Watercress is an aquatic plant that has played a key role in multiple civilizations throughout history. Also known as Nasturtium, it has a number of benefits which made it valuable to the ancients, and below are some reasons you should seriously consider adding it to your pond or water garden.
When planting watercress in Oklahoma ponds and water gardens it is best to do so within a waterfall or stream bed and keep it contained. This is because it thrives in areas with lots of moving water. It will often be necessary to encapsulate the roots with sizeable stones so that any fish you have in the pond won’t dig them up. Its growth will extend over the stones quite rapidly, at which point koi and other fish will be able to reach them. All you have to do is put the stem in water which is shallow beneath a rock or gravel and you will see growth within about three weeks. When watercress blooms it should do so with small white flowers.
It Is Delicious And Simple To Grow
Watercress is edible and can be used as an herb. It is simple to grow, and is adaptable to a variety of conditions. This is one of the reasons why it has been favored throughout history. It is essentially a leafy vegetable, and as such it is packed with vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. In fact, watercress has more vitamin C than oranges, its iron content exceeds spinach, and its calcium content is superior to milk. It has a flavor which resembles pepper, which makes it excellent for culinary uses.
It Can Used For Medical Purposes
Aside from its culinary benefits, watercress has various medicinal characteristics. The Chinese, Egyptians, Romans, French and Britons all recognized its effectiveness against sore throats, ulcers and tumors, merely by eating or adding it to tea. Many Chinese eateries feature watercress soup, and it has been used for blood cleansing, enhancing vision, detoxification, and a cure for everything from baldness to tooth ache. Some historians believe that it may have been the world’s first energy drink as it was consumed by the servants of pharaohs.
Adding Watercress To Your Water Garden
Another benefit of adding watercress to your pond is that like submerged plants it will enhance the beauty. You can grow it via seed, or you can obtain it whole through a garden store. When added to your pond it will boost its aesthetic appeal through softening its edges and producing lots of small flowers with green leaves. It must also be noted that watercress will enhance your pond’s water quality. It does this by eliminating particles and nutrients within the water, that otherwise would reduce clarity and quality. Given the fact that it can cleanse the blood, it is also more than capable of cleansing water. It will also keep string algae under control, displacing it by removing the nutrients that it needs for growth.
Things To Consider Before Planting Watercress In Oklahoma Water Features/Ponds
Over the years we have learned that watercress is very aggressive in Oklahoma waterways, thus we do not recommend unless you keep it closely monitored. Once watercress roots get out of their pot and enter the waterway, it's all over! You will never get rid of them, we've gone to the extent of replacing the pond liner only to have them come back in droves. Thus, be warned this plant must be taken care of or it will grow everywhere!
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Tim Trammell has been building, designing, servicing and maintaining pond in the Oklahoma City Metro area for over 20 years. His company Continental Ponds, is Oklahoma's first Master Certified Aquascape Contractor and is an national award winning pond and water feature builder.