Q: I want to have a container pond on my back porch. I’ve purchased a plastic planter ten inches deep and two feet long. Can I overwinter a hardy waterlily and fish in it without burying it in the ground?
A: It’s theoretically possible to have a container pond aboveground, but not one as small as yours. The water will freeze solid and no fish or waterlily will survive. Instead, think about having a container pond filled with annuals each year. I’ve had success with ‘African Mask’ elephant ear (^Alocasia amazonica^), caladium (both do best if the top of the root ball is above the water surface) and water hyacinth. You could also use perennial corkscrew rush, ^Juncus effusus^ ‘Spiralis’ for the summer and simply plunge the pot in the ground as winter approaches. Otherwise you have to bring the fish and plants indoors and give the container ^LOTS^ of light for the winter