11 Aquatic Plants for Your Garden Pond

A pond is usually a luxurious backyard characteristic that immediately takes your landscaping to the subsequent degree. However just a few aquatic vegetation are important for it to look pure and mix with the remainder of your yard.

Aquatic or semi-aquatic vegetation, not like most backyard vegetation, love moist soil. Some are submerged in shallow water, whereas others develop utterly beneath the water’s floor as they do of their native environments.

These 11 aquatic vegetation are preferrred choices to improve your backyard pond. Some are labeled as invasive in sure areas, so verify your native sources earlier than making a closing determination.

Water Lily

These fashionable aquatic vegetation have giant floating leaves and summer-blooming flowers.

Water lilies (Nymphaea) are the quintessential aquatic plant. They’re usually the very first thing to return to thoughts when gardeners need to fill a pond. It’s simple to see why these vegetation are so fashionable. The big and floating leaves are an attraction on their very own, however the flowers that emerge in summer time are when these vegetation really shine.

Water lilies improve a pond’s visible attraction and supply shade and safety to aquatic life in the event you preserve fish in your pond or if it’s a dwelling for native amphibians. Their broad leaves additionally stop extreme daylight penetration, lowering algae development that may shortly grow to be a nuisance in backyard ponds.

For optimum development, plant water lilies in pots designed for aquatic vegetation and preserve them in nonetheless water away from fountains. Place the pot at a depth of round 12 inches or extra, relying on the range you select.

Creeping Jenny

Close-up of a blooming Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia) in the garden. It is a low growing, creeping perennial known for its bright and cheerful appearance. Its leaves are small, round, bright green, resembling small coins. The leaves are dark green, arranged opposite each other along the stems. The flowers are bright yellow, cup-shaped with five petals.
This plant is a flexible groundcover with yellow flowers that may develop in numerous circumstances, even submerged in water.

Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia) is a well-liked floor cowl plant. It has the flexibility to unfold and fill empty areas with sunny yellow flowers shortly. Including to its versatility, this moisture-loving plant grows low alongside streams and might even develop utterly submerged, usually utilized in indoor fish tanks.

This creeper creates a good looking cascading impact over rocks or pond edges in backyard ponds, trying much more enticing in full flower. The dense leaf development additionally absorbs extra nitrate in water – particularly vital in the event you’re retaining fish in your pond.

Creeping Jenny adapts effectively to totally different circumstances, thriving in full solar to partial shade. When planting, you possibly can submerge it to manage its unfold or plant alongside the pond’s edge with many of the vine out of the water. Look ahead to speedy unfold intently and trim usually to cease the vine from taking up different elements of your backyard.

Cardinal Flower

Close up of Lobelia cardinalis flowering plant in the garden. This is a bright perennial plant with lanceolate leaves, dark green in color, located in a rosette at the base of the plant and along the stems. The leaves have serrated edges. The plant produces magnificent tubular flowers in bright red. These flowers grow on tall, erect stems.
This native plant produces tall spikes of fascinating pink flowers that entice hummingbirds.

For one thing tall and crowd pleasing to face out on the edges of your pond, you possibly can’t go fallacious with the cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis). This North American native is commonly present in wetlands and alongside stream banks, sporting eight-inch flowers in a fascinating cardinal pink.

The placing flowers entice hummingbirds, boosting biodiversity in your backyard whereas enhancing the general look of your pond. The tall spikes add a vertical ingredient to low or ground-level ponds, making certain they don’t get misplaced in landscaping.

Plant in fertile soil alongside your pond’s edge or in {a partially} submerged container, retaining in full solar to partial shade to spice up flowering. Don’t bury the vegetation too deep. They admire moisture within the soil however not as a lot round inexperienced development.  

Blue Flag

Close-up of a Blue Flag (Iris versicolor) flowering plant in a garden near a pond. It is a charming and characteristic perennial plant. Its leaves are long and sword-like, growing in a fan-like arrangement from the base of the plant. The leaves are deep green and provide an attractive backdrop for the plant's striking flowers. The flowers consist of three upright petals called standards and three downward-curving petals called falls. The color of the petals varies from dark purple-blue to blue-violet, with characteristic white or yellow markings. The falls have a striking yellow or white central blotch, adding to the flower's allure.
This species of Iris options vibrantly patterned blue, violet, and yellow-centered flowers.

One other beautiful native match for a pond is Blue Flag (Iris versicolor). The particular epithet versicolor describes the colorfully patterned flowers, with patches of blue and violet and spots of yellow within the middle. Naturally present in marshes or alongside streams the place soil stays moist, this iris provides complementary blue – a uncommon colour in nature – to any backyard pond.

However colour isn’t the one advantage of this plant. The sturdy root system can stabilize pond banks and look greatest when planted en masse. If you wish to replicate the peaceable look of a pure pond out within the wild, that is the plant to decide on.

Iris versicolor grows greatest in shallow water or muddy soil alongside the sides of ponds. Be sure you select the native blue flag and never different wetland irises which can be very invasive in some areas.

Water Mint

Close-up of a flowering Water Mint plant in the garden. The leaves are aromatic and release a pleasant minty scent when crushed. They are arranged opposite each other along the stems and are slightly toothed along the edges. The flowers of water mint are small and densely clustered in spikes at the tops of the stems. Flower spikes are light lavender in color.
Water mint has fragrant flowers and is appropriate for pond development as a consequence of its choice for moist soil.

Present in marshlands throughout Europe and naturalized in elements of america, water mint (Mentha aquatica) has all the advantages of normal backyard mint in aroma and pollinator-attracting flowers. However the bonus of this selection is that it’s appropriate for rising in ponds, thriving in consistently moist or moist soil.

Sadly, it additionally shares one of many downsides of mint – vigorous development. Water mint rhizomes unfold shortly and aggressively, probably taking up your pond and different elements of your backyard if not managed. Relying in your native laws, rising in some areas is even unlawful.

It’s greatest to maintain them restricted by planting in pots, as you’ll out within the backyard, to restrict their unfold. The best circumstances for this plant are partial shade and shallow water or moist soil, as you’ll discover on the sides of your pond. Be ready to maintain your shears helpful and trim usually.

Water Lettuce

Close-up of Water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) in a pond. This is an aquatic plant with large, oval leaves, densely clustered in rosettes. The leaves have a thick texture and are covered in fine, soft hairs, which give them a velvety feel. The leaves are bright green in color and have a wavy or crinkled edge.
This floating plant options rosettes of non-edible rounded leaves resembling lettuce or cabbage.

Water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) is arguably essentially the most lovely aquatic plant on this record, with rosettes of rounded leaves that come collectively to resemble a head of lettuce or cabbage. Regardless of this resemblance, the leaves aren’t edible however are nonetheless extremely helpful in backyard ponds.

Water lettuce is a pure filter, absorbing extra vitamins and limiting algae development by shading the surfaces under. Its floating nature additionally affords shelter to smaller aquatic life, if there may be any, in your backyard pond.

These advantages do, sadly, come at a price. Water lettuce is taken into account invasive in hotter areas of the US and is especially problematic in Florida, the place it blocks waterways and limits irrigation. Test your native sources to find out the invasive standing in your space earlier than you think about planting in your pond.


Close-up of a Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum) in the water. It is an aquatic plant that lacks true leaves. Instead, it features long, slender, and feathery stems that are covered in whorls of finely divided, needle-like segments.
This perennial aquatic plant thrives submerged with lengthy stems and needle-like leaves, enhancing water high quality.

Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum) is among the few choices on this record that thrives when utterly submerged. The ethereal stems and needle-like leaves look beautiful when swaying underwater and even floating on the floor of your pond. The stems can even attain a formidable ten toes lengthy, nonetheless seen even in deep ponds.

Ceratophyllum demersum is commonly utilized in ponds and aquariums to enhance water high quality. It absorbs dangerous compounds in pond water and makes use of these to gas development – a real win-win. It could actually additionally shield small fish from predators, giving them safety to dart out and in of.

So as to add to those advantages, it’s additionally remarkably simple to develop. All it’s essential to do to plant hornwort in your pond is to drop a stem slicing into the pond and await it to develop. Purpose for sunny to partially shaded spots to benefit from its speedy development.

Corkscrew Rush

Close-up of a Corkscrew rush (Juncus effusus) plant with water drops in a garden. Its leaves are long, slender, and cylindrical. Stems are spiral.
This water decorative plant options spiraled stems, thriving in moist soil alongside pond edges.

If quirky is what you’re after in your backyard pond, look no additional than corkscrew rush (Juncus effusus). This plant is known as after the spiraled stems that resemble corkscrews, creating a novel and crowd pleasing characteristic wherever it’s planted.

Corkscrew rush thrives in moist soil and grows greatest alongside the sides of ponds. The bottom will also be barely submerged, leaving the curled stems to sprawl on the highest of the water. As soon as they’re in the correct surroundings, they require little care to look their greatest year-round.

Plant it in a container and submerge it in shallow water (not more than 4 inches above the crown) or moist soils alongside a pond’s edge. It may be aggressive in hotter climates, so be ready to manage its unfold in the event you’re planting straight within the pond.


Close-up of Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata) flowering plants. It is an attractive aquatic plant with colorful leaves and flowers. The leaves are heart-shaped, relatively large, with pronounced veins and a glossy green color. The flowers grow on tall erect stems in inflorescences that rise above the surface of the water. Flowers consist of three petals, which are connected into a tube, giving them a tubular shape. The flowers are blue-violet.
This aquatic native plant has purple flowers and dense inexperienced development.

Pickerelweed has a considerably off-putting title however is an excellent pond plant to draw pollinators and different wildlife into your backyard. The whole plant is giant, rising about two toes extensive with dense inexperienced leaf development and delicate purple flowers that emerge from summer time to fall.

Pickerelweed offers meals and a habitat for a lot of animals, notably useful bugs like bees and butterflies. Its dense development additionally fills empty areas on the finish of your pond with ease, serving to stabilize the soil and restrict erosion concurrently.

For pickerelweed to thrive, it ought to be planted in shallow waters so the leaves aren’t buried too deeply. A full solar place will guarantee full flowering, however they’ll additionally develop in gentle shade. Though it spreads by way of rhizomes, development is normally simply managed.


Close-up of common cattail (Typha latifolia) flowering plants in a sunny garden. Its leaves are long, flat, and blade-like, resembling tall grass. The flowers look like dense cylindrical spikes that rise above the leaves. Each flower spike is composed of two parts: the female part, known as the brown "cattail," which contains the developing seeds, and the male part, a finer and often longer portion above the cattail.
This plant produces distinctive brown flower spikes and affords erosion prevention.

The widespread cattail (Typha latifolia) is immediately recognizable for the brown flower spikes that lend the plant its widespread title. Like water lilies, they’re an iconic aquatic plant discovered rising alongside rivers and ponds in lots of habitats.

Opinion is split on cattails. Some purpose to develop them, whereas others think about them annoying weeds that want removing. However there are just a few advantages to rising this plant, from serving to wildlife to stopping erosion, that may make them worthwhile selections in the event you’re keen to manage their unfold. Their spectacular top additionally provides some further drama to pond landscapes, particularly when in flower.

Whereas cattails develop greatest in shallow water, they’ll survive planted round ten inches under the pond floor. It’s very important to maintain them managed and take away any spreading vegetation to cease them from taking up your complete pond.

Water Overlook-Me-Not

Close-up of Water forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpioides) flowering plant. It is an enchanting aquatic plant known for its delicate beauty. Its leaves are elongated and narrow, grow in a rosette. The leaves are bright green and have a slightly hairy texture, giving them a soft and appealing appearance. The flowers grow on thin stems and are collected in clusters. The flowers are tiny, with five sky-blue petals and a yellow eye in the center.
This herbaceous perennial options charming blue and yellow flowers.

For one thing somewhat extra delicate and compact in comparison with the stately cattail, water forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpioides) is a perfect possibility for smaller ponds. This plant sports activities lovely sky-blue flowers with yellow facilities that may immediately brighten your day (and your pond).

This plant’s love of moist soil or shallow water makes it excellent for lining a small pond or planting in aquatic containers. The flowers will pop up in summer time and entice bees to your pond, serving to different vegetation in your backyard, too. It grows low and continues to provide new shoots with out turning into aggressive.

Plant in shallow water or moist soil surrounding your pond, in full solar to partial shade. Dividing each few years will refresh the plant and stop overcrowding.

Last Ideas

A pond is a superb addition to any backyard, made much more spectacular with the addition of some aquatic vegetation. Select the correct species in your area and think about their most popular circumstances to assist them thrive.

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