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Great Water Plants to Put in a Backyard Pond

There is nothing more relaxing than sitting near a pond. Many people find it relaxing to read a book, have a picnic, or sit still by a pond. In fact, studies have shown that ponds can help relieve stress and even save on doctor bills since it relieves your stress. If you happen to have a pond in your backyard, you may be interested in improving it. There are so many ways to improve your backyard pond. From landscaping around it to adding some colorful fish, the ideas are endless. One idea you may be interested in is adding water plants into your pond. There are many types of water plants that are perfect for ponds. In this article, let's take a look at some great pond plants to add to your backyard pond. Let's dive in.

Home and Garden

10 Water Plants to Put in Your Pond

1. Creeping Jenny Pond Plants

Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia) is a very popular water plant. Its round, shiny Chartreuse leaves clasp to each side of its stem, creating a unique look. Creeping Jenny enjoys very moist soil or water up to one-inch deep. Growing approximately two inches in height, Creeping Jenny is a great filler to soften edges of rocks, as well as grow directly in the water. Tiny yellow flowers appear on the plant throughout the summer. Creeping Jenny is a perennial and best used in Zones 3-10.

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Image Source: Pond Megastore

2. Horsetail Pond Plants

Horsetail, also called Scouring Rush, has dark green foliage with intermittent horizontal black bands. Extremely cold tolerant, it will grow in wet or dry soil but does not tolerate water above the crown of the plant. Therefore, this is not recommended for growing in deep ponds where the water will be above the plant. In the fall, cut the plant all the way down to the ground to keep the spores from spreading. New growth appears in the spring and is a brighter green.

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3. Water Lettuce

Water lettuce is a tropical aquatic plant, thriving in warm water (72-86F) and only growing when the water temperature is above 60F. It is extremely frost-sensitive and will not tolerate freezing temperatures. Therefore, this is not recommended for zones where the weather will get extremely cold. Water Lettuce produces fuzzy, lime-green rosettes of leaves that look like little floating heads of lettuce. Unlike many of the other water plants, Water Lettuce will float all by itself in the water. Being a floating plant, water lettuce obtains all it's nutrients directly from the water. The long feathery roots also make great shelter for young fish and other wildlife. However, if fish nibble on the roots too much, the plant will die.

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4. Cardinal Flower

While cardinal flowers do not do well growing in the water, they grow well by the water where the soil is moist. They need moist, fertile soil, and perhaps some organic matter in the soil. Set out new plants in the spring, spacing them about a foot apart. Keep the soil very moist as the seedlings become established. A layer of organic mulch around the plants will help prevent water evaporation. Due to its bright red color and sweet nectar, this plant is attractive to birds such as the hummingbird. Caring for the cardinal flower is fairly easy. Make sure the soil always stays moist, as the cardinal flower will quickly die without moist soil.

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5. Pickerel Rush

Pickerelweed plants are rushes that are closely related to grasses. When the plant is partially submerged in the water, the floating leaves provide important shade to prevent excess algae growth. They also grow a large amount of foliage, which your fish can hide in. Therefore, it is one of the best plants for fish ponds, since it provides a hiding place for fish. Pickerel rush grows best when the soils are heavy and rich. Loamy soils with moderate to slightly acidic pH create the best growing conditions for the plant. Pickerel plants are very hardy and can handle almost anything except for full shade and drought.

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Image Source: The Pond Guy

6. Taro Pond Plants

Also known as Elephant Ear, Taro pond plants are another popular water plant for ponds. There are several varieties of Taro available. They do well in full to part sun. This is a tropical plant suited for Zones 8-11. This leafy water plant grows to about 36" and is very beautiful looking.

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Image Source: Amazon

7. Mosaic Plant

The Mosaic plant has yellow flowers that bloom from June to August. Like some of the other water plants I mentioned of, this plant floats in the water. It is important that it gets plenty of light because it will die if there is too much shade. As long as your pond is located in a sunny area, this plant is a great addition for your backyard pond.

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Image Source: Koiphen

8. Pitcher Plant

The Pitcher plant is designed to be grown in the ground surrounding the pond. In very shallow ponds, you can also grow pitcher plant in a pot and place the pot in the water. The soil must be kept moist. Perhaps the most interesting feature of the pitcher plant is that it is a carnivore. It has tall, narrow pitchers that attract insects. Once an insect falls down the pitcher, it is quickly digested by the plant's enzymes.

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9. Ogon Golden Sweet Flag

Ogon golden sweet flag is a grass-like plant with variegated leaves. It forms a low tuft or mound of narrow sword-shaped leaves. This water plant grows best in shallow, standing water. In colder climates, some leaf tips may need to be trimmed with scissors in the spring. This will keep your plant tidy looking. If clumps begin to thin out in the center, plan on dividing them during the spring.

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10. Water Lilies

Of all the water plants available, water lilies are probably the most popular. Not only are they so pretty, but they also provide shade and protection for fish, as well as a spot to land for frogs and insects. You can plant water lilies in pots and sink the pots into the pond, or plant the rhizomes directly into the muddy soil at the bottom of the pond. In landscape ponds with a pond liner or other artificial bottom, growing water lilies in pots is ideal. Clay-like soil is the most suitable potting soil for aquatic plants like water lilies. Water lilies grow well in 18 to 24 inches of water.

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How to Care for Water Plants

Every water plant is different, but for most pond plants, the most important tip is to keep the soil moist. This won't be a problem if the plant is in the water, but for plants along the pond, you may need to water them every once in a while. Make sure you do some research on the plant you are caring for to find out if there are any other care tips you should be following. Some water plants thrive in sunny locations, while others prefer more shade. Consider which water plants will work best for you before you purchase any.

When winter comes, some water plants may not survive. If possible, try to put some of your water plants in and pot and move them inside. During this time indoors, make sure you still follow the same care instructions by keeping the soil moist and providing mostly sun or shade. Depending on the type of aquatic pond plants you have, some of them may survive the winter. If you notice any of your water plants have died during the winter, replace them in the spring with new plants.

Where to Buy Water Plants

Now that you know the different types of pond plants available, you may be wondering where to buy water plants. There are many online stores that sell water plants. You can find some types of water plants on Amazon for an inexpensive price. The Pond Guy is another popular online store that sells water plants. If you look around at garden stores, you may be able to find water plants too.

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Final Thoughts

If you have a backyard pond, you may be interested in landscaping around it. One great way to improve the look of your backyard pond is to add some water plants. There are many water plants available. In this article, I went over ten of the most popular water plants to consider putting in your backyard pond. Remember to do some research about the plants you are considering buying. Some water plants don't do well in certain zones or locations. Also, consider if you have fish in your pond. While most water plants will be safe for your fish, some plants may die if the fish eat the foliage too much.

Once you know which water plants you will be getting, begin shopping at local garden centers or online. There are many online stores that sell water plants. The Pond Guy is one of the most popular online water plant stores. You can also find water plants for sale on Amazon, Walmart, Lowe's, and the Home Depot. I hope this article has answered all your questions about water plants. Water plants are fairly easy to care for and will add some color to your outdoor pond.

Mariann Foster

I am one of our content writers for Everything Backyard. I am a mother and business owner of Big Horn Mountain Alpacas in Wyoming. I love farm life, cutting my own firewood in the mountains, and participating in local trail run races.

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