Gardens - Water Gardening

Build a pond in four days

Dennis Eveleigh
Photography by
Dennis Eveleigh

Watch your garden come alive by adding this fish and water plant habitat

Pond partners
These plants are winter hardy unless listed as tender.

Submerged pond plants
Submerged pond plants (also known as aerators) may or may not be rooted in pond bottom; grow entirely under the water; don't actually aerate the water as much as grab nutrients and prevent the growth of algae.
  • Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum), weighted down with lead weights Zone 3

Deep-water plants
Deep-water plants are rooted in soil, then placed in water deeper than 30 centimetres; leaves and flowers grow on or above the water surface.
  • ‘Marliacea Albida’ water lily (Nymphaea ‘Marliacea 
Albida’) Zone 3

Marginal pond plants 
(On edging shelves)
Marginal pond plants row in soil covered by several centimetres of water; eventually emerge out of the water along the pond edge.

Note: Parrot’s feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum) and floating heart (Nymphoides peltata) have been omitted from this list as they are considered invasive by the International Water Lily and Water Garden Society and may be banned in some places.
  • Jointed rush (Juncus a
rticulatus) Zone 5
  • Soft rush (J. effusus) Zone 4
  • Blue rush (J. inflexus) Zone 4
  • Pickerel weed (Pontederia cordata) Zone 3
  • Water strawberry 
(Potentilla palustris) Zone 3
  • Small creeping spearwort (Ranunculus flammula) Zone 5
  • Arrowhead 
(Sagittaria latifolia) Zone 5
  • Dwarf cattail 
(Typha minima) Zone 3

Floating pond plants
Floating pond plants are not rooted in soil; remain on top of the water.
  • Duckweed (Lemna minor) 
Zone 4 (Use cautiously. Fertilizer may cause population explosion)
  • Water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) tender (Note: vigorous, and banned in some areas)

Bog plants

Bog plants grow in soil that is constantly moist, normally near a body of water; prefer not to live in soil continuously covered by water, but can briefly tolerate this.
  • Astilboides (Astilboides 
tabularis syn. Rodgersia 
tabularis) Zone 5
  • Marsh marigold 
(Caltha palustris) Zone 3
  • Willow gentian (Gentiana 
asclepiadea) Zone 6
  • Houttuynia (Houttuynia 
cordata) Zone 6
  • Siberian iris 
(Iris sibirica) Zone 4
  • Blue flag (I. versicolor) Zone 3
  • ‘Desdemona’ ligularia (Ligularia dentata ‘Desdemona’) Zone 4
  • Great blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) Zone 5
  • Water mint (Mentha 
aquatica) Zone 6
  • Common monkey flower (Mimulus guttatus) Zone 6
  • Water forget-me-not 
(Myosotis palustris syn. 
M. scorpioides) Zone 5
  • ‘Exhibition Yellow’ primrose (Primula pubescens 
‘Exhibition Yellow’) Zone 3
  • Common globeflower 
(Trollius europaeus) Zone 5

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