Water Garden Plants

There are several classes of water garden plants that are necessary in every pond. The first thing The first thing you want to understand about water gardening is that the plants form a complete ecology within the pond. If the ecology is right, the pond is healthy and the water is clear. It is only when the pond ecology is "off" that the water goes scudzy.

This is not like a soil-based garden. In one of those, you can plant a single geranium in the middle of a vast expanse of ground and it will grow quite nicely. If you put a single water garden plant in the middle of a pond, you'll have nothing but problems from that pond.

pickerel weed
Pickerel Weed

Floating or Bottom Planted

Water Hyacinth

pickerelweed Water Hyacinths are easy to grow in full sun and a few go a long way in the pond. Here's what you need to know.

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Water Lettuce

pickerelweed Water Lettuce will tolerate more shade than hyacinths.

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pickerelweed Fairy Moss or Azolla is a rampant spreader that will quickly blanket a small pond. Useful as a fast shade cover and easily netted out.

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pickerelweed Duckweed is perfect fish food, easy to grow and great for the pond.

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pickerelweed Salvinia is a fast spreading noxious weed we would do well to consider before putting into our ponds (particularly in warmer climates).

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Water Snowflake

pickerelweed Water Snowflake or Nymphoides is a surface covering plant as well (think tiny water lily only spreading) that comes in "hardy" as well as "tropical" varieties.

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Eel Grass

pickerelweed Vallisneria or Eel-Grass are planted directly on the pond bottom to form a mat of green leaves.

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Hardy Shallow Water Garden Plants

Shallow water garden plants are those that grow on the edges of the pond in shallow water providing places for the wildlife to live and flourish. These creatures (of all kinds) are the pond scavengers eating the refuse and dying foliage, scouring the pond bottom for decaying organic material as well as the beneficial insects such as dragonflies.


pickerelweed Arrowhead or Sagittaria latifolia has arrow shaped leaves and grows almost anywhere it is wet. Here are the details.

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pickerelweed Bullrush or Typha is a classic shallow water plant. Here's how to grow it as well as use it as a cut flower. Both with warnings and remedies.

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pickerelweed Buckbean or Menyanthes is an easy plant to grow if you give it acidic soils. Here are the rest of the details.

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pickerelweed Pickerelweed has always been one of my favourite pond plants. Here's how to grow it.

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Scouring Rush

pickerelweed Scouring Rush is an interesting but aggressive spreading plant that should always be grown in a container.

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Skunk Cabbage

pickerelweed Lysichiton or Skunk Cabbage are one of the larger leaved plants for boggy areas. Here's the trick to get those monster leaves.

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Water Celery

pickerelweed Water Celery or Oenanthe is easily grown (a bit invasive) and the variety'Flamingo' has multi-colored leaves.

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