Floating and Underwater Pond Plants for the Aquascape of Your Dreams

June 17, 2024  |  14 min read

shallow water pond plants

Like a flower bed or your landscape, pond plants need to be trimmed, fertilized, and taken care of throughout the seasons.

However, aquatic plants like water lilies, water hyacinths, and lotus are well worth the extra effort.

And when you find your niche with maintaining your pond plants, you’ll find that working with aquatic plants can be just as fun as planting in the soil.

What are Different Types of Pond Plants?

When it comes to planting pond plants, you have a few options.

For instance, there are floating pond plants, underwater pond plants, and pond plants for around the edge of your pond.

Many pond plants are hardy perennials and will survive year after year.

So long as you cut back dead foliage in the fall, your pond plants will revive again in spring as a healthy beautiful habitat for fish and other wildlife.

Floating Pond Plants

If you like pond plants that are visible at all times, floating pond plants are the way to go.

Some examples of floating pond plants are lettuce and water hyacinth. Both of these water plants spread quickly and fish can hide around their roots.

Another common “floating” pond plant is the water lily.

The leaves of a water lily appear to float on top of pond water but are attached to a long root that goes down to the bottom of the pond.

Water lilies are a popular pond plant and consume many nutrients from pond water, keeping your pond balanced and clean.

Underwater Pond Plants

Underwater pond plants are plants that are or stay mostly submerged.

Red-Stemmed Parrot Feather is an underwater pond plant that grows from the ground up.

Parrot Feather is an oxygenating pond plant, but like lettuce and water hyacinth, can be invasive.

Hornwort, another underwater plant, can also spread quickly and comes with an attached weight to prevent spreading.

Other Types of Pond Plants

Aside from floating or underwater plants, there are pond plants you can place around or near the edge of your pond.

Lotus, for instance, grows in shallow water, and mini cattails are a great option to plant along the far side of your pond.

The following pond plants are all perennials and flourish in 1-4 inches of water:
• Bog Bean
• Dwarf Variegated Sweet Flag
• Corkscrew Rush
• Pickerel Rush
• Micro Cattail
• Cardinal Flower
• Rose Iris
• Blue Rush
• Golden Sweet Flag
• Copper Iris

Where Should I Place Pond Plants?

When you’re deciding on pond plants, it’s important to think about the aesthetic you want for your pond.

Do you want tall pond plants? Floating pond plants? A mixture of both?

As a rule of thumb, tall plants should go on the side of the pond furthest away from you, and smaller low-growing plants should be closest to the viewer.

Arranging your pond plants this way creates a balanced water garden effect for you and your guests to enjoy.

The good news is that whether you have a Recreation Pond, Natural Pond, or Ecosystem Pond, our hardy pond plants are native to this area.

Aquatic plants can also be added to Pondless Waterfalls or Streams and Waterfalls to enhance your aquascape.

This means when you’re planting pond plants, you only need to be mindful of aesthetics and which plants need more shade or sun.

Pond Plants for Water Treatment

When you have a pond, a big priority is keeping your pond water clean and clear.

But you might have the question “What are pond plants for water treatment?”

As a whole, aquatic plants like the Water Forget-me-not, Arrow Arum, Variegated Japanese Iris, Arrowhead Sagitarria, Lizard’s Tail, and Black Truffle Cardinal Flower help balance your pond’s ecosystem.

However, there are pond plants that consume more nutrients from water—plus release oxygen—keeping your pond clean and clear.

A well-balanced pond reduces the chance of algae or muck build-up over time and offers a safe environment for fish, plants, and other wildlife to thrive.

So which pond plants are best for water filtration?

Take a look at our top two recommendations (water lilies and parrot feather) below.

Oxygenating Pond Plants: Water Lilies

As we mentioned early on, water lilies are not only a popular pond plant, but they also consume more nutrients than the other water plants we listed.

Additionally, water lilies offer your pond shade, color, and blooms from June to September.

Although water lilies are hardy perennials, we recommend fertilizing these pond plants once a month for optimal performance.

As a non-invasive oxygenator, water lilies are our first choice for pond plants that naturally provide water purification.

Oxygenating Pond Plants: Red-Stemmed Parrot Feather

Like water lilies, the red-stemmed parrot feather is rooted in the soil of your pond, but the long stems can peak above the surface of the water.

A natural oxygenator, parrot feather consumes unwanted nutrients from your pond and releases oxygen into the water.

However, if not properly maintained, parrot feather can be an invasive pond plant that overtakes your pond’s ecosystem.

Overall, red-stemmed parrot feather is a quick, effective oxygenating pond plant, but comes with its own challenges as an invasive species.

Oxygenating Pond Plants: Hornwort

Another pond balancing plant is hornwort.

Hornwort is an oxygenator that minimizes nutrients and algae in your pond water.

On the flipside, like parrot feather, hornwort can spread quickly, and comes with an attached weight to prevent invasion.

When properly maintained, hornwort cleans out nutrients, releases oxygen, and provides a safe habitat for fish and wildlife.

How to Take Care of Pond Plants

Pond plants aren’t invincible, but many of these water plants are long-lasting perennials that promise years of beauty and enjoyment.

But how do you take care of pond plants over the years? Let’s take a closer look.

Pond Plant Upkeep

Just like perennials in your garden need upkeep, pond plants need to be fertilized and trimmed for optimal results.

Floating plants like lettuce and water hyacinth spread quickly (like zucchini), so these pond plants don’t need much maintenance to thrive.

Similarly, cattails can overtake your pond, which is why we supply mini cattails as a more controllable alternative.

Flowering Pond Plants

Flowering aquatic plants don’t have blooms during the colder months, but during spring, summer, and into fall, these colorful flowers are a beautiful accent piece to your pond.

Pond plants like the lotus, rose iris, copper iris, and cardinal flower bring white, pink, orange, and red flowers to your aquascape.

These bright blooms also draw birds to your pond and keep your backyard waterscape busy with the wildlife you love.

Planted in or around aquatic soil, flowering pond plants need to be trimmed and fertilized to yield the brightest blooms.

Shallow-water Pond Plants

Shallow-water plants like the bog bean, corkscrew rush, blue rush, golden sweet flag, and others grow well near the edge of your pond.

Planted within your reach, these shallow-water pond plants are easy to trim and fertilize throughout changing seasons.

When in doubt about what your pond plants need, talk to an aquascape expert for guidance.

Some aquatic plants need more sunlight, and others thrive in the shade.

Pond experts are your source for discovering how to keep your pond balanced and your pond plants flourishing.

Pond Plant Fertilizers and Other Products

Like other plants, pond plants need fertilizers to produce the brightest blooms and stay healthy.

At the Premiere Aquascapes store, we stock countless pond supplies to keep your pond plants and fish healthy.

Pond Plant Fertilizers and Pond Supplies

We carry many pond plant mixes (liquid concentrates and extracts) to help your pond thrive.

A few of our pond plant fertilizers and pond supplies include:

  • Aquatic Plant Food (Pond Tabbs, go into the soil 3″ from the crown of the plant)
  • Pond Plant Potting Media (made for planting or repotting water lilies, marginals, and other aquatic plants, harvested from lake and stream sediment)
  • Muck Razer or Razer Rake (a pond and lake rake for removing muck and weeds from your beach area, the #1 brand in weed removal)

Every pond is different, meaning you don’t need every one of our supplies to keep your pond plants healthy.

So instead of guessing which fertilizer to invest in, talk to us about which fertilizing blend will work best for your pond plants.

Pond Treatment and Purification Products

We keep more than pond plants at our store.

We also carry pond treatment and purification products like:

  • Pond Detoxifier (makes water safe for fish and plants, detoxifies chlorine, chloramine, heavy metals, ammonia, works instantly)
  • Algae Defense (fights algae in freshwater lakes, potable water reservoirs ponds/golf course ponds, fish hatcheries, irrigation ditches, and other slow-moving or quiescent bodies of water)
  • Algaecide (controls and stops green algae growth, effective against green water and string algae, reduces pond and fountain maintenance, fast-acting)
  • Lake Bacteria Packs (restores the ecosystem of your lake or large pond, keeps water clean, clear, and healthy)

Balancing your pond can feel overwhelming when you’re trying to figure it out on your own.

Stop by our store and let us help you find the pond treatment products you need to keep your pond water clear.

Pond Pumps and Pond Aeration Kits

Sometimes your pond needs more than pond treatment products.

Included in our selection are also pond pumps and aeration kits like the:

  • Pro Air 60 Pond Aeration Kit (effectively oxygenates ponds and water features up to 15,000 gallons (56, 782 liters) helps keep pond fish safe through freezing months)
  • SLD 4000-7000 adjustable Flow Pond Pump (solids-handling Pond and Waterfall pump, asynchronous pump design, ideal for use in ponds, pondless waterfalls, and other water features)
  • And many more!

From fertilizers to pond pumps, we keep pond supplies in store to keep your aquascape clean, your fish healthy, and your plants thriving.

Whether you’re an old customer or a new one, we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction for keeping algae and muck at bay.

Find the Best Pond Plants for Your Dream Aquascape

When you’re looking for advice on pond plants, having an aquascape expert on your side makes all the difference.

Every pond, waterfall, and stream is unique. And your dream aquascape is no exception.

The Premiere Aquascapes team is dedicated to helping you find the pond plants you need to create a balanced, healthy pond or aquascape.

Whether you stop in store to choose your pond plants, or decide to let us choose for you, we will ensure your pond plants suit your aquascape perfectly.

If you’re ready to learn more about how pond plants balance your pond and aquascape, stop by our store or call today at 574-202-1636!

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