13 Water Garden Plants for Your Backyard Ponds 

 May 23, 2022

By  admin

The good news about plants is that they are incredibly easy to keep alive and look great. The downside is most of them require a lot of water, so you’ll need to install pond pumps or other means for moving the water around your garden. Here’s our list of 13 water-loving plants you should get started with today!.

The “zone 3 pond plants” are a list of 13 water garden plants that can be used to create a beautiful backyard pond. These plants will provide oxygen, nutrients, and beauty for your backyard pond.

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Ponds are a beautiful complement to your backyard’s landscaping. When you have a pond built, you are receiving a beautiful location to unwind in the comfort of your own home. You may add plants to these aquatic bodies to make them even more beautiful.


Water plants are not only simple to care for and grow, but they are also visually appealing. Furthermore, if you have fish or other aquatic critters in your backyard pond, adding water plants will turn it into a healthy environment.

When choosing the correct water plants for your pond, consider the size as well as the specific requirements of each plant. To assist you with all of this, we’ve compiled a list of 13 water garden plants that will meet a variety of needs. But first, let’s take a look at some of the most common varieties of water plants.

Plants for a Water Garden There are many different types of plants that may be used in a water garden

water garden plants

Depending on the aquatic medium they prefer, water plants might be freshwater or saltwater.

Plants may be free-floating, deep-floating, or rooted depending on the depth at which they grow. To make the pond healthy and viable, choose one variety or a combination of all three. Apart from this, there are also marginal plants that grow around the edges of a body of water.

Let’s go straight to the plants now that we’ve seen the many sorts of water garden plants.

Plants for a Water Garden

1. Lotus

water garden plants

The lotus bloom is a beautiful plant to have in your water garden. This hydrophyte, which seems like it belongs in a tropical summer, is also cold tolerant.

Lotus blossoms come in a range of hues that contrast attractively with the green leaves that hover above them.

Sunshine Requirements: Direct sunlight is required.

Soil and Water: Grows in water; in the water bed where the roots are attached, substantial topsoil is necessary.

Maintenance and Planting:

  • Lotus need at least six hours of sunshine every day to blossom well.
  • When preparing the water bed for Lotus planting, avoid using soil that is too rich in organic matter, since this may cause the seeds to rot.
  • You may reproduce this plant using tubers instead of seeds if you choose. Simply ensure that the tubers’ growing tips are pointed upwards and that they are completely covered with dirt on all sides.
  • You may add fertilizers designed for aquatic plants to the soil to help them develop quicker.

2. Forget-Me-Not Water

water garden plants

Water forget-me-nots are the classic marginal plants for around your backyard pond, with their petite, sky blue-colored blossoms.

Water forget-me-nots are perpetual, unlike terrestrial forget-me-nots, which are biannual (lasting two years) (lasting for a long time). Another advantage is that the plant is non-invasive. You won’t have to worry about it pushing out the other hydrophytes in your pond because of this.

Sunlight Requirements: Full sun that isn’t too bright is required.

Water and Soil: Clay or damp soil; shallow water

Maintenance and Planting:

  • Water forget-me-nots should be planted in the water at a depth of ten cm or less.
  • It is beneficial to prune the blooms back somewhat if they fade or falter in their development. This re-establishes proper blossoming.
  • Are you looking for plant ideas for your backyard garden? Read this guide.

Water Lily No. 3

water garden plants

Water lilies are the ideal plants for completing your pond hydrophytes set since they combine function and beauty. Their full bloom in a water garden is a sight to see.

Hardy and tropical water lilies are the two most common types. Hardy varieties thrive in colder climates, whereas tropical varieties thrive in warmer climates.

Sunshine Requirements: Direct, bright sunlight is required.

Soil and Water: Grows immersed in water; a water bed with thick topsoil or clay is suitable.

Maintenance and Planting:

  • Allowing the water lily to entirely cover the pond’s surface will result in low-light penetration within the water. This will not only suffocate other members of the ecosystem in the water body, but it will also limit the development of water lilies.
  • When adding dirt to the water bed, make sure it’s not too rich in organic elements, since this can cause the plant to decay.
  • Every three to four years, divide the plant. This will prevent unwelcome growth.

4. Water Plant with Mosaic Design

water garden plants

When fully bloomed, this plant has diamond-shaped leaves and grows in lovely circular patterns that resemble a mosaic. Each of its lovely red and green leaves is 3″ in diameter. The leaves will expand to cover around twenty-four inches of space over the course of a season.

Sunshine Requirements: Direct sunlight is required. to partial shade

Water and Soil: Aquatic planting medium are necessary, and water should not be too alkaline (upper limit of pH should be 8)

Maintenance and Planting:

  • Mosaic roots may be planted directly on the water’s surface or in soil combined with suitable nutrients and filled with aquatic planting medium.
  • Avoid using potting mix or light soils since they will not settle and will contaminate the pond water.
  • Fertilize the water bed at regular intervals for quick and healthy development.
  • If any of the leaves begin to brown or yellow, cut them off and discard them, keeping just the healthy leaves intact. They regenerate on their own over time.
  • Remove the plant before frost sets in and replant when temperatures begin to climb in colder climates.

5. Iris of Japan

water garden plants

The Japanese iris is a fantastic selection among easy-to-grow plants for a water garden. It is a perennial flower that comes in a range of vibrant hues, including purple, pink, and blue.

Sunlight Requirements: A shady to moderately bright environment is required.

Heavy soil, such as red clay and sand, and acidic water

Maintenance and Planting:

  • Apply organic, nitrogen-rich fertilizers to the soil before planting the rhizomes.
  • Because the plant favors acidic water, a couple of teaspoonfuls of vinegar should be added to four liters of water. This will guarantee that the pH of your Japanese irises is exactly perfect.
  • Pests that affect typical terrestrial bearded iris are resistant to the plant.
  • To minimize congestion, divide the rhizome every 3 to 4 years.

Do you want to beautify your backyard even more? Consider constructing a DIY garden sanctuary with the help of this tutorial.

6. Lettuce de l’eau

water garden plants

Water lettuce grows in slow-moving or stationary pools of water. This makes it an excellent alternative for individuals who want to cultivate water garden plants in their backyard pond.

Although it has the name lettuce because of its resemblance to the famous vegetable, water lettuce is not eaten.

Sunshine Requirements: Moderate to strong sunlight is required.

Soil and Water: Sandy, damp soil; grows partly immersed or floating in water.

Maintenance and Planting:

  • The stolons are used to propagate the plant vegetatively. Seeds, on the other hand, might be utilized for the first planting. They should be maintained half immersed in water and covered with sand.
  • Water lettuce is a very low-maintenance vegetable. It just needs a little more attention once it’s been planted. Invasive growth is the only thing to watch out for. Trim and remove unwanted leaves if it looks to be growing too crowded.

Duckweed, no. 7

water garden plants

If you have fish in your huge backyard pond, you should provide them with a healthy diet. Duckweed is the best option for you in such circumstance. These cute looking small water garden plants will be a hit with your fish.

Duckweed does not take a lot of effort to grow. It also decreases your pond cleaning obligations by purifying the water on a regular basis.

Sunshine Requirements: Direct sunlight is required.

Water and Soil: It floats on water and does not need soil.

Maintenance and Planting:

  • Place the weed in a few different spots in the water. This creates a favorable environment for plant development.
  • For faster growth, add organic hydroponic fertilizers to the water.
  • Warmer temperatures promote the growth of duckweed.
  • Remember to trim back any additional growth to prevent the plant from becoming overcrowded.
  • Maintain a steady supply of oxygen by introducing it at regular intervals.

Vallisneria (number 8)

water garden plants

Vallisneria is an easy-to-grow freshwater plant that may thrive in a home pond. This is an excellent plant to try out if you’re new to gardening (literally).

Sunshine Requirements: Low to moderate amounts of sunlight are required.

Soil and Water: Soil rich in organic substrate; can grow in acidic or alkaline, fresh or brackish water.

Maintenance and Planting:

  • Vallisneria does not need much additional care after being planted in soil combined with the substrate.
  • If necessary, clip the leaves with sharp scissors, since poorly cut leaves decay and contaminate the water.
  • This plant reproduces by sending forth runners, which take root and sprout new plants.

9. Lily of the Swamp

water garden plants

This hydrophyte is a lovely alternative for enthusiasts of water garden plants, with enormous spectacular blooms. They’re ideal for growing around the borders of a pond in your garden.

Bright or filtered sunlight is required for this project.

Soil and Water: Use moist soil; do not let bulbs sit in water.

Maintenance and Planting:

  • It is vital not to allow the bulbs immerse in water while propagating via bulbs; instead, keep them near the borders of the water body on wet, well-drained soil.
  • If the foliage seems unkempt and overgrown, it may be clipped to keep it looking neat.

ten. cattails

water garden plants

These freely growing plants with brown silky tails may be found on most standing bodies of water. Their inclusion to your pond may give a safe habitat for your aquatic wildlife while also adding a touch of the wild to your property.

Sunshine Requirements: Direct sunlight is required.

Soil and Water: This plant thrives in a wide range of soil and water conditions.

Maintenance and Planting:

  • On the waterbed, the seeds must be sown. Because the plant develops quickly, just a few seeds are needed for an average-sized pond.
  • Regularly spray herbicides to the leaves and roots to prevent rapid growth.

11. Snowflake made of water

water garden plants

This plant gets its name from its tiny snowflake-like blossoms. Because of the form of their leaves, the yellow variety are known as floating hearts. This beauty should be considered if you’re seeking for easy-to-grow water garden plants.

Sunshine Requirements: Full or partial sunlight is required.

Soil and water: Sandy soil with one to two feet of water standing.

Maintenance and Planting:

  • Water Snowflake has to be planted in rich sandy soil and is then quite simple to maintain.
  • Bring it indoors before the first frost to avoid exposure to the cold.

Cardinal Flower No. 12

water garden plants

The beautiful red blossoms of this plant, which are ideal for planting around the margins of your pond, are hypnotic when in full bloom, and they also attract birds.

Sunlight Requirements: Sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon

Soil and Water: Moist, organic-rich soil that does not need submersion in water.

Maintenance and Planting:

  • When planting the seedlings, make sure the soil is wet enough.
  • Fertilize the plant with compost.

Jenny the Creeper, number 13

water garden plants

This glossy, evergreen plant thrives in the cracks and gaps between your garden pond’s pebbles. It features brilliant yellow blooms and tiny, oval-shaped lime green leaves, providing for attractive foliage.

Sunshine Requirements: Grows well in both direct and indirect sunlight.

Soil and Water: Compost-mixed soil that does not require submersion in water.

Maintenance and Planting:

  • Because these plants develop and spread quickly, space the seeds at least 18 inches apart in wet soil.
  • Give it frequent snips and trims to keep its growth in control.


When it comes to choosing plants for a water garden, you have a lot of alternatives. To help you narrow down your search, this article includes a list of 13 water garden plants.

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The “what plants to put around a water feature” is a question that many people ask. This article will provide 13 different types of plants that are perfect for your backyard ponds.

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Emil Schoene

Born and raised in Austin, TX I come from a background of home renovation. By helping my family in my younger years with their construction business, I learned the ropes quickly and as I grew it became my passion that I still do today. Looking to share my knowledge with others. I invite you to leave comments on any post as I know you will have questions that you are not finding anywhere else.

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