Top Pond Plants and Water Flowers: Beginner To Advanced

Pond plants and water flowers offer valuable services to your pond and also are an important habitat for water-dwelling organisms like fish, frogs, and snails.

Everyone has their favorite collection of pond plants, however, there could be some varieties that you simply haven’t yet added to your water garden.

Top Pond Plants and Water Flowers: Beginner To Advanced

We invite you to think about the subsequent list of popular aquatic pond plants that create a welcome addition to any pond!

Plants play a very important role in all living ecosystems on earth – from flowering meadows and rainforests to the sea and even the backyard pond of your house.

They provide valuable services to your pond and also are an important habitat for water-dwelling organisms like fish, frogs, and snails.

Types of Pond Plants for Beginner Fish Keepers

In this article, we’ll explore the simplest plant species for outdoor ponds, including water flower names and species. These are suitable for beginners, flowering species, floating species, those which are suitable for koi ponds which are also oxygenating pond plants, and lots more pond planting.

For each and every species we explain how to plant them, what are the best small pond plants, which different regions of the pond they should be occupying, and how to propagate your own colonies.

What plants are good for a pond?

Mosquito Fern Pond Plants

The Mosquito Fern is popularly known as a surface-dwelling plant. It derives its name from its capability to cover the surface of pond water quickly. It is assumed that it can prevent mosquitos and other harmful insects from laying eggs in the pond water.

This plant is small when compared to other species. The Mosquito Fern plant grows to a length of around 1 inch. It has two parallel rows of tiny leaves on both sides of the stem.

It continues to propagate and is able to double its size every 7 to 10 days. As it can grow very fast and needs a small amount of care, it is able to quickly cover any surface of any pond.

This causes a decrease in the dissolved oxygen in the pond/aquarium water (which is harmful to fish), so timely trimming is required. It works as a water feature plant or an oxygenating pond plant

Creeping Jenny Plants

Often used as a ground cover in terrestrial gardens, creeping jenny fares excellently once utilized in water gardening applications.

Growing close to 2 inches tall, it’s an excellent filler to melt the edges of rocks with its bright leaves making a vivid contrast against the cool gray of wet stone.

Creeping Jenny could be a perennial and best utilized in Zones 3-10.

This species also goes by the name Moneywort due to its small, penny-sized succulent green leaves. It can also produce small white/yellow flowers throughout the summer (depending on the species) which will attract bees and butterflies to your garden giving it additional charm.

The plant Creeping Jenny is to be used as a marginal plant as it likes water up to two inches deep or wet substrate where this plant is able to give shade for the juvenile fish and also cover for fry.

Propagating it is very simple. As it starts to grow it will produce white roots at the leaf nodes. When they touch a couple of inches in length you can cut the stem an inch below their root system and replant the cutting stem elsewhere.

The Parrots Feather Pond Plant

Parrots Feather has an underwater flower root system that can be either anchored into the substrate or can simply absorb nutrients from the water column.

This species gets its name from its tiny feather-like green leaves that branch from the stem.

During the day, these leaves stay receptive and permit them to soak up the sun’s energy to photosynthesize.

However, at nighttime, the leaves close while they respire.

It is an invasive species because of its ability to quickly grow breakaway stems and shoots causing it to out-compete native species.

This results in a lack of dissolved oxygen because the plant stops light from penetrating the water’s surface leading to decreased photosynthesis by other species.

Pond Flowers:

Blue Iris Plant

Blue Iris Flower Pond Plants

Many water gardeners get pleasure from the elegant splendor of the Aquatic Iris, which is among the primary plants to bloom in the spring. Aquatic irises comprise such an oversized and numerous cluster – there are actually a whole lot, if not thousands of cultivated and natural hybrids.

The Blue Flag Iris could be a native plant that may develop to 4 feet tall! A wetland lover, the Blue Flag’s giant flowers are exciting, ranging in shades from pale blue to purple.

These Water Iris are semi-aquatic plants/bog plants/water flowers that grow best in shallow water and will cover their crown throughout the year. It can also be placed in wet pond soil or aquatic plant soil around the border of the pond.

To encourage growth it is required to be repotted in both cases every couple of years.

With a view to growing stunning flowers of this species, a general water fertilizer or a slow-release fertilizer rock will need to be provided. These fertilizers can help to grow these plants up to 5 feet.

After the plantation is complete, this species will not bloom its blueish purple and yellow flowers during the first season. Instead, it will typically take a complete year.

Sweet Flag Plants For Pond

It is also termed the Golden Japanese Sweet Flag (Acorus Calamus ‘Ogon’). This plant is convenient to keep in containers and water gardens alike. They are a kind of submerged pond plant. It’s highly versatile because it can be grown up with its toes in the water or it will be partly submerged.

The attractive foliage is light-weight green and highlighted with bright yellow stripes, remaining stunning all season and typically through the winter. an all-around nice plant that adds a cheerful, bright spot to any water feature!

Sweet flag plant is a kind of perennial herb that grows up to 60 inches in height. Their 3-edged leafy stems are green colored at the base which darkens slowly towards the tip. The leaves of sweet flag plants are wavy along the edges and are very sword-shaped.

This type of species can be introduced in the margins or on the border of ponds. However, only those pond plants that are grown on the border of ponds can produce these types of flowers.

They are self-propagating through the creation of creeping roots that make rhizomes that can be cut and introduced elsewhere or permitted to grow freely.

The Pickerel Plants

It is available in white, blue, and pink lavender spiked flowers, Pickerel could be a nice alternative for beautiful ponds with its shiny, green heart-shaped foliage, a green heart collective.

The blooms can live for a longer period of time and present a stunning view once planted as a whole. It grows about 24 to 30″ in total height and performs well in Zones 4 to 10.

Pickerel is a marginal aquatic perennial species that grows to a height of 4 feet. Their leaves look like spearheads that are slightly bright green and grow up to 7 inches in total length.

Generally, it blooms its flowers at the end of the summer season and early fall. The flower looks small and tubular with a deep blue coloration in it.

With a mix of fertile clay, these pond plants can be planted in baskets, humus, and sand along the shallow pond margins with total sunlight.

Koi Pond Plants:

The Water Smartweed Plant

Water Smartweed ought to be planted in muddy substrates in shallow water regions of your Koi pond wherever it will absorb essential nutrients. As an alternative, it will float on the surface which may give very important shade for your Koi.

It possesses a thick stem from which alternate dagger-like leaves protrude, and at the top of the stem, there is a cluster of bright pink flowers.

Propagation of Water Smartweed happens once the flowers create a flattened oval-shaped dark seed that can be collected and potted until shoots and leaves are generated.

At this point, the pond plants will be planted in pond soil along the margins of the pond where the Koi can’t access them and uproot them.

Water Lotus for Ponds

Water Lotus Flower Water Lily Pads Pond Plants

The water lotus may be available in an array of sizes depending on its species, varying in height from 18 to 60 inches. The tiny lotus species could reach a height of 12 inches with leaves 2 to 3 inches in total diameter.

They can also create stunning flowers that differ in color and make a good addition for anyone looking to begin their water gardening.

This must be introduced in a pot on a shelf inside the pond, which is itself a pond in a pot.

The koi will be prevented by the pot from uprooting it and some special nets can also be purchased to protect the plant from these fish.

Water Clover is Another One

This species floats on the surface or can be submerged pond plants where they look similar in appearance to the lucky four-leaf clover.

The Water Clover produces rhizomes that spread through the substrate along the edge of the pond in sunny areas. These types of rhizomes can be replanted after cutting down in different locations.

These pond plants will provide shade for your Koi and shelter them from the heat, whilst also providing additional filtration to your water.

Most Hardy Pond Plants:

Hornwort Pond Plants

Hornwort plants can not just be floating water plants but they can also be anchored within the substrate. It only depends on the type of shape and looks you want in your aquarium or pond.

Adding these pond plants to the pond as floating plants can provide shelter, and shade and accordingly, help combat unwanted algae growth in the water.

The Hornwort plant possesses a relatively longer green stem along with branches in a gap of every inch or so that looks like needle-thin but darker green leaves.

It can be propagated through asexual reproduction via side shoots. It depends on the number of nutrients and light (which has a scope to be added) and it must be kept in a pond with a pH of 6.0-7.5 and a temperature of 59 to 86°F. It is also popularly termed aquatic plants for turtles.

Horsetail Reed Plant for Ponds

Your Horsetail Reed plant will provide a stunning architectural presence in the pond with its different pond reeds. It grows up to 24″ in total height. On the other hand, the dwarf version of it grows up to 8″ in height. Hardy to Zone 4, this is a super-fast spreader and you will have to cut and thin the plant during the summer season. In the fall, cut the pond plants to the ground level to stop the spores from spreading fast.

You can plant horsetail reeds in the substrate or potted and introduce them in the margins of the pond where there is plenty of sunlight and room to grow.

The stem grows up to a maximum of 180cm tall. It has tiny leaves fused to them that are very difficult to spot. The propagation of horsetail plants can be made by taking cuttings from the stem.

On the stem, there will be dark rings which are popularly known as nodes. Identify the dark rings and cut those stems around an inch on both sides of the dark nodes. Finally, submerge those cuttings taken from the stem in the water and form the nodes that will sprout both a new root system and a stem. When this occurs, they can be repotted and submerged once again (reeds flowers Waco tx).

Water Soldier Plants

Water Soldier plant is produced with serrated leaves that look almost the same as the top of a pineapple. The males create a group of little white flowers but females create only a single flower.

It performs great in both shaded and sunny locations along with the pond’s margins. During the months of summer, on the water’s surface, it floats and the leaves protrude from the pond water.

In the winter season, it gets totally covered with the help of a slimy calcium carbonate layer. After that, the water soldier plant starts to sink back down to the bottom of the pond water.

Floating Pond Plants:

Floating Watermoss For Your Pond

Floating Watermoss is truly a floating water fern. This plant consists of three individual leaves, two of which float on the surface of the pond water as they contain tiny pockets of air.

Actually, the third leaf is submerged in the water under the surface and performs as the root system. It absorbs nutrients from the water.

The Floating Watermoss plant must be kept in a heated pond and introduced in a sheltered location with direct sunlight. Since it is not a very hardy plant it can be removed from the pond during the winter season.

Waterlilies: Lily Day Care

Waterlilies Lily Day Care Pond Plants

Water Lilies are beautiful plants suitable in any water garden, and it is the main reason why a lot of gardeners add a lily pond or a water lily aquarium to their landscape.

These types of simple pond plants are featured by amazing water lily bouquets that represent every color in the light-weight spectrum. For example, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, and indigo (it includes the collective white), and so many shades in between growing lotus indoors.

The waterlily flowers differ from a minimum of 2″ in diameter to some blooms that measure 12″ or substantial. Their leaves usually float unless they’re jammed, and are a lot of or less round. For the huge Victoria, it starts from 2″ to more than 6 feet. Water Lilies flowers are perennial plants. They may be broken down into two primary groups; tropical and hardy.

Mini water lily or lotus is one of the foremost popular floating pond plants/pond grasses. The different colored flowers have certainly helped their popularity. The leaves provide essential cover for your fish and shade them from the heat during the summer at the farm at Pond Lily.

In order to propagate this plant species, you have to separate shoots and their root systems from the principal pot and replant them into another basket before re-submerging the plants.

The Water Chestnuts

Water Chestnuts should be placed in the marginal substrate of the pond as marginal plants. From that position, shoots can form and perform their way up to the surface of the water. It’s here where ridged diamond-shaped and floating leaves will start to form.

As with all floating species, Water Chestnut blocks light from the sun which helps prevent algae growth and provides shelter for small water creatures when they are young.

Propagation of Water Chestnut occurs when the plant produces small vegetables that sink to the substrate of the water and begin the cycle all over again. These are used as vegetables in various Chinese cuisine dishes throughout the world.

Fast Growing Pond Plants:

The Frogbit

Frogbit seems to be the same in appearance as the Water Lilies, but they are very small in size. The leaves form rosettes which surround a white flower that blooms in the seasons of July and August.

The leaves also sit on the surface of beautiful ponds, providing shelter for any water-dwelling organisms in your pond.

It should be planted just like Water Lilies, in a pot (pond in a pot) with a substrate, in the shallow regions of your pond.

Frogbit has the ability to tolerate a wide variety of water parameters. Its growth rate is also fast. Frogbit has truly become a huge species in the great lakes of North America and also in Canada.

Duckweed for Your Ponds

Duckweed is a small species of floating plant and is often found in large masses in lakes, ponds, rivers, and indoor ponds. It is also a floating plant for aquariums.

They are probably the easiest species to keep as the only things they require are light and nutrients within the water body. When they possess each of these things, some individuals can quickly transform into many as they are asexual. They can multiply readily via a method called vegetative reproduction.

These plants plus aid in water filtration by absorbing excess nutrients and harmful elements. The roots will also provide a safe place for the juvenile fry of fish like Guppies to hide amongst.

Easy Maintenance Pond Plants:

Corkscrew Rush Plant

This species is an evergreen perennial species that forms clusters of corkscrew-like, leafless stems.

It will generate little clumps of brown flowers in the summer season.

The Corkscrew Rush plant is easy to plant on any type of substrate along with the border of a pond. There the root systems of this plant can be kept moist enough for their healthy growth.

It provides a truly natural look to your pond while also providing a decent habitat for any creatures occupying the area around the borders of the pond.

This can be easily propagated through the separation of their rhizomes which can be replanted.

Water Lettuce Pond Plant

Water Lettuce produces fuzzy, lime-green rosettes of leaves that seem like very little floating heads of lettuce. No hidden secrets to growing. You only have to let this pond plant float on the surface of your pond water with its roots dangling below.

They generate babies throughout the summer and might be shared with friends or moved to container water gardens. Hardy in 9-11 Zones.

The Water Lettuce is a green floating plant that seems like the vegetable after which it is named Water Cabbage.

It has thick but very soft leaves which provide it the design of opening lettuce or cabbage. This type of plant is found available in tropical freshwater bodies of Africa, South America, Southeast Asia to Indonesia.

They can easily populate almost every tropical freshwater body. So they are termed as an invasive species.

They are very easy to care for and providing you have a decent amount of light and add pond plant fertilizers to the water, it will reproduce in no time.

Water Taro Plant

Several kinds of Taro are obtainable for your pond and do well fully to part with the sun. This can be a tropical plant suited to Zones 8-11, however, colder climes will bring the plant within throughout the winter months.

This spectacular, leafy water lover grows to about 48″ and continually makes a striking look in the water garden.

Choosing Cardinal Flower

Plant this beautiful flower on the shallow edges of your pond and watch the birds flock to that. Deep burgundy foliage generates colorful red flowers. The leaves of Cardinal Flower are up to 8″ long. This plant can grow as tall as 3 feet. Gulfport ms Cardinal flowers perform best in Zones 5 to 9.

Mosaic Plant

The stunning Mosaic Plant consists of green and red diamond-shaped leaves in 3-6″ wide rosettes. During the summertime, this floating plant produces sunny yellow cup-shaped flowers.

Simple to grow, the plant gives a place for your finned friends to cover underneath. Being a tropical plant, Mosaic is hardy in Zones 11-12.

Water Hyacinth

Water Hyacinth is an aquatic species that is native to South America. It is found in the Southern United States, it is classified as an invasive species that is found in the ponds and slow-flowing water bodies.

It is a floating plant that is able to grow quickly when exposed to direct sun. Its huge green leaves appear to float on the water. They also possess an upright stem that has beautiful blue and purple flowers that have a yellow central.

Under the surface, black roots can grow to a length of 12 inches. This is a great environment for fry of fish such asthe platyfishto hide within.


Are water plants beneficial for ponds?

Plants that float provide shade as well as filter the water. They take up extra nutrients and are beautiful in ponds. Deep-water emergent plants rise from the bottom before blooming over the water. They offer shade, cover, and break down the nutrients that algae thrive upon. Marginal or bog plants are also beneficial.

How do you take care of pond water plants?

Floating plants are easy. Water Hyacinths Water Lettuce, Azolla, and other plants that are floating are best placed in a shaded location for a period of two days, allowing the plants to rehydrate prior to placing them in direct sunlight. Bunched plants keep their stems submerged. They will grow roots and are able to be planted or tied.

Are pond plants helpful in keeping the pond clean?

The correct pond plants can improve the quality of water by removing pollutants, absorption of nutrients, and oxygenating water. While they can help make your pond appear more attractive They are actually vital to the ecosystem and help in maintaining it.

Are too many aquatic plants bad for ponds?

A high number of aquatic plants can wreak havoc on the ecosystem of a pond and could result in fish dying.

What plants would be ideal for the smallest water pond?

The best plants for a small pond are:
Sweetflag, Dwarf Variegated
Pickerel Plant
Taro, Red-stemmed
Yerba Mansa
Cardinal Flower
Water Lettuce
Water Hyacinth
Helvola Waterlily
Dwarf Papyrus
Parrots Feather

Brief Summary

A variety of different areas within your pond can be occupied by plants, from being completely submerged within the water of your pond to free-floating at the surface of the water.

Some prefer deeper water and others prefer shallow water which provides them a bigger room to grow.

The various species that we discussed throughout this article also have various works within a pond’s ecosystem. They may provide substantial filtration, and also provide fish shade from the sunlight, shelter from predation, and a room for them to lay their eggs.

Again, they can absorb extra nutrients from the pond water that otherwise might be consumed by unnecessary algae. It resulted in green water instead of a crystal-clear pond. Fish that eat algae such as Siamese Algae Eaters may also help to regulate algae in your pond.

What are your favorite aquatic pond plants? Let us know in the comments section below…


Dibyajyoti Bordoloi is the creator and author of, a third-generation experienced fish keeper and owner of a successful pet breeding farm. He is also a member of the Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation And Conservation (Assam), the Marine Aquarium Societies of North East India, and the Kaziranga Nature Conservancy of Assam.

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