Aquatic plants can be used in either aquariums or ponds and thrive in these conditions. Some aquatic plants can become invasive if they enter native water courses (rivers, streams, lakes) so it’s very important to Be Plant Wise and educate customers about which plants go where and how to dispose of them.

Be Plant Wise

OATA supports this important campaign from the GB Non-Native Species Secretariat which aims to ensure aquatic and terrestrial plants do not spread out of the garden. We would urge all retailers which sell aquatic plants to display Be Plant Wise information and include links to your websites. You can also get free point of sale information to display – a great idea at pond season time.

The Be Plant Wise campaign has three simple messages:

  1. Know what you grow – choose the right plants for your garden, pond and water features.
  2. Stop the spread – keep your plants in your garden and don’t plant them, or allow them to grow, in the wild.
  3. Compost with care – dispose of your unwanted plants, roots, weeds, seeds, and seed heads responsibly.

Plants you can’t sell

There are a number of aquatic plants that can no longer be sold in the UK. You can find the full list here, along with other ornamental aquatic species that cannot be sold in the UK.

Don’t be foiled by the wrong milfoil

Check out our handy guide for retailers to help them make sure they are selling the right Milfoil plants.

Don’t sell aquarium plants for use in ponds

We are concerned that retailers may be turning to aquarium plants, such as Egeria densa (which can sometimes be sold under the incorrect name Elodea densa), as an alternative to Lagarosiphon. These plants should only be sold for aquariums. Aquarium plants should never be sold for use in ponds because of their potential to become invasive – some can tolerate cooler water.

Plant Passports

If you sell plants online you do need to pass plant passports onto the customers but not if you sell direct to customers in your shop. The Plant Sale Scenario document from APHA (below) is useful to see if plant passports apply to you.