Pond plants are not only a beautiful addition to your water garden, they are necessary. These types of plants work with your pond to create the perfect backyard ecosystem. Pond plants help to keep your pond clean. Many of them act as filters to remove or eliminate algae growth. They also provide shade for the inhabitants that may live in your pond.

Take the time to plan out the type of water garden you want to create. This will help you to choose the best plants to buy. Pond plants come in four categories; submerged, marginal, deep water and floating. Each category offers specific benefits to maintain the health of your water garden. For best results you should choose two to three types of plants from each category. Here are the four best pond plants to get you started.

pond plants

1. Anacharis – Best Submerged Pond Plant

Submerged pond plants grow entirely under water. These plants are excellent for providing oxygen for your fish and other plants. They remove the carbon dioxide from your pond and give smaller fish a shelter to hide in.

  • To plant submerged varieties use a shallow planting basket.
  • Spread the roots out then fill with soil.
  • Place the baskets 12″ below the water to start.
  • Once the leaves reach the water surface, lower them another 6″.

Anacharis, or Brazilian Waterweed, is a great pond plant for beginners. The Anacharis resembles a fern with light to bright green leaves. This plant anchors itself to the bottom of the pond but will also do well floating freely.

  • The Anacharis looks best when planted in groups.
  • This pond plant requires moderate lighting and will grow to about two feet high.

2. Iris – Best Marginal Pond Plant

This lush variety of pond plants grows in the shallow areas of your garden, around the edge. This type of plant grows almost entirely above water. Bog plants are root feeders and will gather most of their nutrients from the soil. But they help to keep your pond water clean by removing excess nutrients from the water before they build up.

  • Marginal plants should be planted in shallow baskets.
  • Cover the tops of the soil with pebbles to give your water garden a more natural look.

Irises are natural aquatic plants. Most varieties are quite hardy and require little care. They add a dramatic splash of color and beauty to any garden. The Iris has deep green vertical leaves and should produce 4-12 flowers per stem.

  • Irises should be planted in large pots close to the edge of the pond.
  • They like full sunlight and can grow to a height of 4′.

3. Water Lily – Best Deep Water Pond Plant

Deep water plants are grown on the bottom of the pond. As they grow their leaves and flowers spread across the surface. These plants are beneficial as they filter the water by trapping sediment and breaking down toxic compounds. Deep water plants also provide shade for fish living in your water garden.

Water Lilies come in two varieties, tropical and hardy. Some bloom during the day and some at night. Water Lilies will spread anywhere from two to four feet across the water surface.

  • They should be planted in two gallon or larger pots.
  • The pots need to be submerged at least 6″ below the water surface.
  • They prefer a lot of sunlight and will grow to about 4′.

water lily

4. Water Lettuce – Best Floating Pond Plant 

Floating plants grow directly on the water surface. Their roots act filter nutrients and harmful bacteria from the water. Floating plants provide surface cover and shade for your pond inhabitants. You can choose a floating plant that blooms or not. You can also use floating plants to hide man made elements like the filtration system.

Water Lettuce looks just like the vegetable it has its name from. The leaves are a bright green with a velvety feel to them. During warmer months they may produce tiny, white flowers. Water Lettuce can grow up to 4″ wide. This plant prefers some shade in warmer climates.

To the Lake of Flowers

Growing a beautiful water garden is not difficult to do. Most pond plants require very little care once planted. To keep your pond healthy you need two to three plants from each category.

Start with these four then add additional plants to create your perfect garden.

The images are from pixabay.com.

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