Thankfully it isn't true because otherwise pretty much every pond would be in trouble. I once Googled around looking for pictures of roots thru liners...very hard to find very many. I think I could only find one. It was a Lily I think. The really interesting thing is when it happens the root actually stops the leak by plugging the hole.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 1:43AM
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