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Five pond plants

Water enhances any garden, and there's a wide range of aquatic plants that will thrive in a pond – be it fully submerged, floating on the surface or growing on the pond edge, as a 'marginal'. Discover five plants for garden ponds, and how to grow them.

If you have a garden pond, no matter how small or large, then you'll be able to grow aquatic plants. In addition to looking attractive, pond plants can provide useful surface cover and shelter for aquatic wildlife.

Grow pond plants in aquatic compost, topped with grit, and be sure to choose plants that are suited for the space you have available. The required planting depth varies from species to species, with some plants needing just 2.5cm (1in) of water above their crown, and others needing 30cm (12in) or more.

Water forget-me-not

Water forget-me-not, Myosotis scorpioides

From May to July, Myositis scorpioides produces blue forget-me-not flowers. It can be planted in water, to a depth of 7.5cm (3in) or in wet mud at a pond margin. It can be divided or grown from seed in spring.

Carex elata

Carex elata 'Aurea'

'Aurea' is a vigorous, long-lasting sedge, with vivid yellow-green foliage. Allow to reach its required size and divide when necessary. If kept in a small pond, it will probably need to be divided every two years.


Brooklime, Veronica beccabunga

This pretty British native bears delicate blue flowers from May to July. Plants will look best if plants are renewed from cuttings every year (cuttings should be taken from new, leggy stems).

Water iris

Iris pseudacorus 'Berlin Tiger'

'Berlin Tiger' bears eye-catching yellow flowers with brown markings. The rhizomes should be divided every two years, after the plant has flowered in June.

Nymphaea 'Pygmaea Helvola'

Nymphaea 'Pygmaea Helvola'

This miniature water lily spreads about 30cm (12in), with each flower and leaf being just 2.5cm (1in) in size. Given a sunny position it will flower from June to September, each flower lasting 2-3 days. Plant with 15cm (6in) of water above the crown.

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Talkback: Five pond plants
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happylady 24/11/2011 at 15:28

Excellent. Have already got a lot of these plants in my ponds. How do I get rid of murky water? Not an algae problem as this is not evident and I introduce an algae product to control this when it happens. Do I need more oxygenating plants and do they need to be in full sunlight?

kathryn.brock 24/11/2011 at 15:28

I am still unclear which two oxygenating plants will suit my small pond. They will be replacing a water feature . The pond will also have three goldfish and a resident frog in summer. Pleaase can you suggest suitable oxygenators which won't be too rampant. Thank you.

gothic234 24/11/2011 at 15:29

i am going to build a pond and this has been realy helpfull :)

mary walton 18/04/2014 at 21:25

Do you need oxygenating plants to keep your water clear o r do you still need a filter

Dovefromabove 19/04/2014 at 08:30

Our new pond is a wildlife pond and has no fish.  It doesn't have a filter, we're using lots of oxygenating plants, principally UK native hornwort, water violet and frogbit.  We get them from here