As it becomes ever more difficult to find and maintain clean water, the world’s demand for plants that can help is growing. This article will provide some of the best plants for a variety of garden types with plenty of pictures to inspire you!

Water gardens are a great way to add some life and personality to your backyard. They can be as simple or as complex as you want them to be. Here is our list of the best plants for water gardens. Read more in detail here: best plants to grow in pots.

Have you ever thought you could have a water garden in your yard to enjoy the tranquility of a pond? We’ve got the greatest water garden plants to help you realize your dream.

Water gardens are often designed to replicate natural freshwater aquatic environments like ponds and streams.

You may personalize your water garden by selecting your favorite blooming plants and shrubs, in addition to adding landscaping components such as rock features. There are several alternatives available. Choose plants that thrive in damp regions with moist, rocky soil.

We’ve made it our mission in this post to assist you in choosing the ideal plants for your water garden!

Contents Table of Contents


Pond Plants That Work


A pond ecosystem is what a water garden is. This implies that, like a natural pond, it will be susceptible to algal invasion unless you take steps to avoid it.

The good news is that you may maintain a healthy environment in your water garden without using excessive pesticides. Plants, rocks, and fish, believe it or not, may help keep the water clean.

Algae is prevented by some aquatic plants, such as water lilies. Carbon dioxide will be absorbed by these plants, which will then release oxygen into the water. Their lengthy roots absorb other surplus nutrients in the water, cleaning it and making it clear enough to cast a reflection once again.

Some of the greatest plants for water gardens and ponds are listed here. These plants are not only attractive, but they also play an important role in maintaining a healthy ecology in your water garden.

Frogbit 1


European Frogbit may attract a few amphibians to your drinking place, as its name suggests. It will produce little, gorgeous white blossoms that will seem to float on the water’s surface.

2. Hyacinth Water


Water Hyacinth, like ordinary Hyacinth, produces lovely purple blooms. By include this plant in your water garden, your pond will resemble an artist’s canvas covered in layers of purple paint.

Lotus Flowers No. 3


Lotus blooms have a timeless character that will add simple beauty to your landscape. Lotus flowers may be seen in many Asian-style gardens. Their lovely blossoms are referred to as “emergent” because they rise above the water’s surface (unlike Waterlilies, which float on the surface).

4. Lettuce de l’eau


Water Lettuce is one of the most modest species of floating pond plants, as its name suggests. Waterlilies and Lotus flowers, which are often found in beautiful ponds, are more fashionable and vibrant. Its leaves, on the other hand, are well-crafted and appealing.

It will also assist in the natural and efficient purification of your water.

Waterlilies, no. 5


Waterlilies, in our view, are the archetypal water garden plant. Their lengthy aquatic roots will reach all the way to the pond’s bottom, while the blossoms will float lightly on the top.

Claude Monet, a French impressionist painter, made waterlilies renowned across the globe by painting enormous canvases filled with them. His waterlily paintings were inspired by his own rich water gardens in Giverny, France, where he lived and worked.

These lovely water plants bring back childhood memories of collecting bullfrogs and rowing in a rowboat on a hot summer day.

Plants that grow on the edges

Let’s look at some more marginal plant choices. These plants will grow at the edges of ponds and other freshwater habitats such as bogs and streams.

Duckweed, no. 6


Long, silky, billowy leaves rise from the water and bend in the wind, giving duckweed its name. This plant will assist to keep your water garden free of algae. It will also give your water garden the appearance of a natural pond right away.

Iris with a Yellow Flag


Depending on your planting zone, there are various types of Iris that will flourish in a water garden. Rabbit-Ear Iris, Southern Blue Flag Iris, and Rocky Mountain Iris are all popular Iris kinds.

The roots of an Iris need a lot of space to spread out. If your water garden container isn’t very big, try putting Iris flowers around the edges rather than in the pond itself.

8. Phlox


Perennials with strong roots, such as Phlox and Iris, may dig deep into rocky soil, take hold, and thrive for years to come. Phlox petals have a charming old-fashioned farmhouse aspect that goes well with rustic-style water gardens.

Tiger Lilies (nine)


These orange Tiger Lilies will provide your water garden drama and fun. They are very tough and may grow to be almost twice as tall as Daylilies. Their name comes from their bright orange hue, which is flecked with black flecks.

Horsetails, no. 10


At the boundaries of your water garden, marsh and river plants will naturally filter the water. Horsetails provide texture as well as function. At dawn and sunset, their form will produce a fascinating shadow surrounding your water garden or pond.

11. Marigold Marsh


These vibrant, bright blooms may be found at the edges of riverbeds and wetlands. Buttercups are similar to marsh marigolds, however they are much more resilient plants. These blooms’ brilliant yellow tones would look lovely bordering any water garden.

Astilbe (Goat’s Beard) No. 12


Goat’s Beard, commonly known as Astilbe, thrives in partially shaded water gardens. This shade-loving plant provides an airy, fluffy appearance to any environment surrounding a water garden with its plume-like blossoms. The likeness to a goat’s beard is accurate here, although Astilbe comes in a variety of hues other than white.

Hostas (13).


Hostas line the edges of this water garden. Hostas are a sturdy option with its wide variegated leaves, long stems, and lovely light purple blooms. They thrive in shadier regions with moist soils that drain well. Hostas will provide interest and depth to the edges of your pond or outdoor water garden.

Cardinal Flower No. 14


Cardinal Flower, or Lobelia cardinalis, is a vibrant hue of scarlet red. It’s called after a male cardinal’s vivid red plumage, as you would expect. Cardinal flowers are also excellent attractor plants for butterflies and hummingbirds.

The nectar from this flower will be particularly appealing to Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. Plant it near your pond or water garden, and you could just see a hummingbird doing just that!

Algae Overgrowth Prevention

Let’s look at some more strategies to keep your water garden clean now that we’ve gone through some of the most attractive and purifying water garden plants.

Mix in some fish and rocks.


Koi fish eat algae, so adding them to your water garden is another fantastic method to maintain it naturally aerated and algae-free. Plus, with their dazzling gold and amber coloring, these fish are absolutely gorgeous to look at.

Beneficial bacteria that naturally break down organic detritus like leaves, mosquito larvae, and dirt find a home in rocks. This debris may build up in your water garden over time, particularly during hot, humid weather.

Plants, fish, and rocks will all help you build and maintain a healthy pond ecology in your water garden. It’s crucial to remember, however, that nature operates on its own schedule. Some things just cannot be hurried, and excellent things are well worth the wait.

Allow enough time for each of the components — fish, aquatic plants, and naturally occurring bacteria – to filter the water. This procedure might take many weeks to complete. In the end, your water garden will have a healthy environment.

Filters, pumps, and clarifiers for ponds

However, if you want to reduce the amount of time you spend maintaining your water garden so you can start enjoying it right away, you might consider installing a filtering system to keep the water pure. The water will not get stagnant with the use of a pump. Meanwhile, the filter will filter out any natural trash that may find its way into your pond.

By giving back oxygen, preventing additional algae build-up, and eliminating dead algae blooms, an effective filtering system with a clarifier will keep the water aerated. This is necessary to prevent mosquitos and other water-loving insects from settling in your water garden and laying eggs.

On Amazon, you may find an example of a submersible pond filtration system.

Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / Last update on 2022-02-18

Because it incorporates a water pump, a filtration system, and a built-in UV clarifier for algae removal, this is an excellent all-in-one option. A gorgeous water fountain with automated LED lighting is also included.

Additional Cleaning Products

If you have little children who like playing in the yard, you already know how important it is to maintain your water garden clean and insect-free. Other items that may be used in combination with filtering water garden plants include:

Clarifiers with UV

Consider using a UV clarifier in addition to some of the finest plants for water gardens to maintain your water garden free of algae. A UV clarifier uses the sun’s natural ultraviolet rays to help prevent green algae blooms.

Clarifiers with UV work in conjunction with a full filtration system. The clarifier prevents green algae from reproducing, then sends the dead algae into your filtration system where it can be processed and removed from your pond. The best part is that it takes only a few minutes to install. You can place it out of sight so that it is not visible in your water garden.


TetraPond UVC-18 GreenFree Clarifiers with UV, Up To 4400 Gallons, 18-Watt

  • UV CLARIFYING LIGHT: An ultraviolet clarifier maintains ponds and water gardens clean and green-free by controlling excessive algae blooms.
  • UV BULB WITH HIGH EFFICIENCY: UV bulb with up to 11 months of continuous operation.
  • REFLECTIVE SURFACE: Stainless-steel inlay that enhances UV exposure.
  • LIMITED WARRANTY: This UL Listed device comes with a 3-year limited warranty. For further information, read the box.
  • USAGE: Up to 4,400 gallon ponds.

Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / Last update on 2022-02-16

Starter Filter Tablets

It’s also a good idea to add Starter Filter Tablets to your filtration system. Although it’s not absolutely necessary, these tablets will add beneficial bacteria back into your pond. If you are already installing a mechanical filtration system, Starter Filter Tablets will not entail much more of an additional cost.


Tetra Pond Submersible Flat Box Filter for Ponds of 250 to 500 Gallon

  • SUBMERSIBLE FILTER: Flat box filter maintains pond water pure and clean by preventing pump blockage.
  • Coarse and fine foam pads, tubing, and three hose fittings are included in the kit.
  • VERSATILE: Fits a variety of pump inlets and is simple to clean.
  • A 1-year limited warranty is included; see product box for details.
  • USAGE: For ponds up to 500 gallons, this product is ideal.

Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / Last update on 2022-02-18

Natural Clarifier for Koi Ponds

Even if you opt to build a mechanical filtration system, clarifier, and pump, you may still add fish, rocks, and plants to organically filter your water garden. If you have fish in your water garden, however, you should use a UV Clarifier designed specifically for koi ponds.

Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / Last update on 2022-02-18

What’s the bottom line? Natural components like rocks, fish, and the greatest water garden plants may work together with a mechanical filtration system, pump, and clarifier to maintain your pond in top form.

Garden and Wildlife Watering

“Will a water garden bring more animals to my yard?” you may question. Yes, although it relies in part on the sorts of plants you pick.

On a hot summer day, thirsty creatures may be tempted to your water garden in search of a drink. This includes your dog, who will almost certainly see it as an excellent chance to suck, splash, and cool down.

We can’t guarantee that your dog will stay out of your water garden. However, if you wish to attract beautiful animals like birds or butterflies, several of the greatest plants for water gardens also serve as natural food sources for these critters.

To attract birds and butterflies, put native blooming plants such as joe-pye weed, black-eyed Susan, bee-balm, and cardinal flowers in the area around your water garden.

Meanwhile, if you don’t mind dragonflies (who are temporary visitors and one of the most attractive insects), try planting a few plants to attract them. Pickerelweed, sweet flag, and soft rush are all plants that attract dragonflies to your pond or water garden.

Last Thoughts

Include some of the finest plants for water gardens in your yard to really create the true appearance and feel of a pond. Most importantly, these plants will transform your water garden into a gorgeous, natural watering place in your own backyard. Then just sit back and enjoy the beauty of nature all around you!

The “pond plants near me” is a list of plants that are best for water gardens. The list includes images to spark ideas!

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  • plants that grow in water without soil
  • water garden plants
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