Alphabetical Plant Listing

Guides: Ponds and Streams


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Water Iris, Iris ensata, Japanese Iris, Iris sibirica, Siberian Iris, Louisiana Iris, Iris laevigata, Iris fulva, Iris pseudoacorus, Iris versicolor, Blue Flag Iris, Iris Virginica, Iris brevicaulis

Irises for the Water Garden

Blooming from late spring to mid summer, depending upon cultivar and geographic location, water irises make an attractive backdrop for any pond thanks to their architectural foliage and colorful flowers in shade of white, blue, purple, lavender, red or yellow.

Dwarf Nymphaea, Dwarf Waterlily, Dwarf Water Lily, Miniature Nymphaea, Miniature Waterlily, Miniature Water Lily, Hardy Nymphaea, Small Ponds, Container Gardening

Dwarf and Miniature Hardy Water Lilies

Dwarf and Miniature Hardy Water Lilies are ideally suited to growing in small ponds, tubs or container gardens in a sheltered, sunny site. Blooming from early summer to early fall, they grow mainly in 6-18 in. of water (15-45 cm).

Medium to Large Nymphaea, Medium to Large Waterlily, Medium to Large Water Lily, Hardy Nymphaea, Medium Ponds, Large Ponds

Medium to Large Hardy Water Lilies

Medium to Large Hardy Water Lilies are ideally suited to growing in large or medium-sized garden ponds in a sheltered, sunny site. Blooming from early summer to early fall, they grow mainly in 12-36 in. of water (30-90 cm).

Heavy Blooming Nymphaea, Heavy Blooming Waterlily, Heavy Blooming Water Lily, Hardy Nymphaea, Medium Ponds, Large Ponds, Small Ponds

Profuse Blooming Hardy Water Lilies

These hardy water lilies are profuse bloomers that work well in small, medium or large ponds. To promote more blooms, make sure you follow these rules

Free-Floating Pond Plants, Floating Plants, Aquatic Plants, Mosquito Fern, Duckweed, Frogbit, Mosaic Flower, Water Mimosa, Water Lettuce, Floating Fern

Free-Floating Pond Plants

Floating plants add visual interest to ponds or water gardens in terms of color, texture or flowers. These plants develop extensive root systems that filter dissolved mineral salts and other nutrients directly from the water and are often used as part of an algae-control regimen.

Waterlily-Like Pond Plants, Lily-like Pond Plants, Nymphoides, Water Poppy, Mosaic Plant, Water Snowflake, Yellow Water Snowflake, Water Hawthorne

Waterlily-Like Pond Plants

Waterlily-like pond plants are attractive aquatic perennials with leaves and flowers floating on the water, just like water lilies. They produce rhizomes, tubers and roots that grow in soil several inches to several feet below the water surface. They hold their small flowers on or above the water surface. However, they are not technically members of the waterlily family (Nymphaea). They differ in plant shape and habit, flower size and color.

Shade Nymphaea, Shade Waterlily, Shade Water Lily, Shade Aquatic Plants, Shade Pond Plants, Hardy Nymphaea, Hardy Water lilies, Hardy Waterlilies

Shade Tolerant Hardy Water Lilies

Most water lilies typically need a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight in order to produce their spectacular blooms. However, some will flower in part shade with between 4-6 hours of sunlight daily. None grow in deep shade with less than 3 hours of sunlight each day.

Submerged Aquatic Pond Plants, bacopa,cabomba, Coon's Tail, Eleocharis, Elodea, Waterweed, Ludwigia, Myriophyllum, Pondweed, Potamogeton, Ranunculus, White Waer Crowfoot, Vallisneria

Submerged Aquatic Pond Plants

As their name suggests, submerged aquatic plants are macrophytes that grow primarily below the water’s surface. Some species are rooted to bottom sediments and others are free-floating. They come in all shapes and sizes and perform several vital functions in water gardens. They provide habitat for fish and wildlife, increase water clarity by successfully competing with green algae for nutrients, increase or decrease dissolved oxygen concentrations, depending on abundance and the availability of light.

Marginal Pond Plants, Marginal Aquatic Plants, Emergent Plants, Acorus, Sweet Flag, Water Arum, Marsh Marigold, Canna, Carex, Colocasia, Crinum, Cyperus, Papyrus, Hibiscus

Marginal Aquatic Plants for 2 inches (5 cm) of Water

Marginal aquatic plants, also known as emergent plants, thrive in shallow water near the edges of ponds and water gardens. Their roots grow under water but their foliage and flowers emerge above. Useful to add splashes of color throughout the growing season with their lush foliage, variegated leaves or showy flowers, marginal aquatic plants can be quite specific about the depth of water they need. Here is a list of marginal aquatic plants that can grow in standing water up to 2 in. (5 cm) deep.

Marginal Pond Plants, Marginal Aquatic Plants, Emergent Plants, Acorus, Sweet Flag, Canna, Carex, Colocasia, Crinum, Cyperus, Papyrus, Hibiscus, Bog Bean, Creeping Jenny

Marginal Aquatic Plants for 6 inches (15 cm) of Water

Marginal aquatic plants, also known as emergent plants, thrive in shallow water near the edges of ponds and water gardens. Their roots grow under water but their foliage and flowers emerge above. Useful to add splashes of color throughout the growing season with their lush foliage, variegated leaves or showy flowers, marginal aquatic plants can be quite specific about the depth of water they need. Here is a list of marginal aquatic plants that can grow in standing water up to 6 in. (15 cm) deep.

Marginal Pond Plants, Marginal Aquatic Plants, Emergent Plants, Canna, Water Plantain, Cattails, Typha, Yellow Iris, Bog Bean, Red Stemmed Thalia, Pontederia

Marginal Aquatic Plants for 10 inches (25 cm) of Water

Marginal aquatic plants, also known as emergent plants, thrive in shallow water near the edges of ponds and water gardens. Their roots grow under water but their foliage and flowers emerge above. Useful to add splashes of color throughout the growing season with their lush foliage, variegated leaves or showy flowers, marginal aquatic plants can be quite specific about the depth of water they need. Here is a list of marginal aquatic plants that can grow in standing water up to 10 in. (25 cm) deep.

Water Garden Plants, Floating Plants, Submerged Aquatic Plants, Water Lilies, Lotus, Marginal Aquatics, Water Irises. Pond Plants, Aquatic Plants

Water Garden Plants

When creating a water garden you must consider the needs of the plants you will use, the chemistry of the water and the requirements of other living creatures (fish, frogs and others). Not all aquatic plants are alike. There are 5 main groups of plants. Here is a simplified list to help you create a beautiful water garden.

Candelabra Primroses, Bog Garden Primulas, Primula bulleyana, Primula beesiana, Primula japonica, Primula florindae, Primula pulverulenta, Tall Primroses, Tall Primulas, Wet Soils

Candelabra Primulas (Primroses)

Candelabra primulas are majestic perennial plants noted for their eye-catching flowers carried in numerous whorls up their strong stems, like a wedding cake. Very hardy and long lived, they enjoy a long flowering season extending from late spring to midsummer, depending on varieties. Clump forming, they grow up to 1-3 ft. tall (30-90 cm) and self-sow profusely, ensuring that your display continues year after year. They are happiest in bog gardens, near ponds and streams and grow well in damp shady borders. USDA Zones: 4-8.

Iris ensata (Japanese Iris)

Native to Japan, Japanese Irises (Iris ensata) are among the most elegant and breathtaking Irises. More refined and less conspicuous than the Tall Bearded Irises, these Beardless Irises feature huge orchid-like flowers that are a delight to gaze at.

Nymphaea (Water Lilies)

The world of water lilies is rich in color palette, shapes, sizes, blooming patterns and growing periods. There is literally a water lily for every pond, large container, tub or water garden.

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