The Best Plants for Small Ponds


All sorts of aquatic plants love to be soaked in water. These plants will not only add beauty to the pond, but can also clear out and oxygenate the pond. The best pond plants are those that easily acclimate to the environment, making maintenance easier, and which add beauty to the garden. These plants must thrive in small ponds without overwhelming them.

Water Lilies

  • Water lilies are one of the most common garden plants used in ponds. These plants float in the water and bring color to the pond, blooming in white, pink, yellow and several other colors. They send their roots down and establish themselves deeply in the pond. Each variety blooms at a different time in the day, so consider the time of the day that you will most likely look at the pond when selecting water lilies. Most require full sun, but some varieties are night bloomers.


  • The marginal plants, also known as bog plants, thrive in deep water or muddy locations on the edge of ponds. You must keep your pond full of water so that these plants do not dry out, because they cannot survive without a lot of water. These plants often produce flowers that can add more color to the pond. One popular flowering marginal plant is the iris, which can grow both in wet and normal conditions, so you can plant them in more areas than the pond.

King Tut Papyrus

  • Another popular marginal plant is the King Tut Papyrus. This plant is tall and very versatile; it can grow in a broad range of sunlight intensities. Use this plant to fill in spaces that you're otherwise having a hard time filling in.

Anemopsis Californica

  • Many enjoy the Anemopsis californica for its honey-scented white flowers. This plant reproduces using runners, so gardeners will need to cut the runners off if they do not want the plant to spread. These plants are placed beneath the water, where they root themselves.

Water Hyacinth

  • According to Crystal Creek Pond Supply, the water hyacinth is the best floating plant and helps you filter your ponds. These plants have curving leaves and light pink flowers. At first, these plants cannot handle bright sunlight and the sun can burn the leaves, killing the plant. However, over time, this plant can acclimate to bright sunlight. In some areas, the water hyacinth is considered invasive, as it can grow so fast that it overwhelms native vegetation.

Callitriche Verna

  • Some plants act as oxygenators for ponds. These plants do not emerge from the water, so their appearance doesn't always matter. The Callitriche verna is a good small pond plant because it oxygenates the water. It provides a surface cover for ponds and a habitat for tadpoles. This plant grows emerges in spring and dies back in the winter.

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  • Photo Credit Water lily image by Talya from
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