How To Select Aquatic or Water Plants For A Garden Pond …

Garden pond plants … choose from 6 types of aquatic plants for your pond garden. In general for plants to be at their best in a pond environment they should be planted in full sunlight.

Approximately 1/3 rd the surface area of a pond should be seen as the maximum surface area to be covered.

Many plants spread at an alarming rate so beware of this type of aquatic plant.

See range of water lilies and other pond plants Every fish pond should have some plants too. There are 6 main types in 4 different broad classes …

1. Water lilies … everybody’s favourite aquatic plant. There are so many different varieties of water lily with a wide range of colours, sizes and even scents. Some only bloom at night.

2. Marginals … shallow (also called bog plants) medium depth and deep water marginals

3. Floating plants … plants like the Water Hyacynth which get out of control in natural waterways once introduced.

4. Oxygenator plants … the most important from a water quality point of view since as their name implies they add oxygen to pond water.


All Aquatic Plant Types & Descriptions …

6 Different Types of Pond Plants Basics for Each Pond Plant Type
water plants types 1 to 3Types aquatic plants 1 to 3 water plants types 4 to 6Types aquatic plants 4 to 6
Waterlilies water plants type 1. The water lily queen of aquatics. Also called Lotus or Nymphaea. Wide variety of flower colours. Some fragrant. Deep water aquatic plants that root strongly in bottom of pond. Leaves float on water surface. Many waterlilies are hardy, and others tropical only. Some bloom at night. Most in the day. See this site fornatural blue and white waterlilies
Oxygenators water plants type 2 and normally submersed Totally submerged aquatic plants. These water plants can never exist out of water. They root or float rootless under water.
Floating water plants that float on the pond surface are type 3 These aquatic plants are small to medium and move freely in the pond.
Partly emerging (from the surface) water plants: type 4 Pond plants like these root into mud and show strong growth and flowers project out of the water.
Marginals water plants type 5 for planting in about 3 to 6 inches of water. Many have beautiful flowers The longest list of aquatic plants. These water plants generally do not like drying out.
Bog plants water plants: type 6. These like wet feet Similar to group 6 water plants. Wet mud is all that is required for these water plants to do well.

Go to individual listings of 92 common pond or aquatic plants

Pond plants introduction:

Water garden pond plants breathe somewhat differently to us. Typical pond plants breathe in carbon dioxide during the day (and breathe oxygen out) Pond plants breathe in oxygen during the night (and breathe carbon dioxide out). All water plants behave as follows in a pond and are thus able to add real value to that environment:

Garden pond plants convert carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to oxygen in the water and use this carbon dioxide to produce energy in the form of sugars – photosynthesis. All pond plants consume nitrogen chemicals (mainly nitrates and phosphates) that build up in the water. Water cress is often used for this purpose. make your plants work for you too. If you remove nitrates then blanketweed and algae are less of a problem Aquatic plants have a limited filtering effect. Some pond water plants are particularly good at oxygenating the pond water. These plants are generally submersed and if you look carefully on a bright sunny day youll see bubbles of oxygen coming from the leaves.  Select plants for around a pond to blend in with the garden pond. Refer to the diagram in the aquatic plants link above left to see a diagram that will help you decide on plants for around a pond.

How many pond plants should I put in a garden pond with or without fish?

Here is a rule of thumb for deciding how many pond plants to add to your pond. To each square metre of surface (10 square feet):

2 bunches of oxygenating plants will look after this size of pond

1 Water lily – there is a massive range of these pond plants to choose from

1 Bog plant – these pond plants can also be planted around the perimeters of garden ponds.

You would of course combine plants into areas and not space them according to this rule of thumb.

Anthony – you are my savior! This was so timely you can’t imagine. By the way, I have a question about plants. How much of the pond surface should ideally be covered by plants? I keep my pond fairly covered in hyacinths and a large Carnea lily (about 7/8 of it) as I feel they keep the water cooler for the fish. But, a. I don’t see the fish which rather defeats the purpose doesn’t it? and b. am I depriving them of anything important? Thank you for your time and attention. If ever you have any questions about self defense or judo – let me know! All the best. Be safe. Trish Baroni,


Thanks for the email… About 1/3rd of pond surface is about right. Fish also enjoy sunshine too….

Planting aquatic plants in a fish pond

Bear in mind that aquatic plants do get bigger so dont over-plant your pond. Remember waterlilies do not like splashing water or rapidly moving water. Water lilies tend to like water deeper than 60cm.

When you plant a garden pond use specially designed baskets into which specially formulated aquatic compost or soil has been used low in phosphorous and nitrogen. Only ever use fertilizer food made for pond plants.

An alternative to baskets for pond plants are normal plastic planting pots. Cover the top of the pot with pebbles or gravel to prevent fish disturbing the soil and roots of the garden pond or aquatic plants especially if you keep koi. Goldfish are less destructive.

For marginal garden pond plants planting areas use coco mats or coir as a means to hold the plant in position. You can also place a bit of special compost or soil together with the coir for these garden pond plants. Place pebbles on the mat to keep it submerged. Floating pond plants of course do just that … they float and are not anchored into soil.

Here is a clever trick for garden pond plants where you already have a pond and it is fairly deep and you want to place a largish plant in the pond. Get a second person to help and between you hold two ropes in parallel stretching across the pond. Allow the ropes to be placed beneath the ridge of the garden pond plants pot as if the pot was in a sling or hammock and then gently lower it to the bottom of the pond.

BEWARE INVASIVE AND SURFACE FLOATING PLANTS LIKE THE WATER HYACINTH … Floating plants once they find their way into a river or stream can spread remarkably quickly. Dont be tempted to bring home any aquatic plant you come across … these can become invasive and may also introduce blanketweed and other algae problems.

Cannas species add a tropical feel to any garden. One way to use them is in or near your pond or water feature. Cannas will do just fine planted in pot and submerged in shallow water or in a soggy spot. Just remember that for most of us, they are not winter hardy and will need to be stored over the winter.

Iris varieties and species make good marginal and bog type plants.


Some Popular Pond Plants

Dwarf Cattail Dwarf Cattail: Typha minima is perfect for small water garden ponds and containers such a half barrel tubs. This dwarf cattail grows to less than 2′ tall, making it extremely well suited to small garden ponds or container gardens! Distinctive rounded brown seed heads sit atop blue-green foliage. Even survives very low temperatures!
King Tut Papyrus King Tut Papyrus: Cyperus papyrus ‘King Tut’. An ideal water garden marginal or bog garden plant. King Tut Papyrus is an outstanding aquatic for use in your garden pond! King Tut Papyrus is also known as the umbrella plant because of its eye-catching green bracts bend over. King Tut Papyrus will grow well in both full sun or partial shade. This aquatic plant can be planted directly into water or rich, moist soil (bog). The plant is hardy down to 25 degrees F. It can be taken indoors for the winter.
Sweet Flag Grass Sweet Flag Water Grass: Acorus calamus. Sweet Flag Water Grass is a popular water grass that has long narrow leaves. The leaves have a strong sweet smell when crushed in the hand. The iris-like foliage is dramatic in ponds or for edging around pots. Sweet Flag Water Grass sports yellow-green flowers in summer. Shade tolerant and hardy in zones 4-11.
Iris Louisiana 'Black Gamecock' Iris:, Louisiana ‘Black Gamecock’: The Louisiana ‘Black Gamecock’ Iris is one of the most adaptable Irises that can grow under almost any condition. This plant is a native of wetlands and can be grown in water gardens. Fortunately for most of us, the Louisiana ‘Black Gamecock’ Iris is easily adaptable to normal growing conditions. Huge, 4″ velvety-black blooms surround yellow markings. Grows to 24″. Zones 4-10.
Juncus Big Twister Juncus ‘Big Twister’: Unique twisting and turning upright spirals! One of a kind grass loves to be planted in wet soil conditions. Makes a perfect addition to water gardens. Can be planted in shallow water (up to 6″ deep). Prefers hot, sunny conditions. Grows 18-24″.
Houttuynia, The chameleon plant Houttuynia, The chameleon plant : Houttuynia cordata “Chameleon”… Here’s your opportunity to grow something your friends and neighbors don’t already have. Only recently have there been quantities sufficient enough to offer it to customers. The Houttuynia has exotic, chameleon-shaped leaves — a bright blend of greens, bronze, and yellows. It has white flowers in early summer. Grows 6 to 9 inches. The Houttuynia is a brightly colored plant that is very popular in the Orient. It is easy to grow. Thrives almost anywhere. Order this Oriental beauty with its rainbow coloring and easy grow ability today!.
Globeflower Globeflower: Trollius chinensis ‘Golden Queen’ … A colorful waterside addition! Extremely large, golden-orange buttercup summertime flowers make Golden Queen an outstanding perennial. Plants are excellent for waterside areas or bog gardens. Can be planted in other areas as long as it is kept constantly moist. Grows to 30″ tall Prefers sun to partial shade. Zones 3-7.
Marsh Marigold Marsh Marigold: Caltha palustris. Excellent pond plant too! Marsh Marigold produces beautiful masses of flowers that resemble double marigolds from mid-spring through early-summer. An excellent planting at the edge of a pond. Can also be planted in water at a depth of no more than 4″. Requires full sun. Zones 3-10. We send number one plants.

Non flowering aquatic plants list

Flowering aquatic plants list

List of latin and english names for pond and aquatic plants … large amount of information here. Some plants need special winter care and almost all aquatic plants enjoy an autumn or fall trimming. Lots of aquatics are actually hardy but appear to die off in winter.

Order plants online with all your rights reserved Quality water plants & water lilies Check shipping costs whenever you do online shopping

Tony has just finished a brand new fish pond website and if you love water gardening and the idea of a garden fish pond youll probably like this site. Another updated pond site is here and for a great UK pond pumpsite. For a vast range of english gardening supplies try Garden Joy.

I really want to thank you for your fast response. I really appreciate the info that you send out all the time. I can not believe how much I have learned reading the info that you send out all the time. The info has really helped in making my koi pond work better and maintain. Thanks: Paul