Plants in a water garden not only provide beauty and naturalization, but they also help balance the pond ecosystem. Even a small pond will benefit from the beauty of aquatic plants. We’ve selected our top favorites that do well in smaller aquatic foot prints.
Variegated Sweet Flag
Also known as golden Japanese sweet flag, the beautiful foliage is light green and highlighted with bright yellow stripes, remaining beautiful all season. Since it tolerates some shade, you can use Dwarf Variegated Sweetflag to brighten shady areas of your water garden, while adding texture and color to the borders and edges of your pond. Does well in Zones 6 to 11, tolerates some shade, and grows 8 to 12 inches tall. An all-around great plant that adds a bright, cheerful spot to any water feature!
Along with other floating plants, water lettuce is an easy care aquatic plant that doesn’t need potting or really much attention at all. It just floats along in your pond, quietly soaking up nutrients helping to prevent the excessive growth of algae. It also shades the water, helping keep it cool while providing a cozy hiding place for the fish that live in the pond. It does best in some shade and is hardy in Zones 9-11.
A tiny yellow waterlily with flowers 2-3″ in diameter, the Helvola waterlily is perfect for smaller ponds. It blooms from spring until frost, loves full sun, and is hardy in Zones 3 through 12.
Rounded, light green leaves form a mat along the edge of the pond in shallow water and beautifully drape over rocks in a stream. Creeping Jenny grows about 1 to 3″ in height and is a favorite among water gardeners for its low-maintenance characteristic. You’ll love its bright color against the cool waters of the pond. Hardy in Zones 4-10.
The most popular of the submerged plants, the anacharis grows rooted in the pond substrate or potted in sand. It has tiny white flowers that develop on the surface of the water in the summer. Each stem has short, thin leaves whorled around it, like a bottle brush. Anacharis is hardy in Zones 5-11.
Yellow Water Snowflake
Yellow Water Snowflake has very frilly, star-shaped yellow flowers, green leaves, and is hardy in Zones 5-11. This free flowering plant has a fast-growing, running spreading habit so you may need to trim it back from time to time. Ideally it grows in 4 to 24 inches of water.
Aquatic Forget Me Not
Pretty blue flowers about ¼” in diameter sit atop velvety leaves and thrive in full to part sun. Plant these charmers near the edge of the pond and they’ll bloom all summer.
You may think of impatiens as a terrestrial plant, but these dainty flowers do quite well planted as an aquatic marginal. These cheery shade lovers can be planted in between rocks or at the edges of a stream. They’ll mound as they grow and create a striking focal point in any pond.