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, with advice on 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, Myosotis scorpioides
From May to July, Myositis scorpioides produces blue forget-me-not flowers. Grow it in water, to a depth of 7.5cm (3in), or in wet mud at the pond margin. It can be divided or grown from seed. Newts use the leaves to lay their eggs in spring.
Pale-blue water forget-me-not flowers
Carex elata ‘Aurea’
Carex elata ‘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 they’re renewed from cuttings every year (cuttings should be taken from new, leggy stems). Newts use the leaves to lay their eggs in spring.
Oval, serrated leaves of brooklime
Iris pseudacorus ‘Berlin Tiger’
Flag iris, Iris pseudacorus, is a fantastic choice for a large pond. ‘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.
Deep-yellow flag iris bloom
From May to September Nymphaea ‘Hermine’ bears large, star-shaped pure white flowers in contrast with large olive-green leaves. The flowers are good for pollinators and the leaves make a good landing pad for bees and other insects. Ideal for medium-sized ponds, grow it in water depths of 30-75cm.
White water lily ‘Hermine’