Plant what on a floating island?
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Wondering what to plant on your new floating island?  You’re not alone…

Lush islands in Moke Hill

When we began work on floating islands, we were uncertain what plants would grow on them.  We felt confident that conventional riparian plants would do well, since they normally occur in such settings.  So we began with emergent and facultative wetland plants and were not surprised to learn that, given certain conditions, they all showed early signs of success.  As we progressed, we discovered our floating islands were full of surprises.  It is these surprises that keep inventors agile.  For instance, it became very apparent that, in many cases, our preferred floating island embodiment epitomized a super enhanced plant habitat.  Plants grew remarkably well.  In fact, compared to the same vegetation planted at the same time along a pond shoreline, we saw growth differentials of about 50 percent.  Our floating island-based plants were that much bigger and healthier than their relatives along a shoreline.  Why?

Message from the Inventor

Water Iris

Iris ‘Kirk Strawn’            Upright to 36”  Prolific iridescent blood-red iris, early spring
Iris ‘Black Gamecock’     Upright to 18”  Smaller, black-violet w/ gold crest, spring
Iris ‘Katherine Cornay’  Upright to 36”  Lavender w/bold white crest, mid spring
Iris ‘Clyde Redmond’     Upright to 36”  Deep blue Wedgewood Louisiana, mid spring
Iris ‘Colorific’                 Upright to 30”  Bi-color, White & lavender, mid spring

Iris floating island grown
yellow monkey flower

Bog / Marginal Plants

Equisetum hyemale, Horsetail rush………………………..32-40”….Full Sun or Part Shade
Juncus effuses ‘Spiralis’, Corkscrew rush………………..12-18”…..FS
Juncus inflexus, Blue rush……………………………………..to 24”…..FS or PS
Scripus sp. Bulrush  (can be very invasive)………………to 6’+……FS or PS
Typha latifolia Cattail  (can be very invasive)……………to 6’+……FS
Scripus holoschoenus, Zebra rush………………………….4-6’……….FS to PS
Pontederia virginica, Purple pickerel rush………………..2-3’……….FS or PS
Thalia geniulata ‘ruminoides’,  Red-stemmed Thalia….to 6’……….FS or PS
Canna, mixed sp., variegated and non-var……………..to 6’……….FS to PS
Sagittaria montevidensis, Ruby-eyed arrowhead……..to 30”…….FS to Shade
Sagittaria sp.,  Arrowhead varieties……………………….18-36”…….FS to PS
Acorus calamus, Sweetflag……………………………………to 30”……..S to FS
Acorus sp., Golden Acorus and Var. Acorus ……………..to 12”……..S to FS
Butomus umbrellatus, Flowering rush……………………..to 30”……..S to FS
Cyperus alternifolius ‘Gracilis’, Dwarf umbrella palm….to 2’………..S to FS
Cyperus alternafolius, Umbrella palm………………………….5’………..FS to S
Oenanthe japonica ‘Flamingo’, Variegated water celery…6-8”……FS or PS
Hydroctyle verticillata, Pennywort (can be invasive)………to 10”…S to FS
Lobelia cardinalis, Cardinal flower……………………………….to 48”…S to FS
Ruellia brittoniana, Blue bell……………………………………….to 30”…S to FS
Cyperus haspan, Dwarf Papyrus…………………………………to 24”…S to FS
Cyperus permanenthus, Dwarf Giant Papyrus……………….to 3’…..FS to PS
Cyperus papyrus, Giant Papyrus…………………………………to 8’……FS to PS
Mentha aquatica,  Aquatic mint…………………………………..12-18”..FS or PS
Marsilea, other varieties like fuzzy and split clover…………to 8”….FS or PS
Houttuynia codata variegate Chameleon plant……………..to 12”…FS to PS
Juncus effuses ‘goldstrike’ Goldstrike rush……………………2-3’…….FS to PS
Phalarus arundineacea, Strawberries & Cream Ribbon Grass 18”..FS to S
Mimulus guttatus, Yellow monkey flower………………………to 18”…FS or PS
Myosotis scorpioides, Aquatic forget-me-not…………………to 12”…FS to PS
Lysimachia nummularia, Creeping Jenny……………………….border plant….FS to PS
Ludwigia, Water primrose creeper……………………………….border plant….FS to PS
Myriophyllum aquaticum, Parrot’s feather……………………..border plant….FS to S

Native Gardens

Native species are a great option if you plan to let your island grow wild.  Depending upon your area, there may be some local sources for plants and your local garden center can help guide you in the right direction.  Keep in mind that the BioHaven can grow either terrestrial or aquatic species.  You can choose plants to attract birds, butterflies, pollinators, and many other species.  Have fun with your island design!

California Native Plants
blooming thistle
circle floating island design

Formal Gardens

BioHaven floating gardens can be the focal point of your backyard gatherings.  You can plant the island to compliment your existing landscape.  Grow a floating flower garden, a floating zen garden, perhaps you are into golf?  You can also use the island to plant sod and create a floating putting green.  Virtually anything will grow on these islands.

Edible Gardens

BioHaven® floating islands are great for growing edible crops…no green thumb required.  Grow virtually any edible plant in your BioHaven® floating garden.  Choose from a variety of edibles such as fresh herbs, vegetables, fruits, salad greens, and even flowers.  Planting is fairly simple, and you can have fun with it too.  Plants thrive in our unique blend of fibers known as the matrix.  The BioHaven® matrix provides the perfect environment for natural, rapid plant growth without the use of herbicides or pesticides.  Should you choose to combine your island with our special blend of growing mix, known as WaterSoil, your plants will flourish in no time at all.

edible plants on floating garden