Water Garden Plants

Water Garden Plants - aquatic plants are the final set in your water garden project. Filtration plants.

Water Garden Plants

Water Garden Plants - Adding aquatic plants to a home pond creates a beautiful environment. Learn about different plant options and care techniques, filtration plants and more.

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Water Garden Plants also known as Aquatic Plants, add beauty to your pond. They have other benefits as well, such as helping to keep oxygen in the water and shading your pond, which is good if you have Japanese Koi or other fish living in your pond.

Aquatic Plants come in several different varieties. Following are a few of the most popular varieties with information that you may find helpful.

Water garden supplies

Water Garden Plants: Tropical Lilies

Tropical Water Lilies:

These are very beautiful and are probably the most popular of all water garden plants. They require 6 to 8 hours of sun each and get very large, beautiful flowers that are held above the water surface.

They need daytime temperatures of at least 75 degrees consistently and they can't take temperatures that go below 65 at night. If you desire them in a cold climate pond you will have to bring them indoors over winter.

Hardy Water Lilies:

These don't shared quite the beauty of the Tropical Water Lilies, but are very pretty in their own right. They die back in the fall and sprout new growth each spring. What that means is that you can keep them in the pond over the winter months.

They can survive in water as deep as 8 to 10 feet. Water lilies help to control the water temperature of the pond by supplying shade. Try to cover at least 60 to 75 percent of your pond water surface with lily pads.


There are many varieties of this water garden plant available with differing water temperature requirements, so choose wisely.

Both the leaves and the flowers of the Lotus are amazing - they are also very large, and take up a lot of pond real estate, so know what their ultimate size will be to see if you have enough room before adding them to your pond!

Consider site drainage

Water Garden Plants - Floating Plants


These water garden plants are also referred to as bog plants. They consist of plants like Iris, Cattail, Bamboo, Rush and Papyrus.

Most need about 3 hours of sun per day. They thrive in shallow water, up to 6 to 8" deep, so you'll want to place them on the step or shelf of your garden pond if you have one.


These are beneficial plants for your water garden. They provide much-needed oxygen to the water. They also control the growth of both planktonic algae and filamentous string algae.


These consist of varieties such as Water Hyacinths and Floating Hearts. Their roots hang below the plant, effectively scrubbing the pond water.

Growth of these plants should be carefully watched though, as they can and do completely take over a pond due to their rapid growth. If your pond receives full sun, be prepared to clean them out a couple times a year.

Before you choose your water garden plants, it's important to consider the requirements. These will vary by plant, but make sure you always check the requirements and make sure your pond climate meets them. There's nothing worse than spending your money on plants, only to have them die!

Following, you'll find some typical requirements that you'll want to pay attention to.

Sun Requirements:

Typically they are categorized as full sun, partial sun, and shade.

Hardiness Requirements:

Basically the plants are split into Hardy and Tropical. Tropical will not survive any cold temperatures if left outside. Hardy plants will last through the winter just fine.

Water Depth Requirements:

Many varieties will grow in a wide range of water depths and others require a much narrower water depth. Most lilies adapt well. You will find bog plants will grow much better in their narrow range of water depths.

Pay close attention to this requirement. If you try to put shallow water plants in deep water, there is no possible way they will thrive.

You can enjoy shallow water plants, even with a deep pond, by using a shelf on the side of your pond, or adding something in the pond for the plants to sit on.

What size pond is right for you?

Water Garden Plants - Hardy Lilies

PH Requirements:

Just as with land-bound plants, the PH level in the water affects the ability for aquatic plants to take in nutrients.

Carefully measure your water PH levels to make sure you are meeting your plants needs. Any water garden will benefit greatly from the introduction of aquatic plants and you'll enjoy the beauty that they bring.

Keep their growth under control and your pond will look great and the fish will love it. They are key to keeping the water balanced for the optimal environment for Japanese Koi and minimizing algae growth.

Decide on pond depth

Water Garden Plants - Water Canna

Consider Pond Depth

Following is a list of water garden plants for you to consider:

Deep Water Plants Latin Name
Hardy Water Lilies Nymphaea spp.
Lotus Nelumbo spp.
Tropical Water Lilies Nymphaea spp.

Oxygenators Latin Name
Anacharis Elodea canadensis
Cabomba Cabomba caroliniana
Dwarf Sagittaria Sagittaria natans
Vallisneria Vallisneria americana
Water Milfoil Myriophyllus spp.

Floating Plants Latin Name
Azollo Azollo spp.
Duckweed Lemna spp.
Water-meal Wolffia spp.
Water Ferns Salvinia minima
Water Hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes
Water Lettuce Pistia stratiote
Water Poppy Myriophyllus spp.

Floating Plants Latin Name
Arrowhead Sagittaria sagittifolia
Bog Lily Crinum americanum
Bull Rush Scirpus spp.
Canna Canna hybrids
Cattails Typha spp.
Chameleon Plant Houttuynia cordata
Chinese Water Chestnut Eleocharis tuberosa
Golden Club Orontium aquaticum
Creeping Primrose Ludwigia palustris
Dwarf Bamboo Dulichium arundinaceum
Dwarf Sweet Flag Acorus gramineus
Egyptian Paper Reed Cyperus papyrus
Floating Heart Numphoides peltata
Hairgrass Eleochairs aricularis
Horsetail Equisetum hyemale
Lizards Tai Saururus cernus
Marsh Marigold Caltha palustris
Papyrus Cyperus haspans
Parrot Feather Mycriophyllum aquatica
Pennywort Hydrocotyle spp.
Pickerel Rush Pontederia cordata
Sagittaria Sagittaria spp.
Spider Lily Hymenocallis spp.
Spike Rush Eleocharis montevidensis
Snowflake Nymphoides spp.
Taro Colocasia spp.
Thalia Thalia dealbata
Umbrella Palm Cyperus alternifolius
Variegated Sweet Flag Acorus calamus variegate
Water Arum Peltandra virginica
Water Clover Marsilea mutica
Water Cress Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum
Water Iris Iris spp.
Water Hawthorne Aponogeton distachyus
Water Swan Alisima gramineum
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