One of the great things about planning a new pond in your garden is deciding which plants you want to include as part of the water feature. There are many beautiful native species to choose from depending on the look you want to create.
From flowering plants and floating plants, from tall grasses to beautiful foliage, there are many different choices when it comes to selecting the perfect aquatic plants to complement your garden pond.
We spoke to the team at Aquacadabra who supply a huge variety of pond supplies and they helped us select five of the best aquatic plants to feature in your pond.
- The Water Lily
This is probably the most famous of garden pond plants and the one that most of us think of when planning a pond. With its large leaves and beautiful flowers it is a really exotic-looking plant for any type of pond.
Its proper name is Nymphaea alba and with flowers from May to November, a water lily is sure to add a touch of colour to your pond. If your pond is on the small side it might not be ideal however, as this plant needs plenty of space to thrive, although you might like to try one of the dwarf varieties in that case.
Water lilies bloom in the day and the flowers will close at night and often drop under the water until the morning time. There are many varieties available.
- The Marsh Marigold
This flowering plant is native to Britain and comes in a variety of yellow and gold shades. It comes in a number of varieties and is an attractive plant which will also help support insect life in your garden as they love its nectar and pollen.
These beautiful flowers should be planted around the edge of the pond, and it fares well in both shady conditions and sunshine. It tends to grow in clumps but it is easy to separate if it starts to get too unwieldy and take over.
- The Globe Flower
A beautiful native plant, this flower used to be seen in gardens across the country and was used in festivals but now it is becoming rarer because of a lack of damp meadow habitats. However, it also grows well in ponds and makes a beautiful addition to any water feature so by planting these you will be supporting our native plants to thrive.
- The Water Forget-Me-Not
A beautiful variety of the forget-me-not, the aquatic version provides sky blue flowers with bright yellow and white centres making it stand out around any pond.
They do best in shallow ponds and provide the stunning array of colour from June through to September. The stems of Myosotis scorpioides create perfect landing places for dragon and damselflies.
- The Water Mint
Mentha aquatic is one of our few native herbs and comes with very dark green foliage, often edged with red, making it very striking to look at. It flowers from July through to October with pink flowers and is very easy to look after.
It can grow very quickly and take over so it’s best to grow it in a basket to help keep it under control. It can be used in cooking and makes a wonderful tasting mint tea so it’s useful as well as very decorative.
Those are the top five plants which you should have in your garden pond; however, five is not very many depending on the size of your pond so here are a few bonus plants which also look fantastic in any pond.
Common Water Crowfoot
This is a member of the buttercup family of plants and has white flowers and fern-like leaves. It needs a large pond ideally and its leaves live under the water while the flowers pop up on the surface in the summer. It can grow in either sunny or shady conditions.
This plant is ideal for helping to oxygenate small ponds, around a metre deep, as it is a submerged plant. Make sure it is not confused with other non-native species – you need to check the label for its scientific name which is Ceratophyllum demersum. It can survive in either shady or sunny conditions.
When planning and creating your first pond you need to think about the type of plants which you want to include within your water feature. Try to aim for native plants wherever possible and some non-native species have now been banned from sale for causing environmental problems in natural waterways.
Whether you opt for foliage, flowers or grass-like reeds, whether you choose a mixture of floating and underwater-based, there is a huge variety of aquatic plants to choose from so have fun making the best selection for your particular garden conditions and which match the style of pond you have chosen to create.