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.
Pickerelweed is an excellent in-pond or very-wet boggy-spot perennial plant
Floating or Bottom Planted Water Garden Plants
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.
Water Lettuce will tolerate more shade than hyacinths.
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.
Duckweed is perfect fish food, easy to grow and great for the pond.
Salvinia is a fast spreading noxious weed we would do well to consider before putting into our ponds (particularly in warmer climates).
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.
Vallisneria or Eel-Grass are planted directly on the pond bottom to form a mat of green leaves.
Arrowhead or Sagittaria latifolia has arrow shaped leaves and grows almost anywhere it is wet. Here are the details.
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.
Buckbean or Menyanthes is an easy plant to grow if you give it acidic soils. Here are the rest of the details.
Pickerelweed has always been one of my favourite pond plants. Here’s how to grow it.
Scouring Rush is an interesting but aggressive spreading plant that should always be grown in a container.
Lysichiton or Skunk Cabbage are one of the larger leaved plants for boggy areas. Here’s the trick to get those monster leaves.
Water Celery or Oenanthe is easily grown (a bit invasive) and the variety’Flamingo’ has multi-colored leaves.
Overwintering Floating Plants
Overwintering floating plants – the two things you need to do