Pond Info Center > Stocking Your Garden Pond: Choosing Aquatic Plants

Stocking Your Pond:
Choosing Aquatic Plants

Aquatic plants are critical for a healthy garden pond or fish pond. Plants provide protective cover for the fish, provide much needed oxygenation, and absorb nutrients in the water thereby reducing pond algae.

Aside from being a neccesity, aquatic plants make a beautiful addition to your garden or fish pond - but there are so many varieties, how on earth do you choose?

You want to start by choosing a good combination of surface covering plants and submerged plants and of course you don't want to forget the marginal plants.

Hardy Water Lilies
Hardy Water Lilies are the most popular of the surface covering pond plants.
Surface Covering Plants cut algae growth by keeping the water relatively cooler and taking nutrients from the algae.

These aquatic plants provide such beauty but remember that open areas in your garden pond allow for the reflection and sparkle, as well as allowing for oxygen entry.

A good rule of thumb:
50 60% coverage on ponds that are 24 or deeper, 100 square feet (sq. ft.) or more. For smaller ponds 60-70% coverage.

Choose from Hardy Water Lilies, Tropical Day Water Lilies, Tropical Night Water Lilies, Lily-Like Aquatics, and Floating Pond Plants.

Another beautiful way to provide coverage is with floating islands. We have a nice selection of plants for floating islands that do exceptionally well!


Submerged Pond Plants, also known as oxygenators, are essential for a healthy pond. These aquatic plants not only provide much needed oxygen, they also filter out dirt and debris and help starve out algae.

For a pond over 100 sq. ft. you'll want to plant aprox. 1 bunch of submerged plants per every 2 sq. ft. of pond surface. For a smaller pond (under 100 sq.ft.), plant 1 bunch per sq. ft. of surface area.

Our selection of submerged plants include Bare Root Sumberged and Oxygenator Reefs.
Submerged Plants and Oxygenator Reefs


Shallow Water Plants
Choose from Rushes reeds and grasses, Flowering Marginals, Broad Leaved Bogs, Lush and Flowering Tropicals and Creeping Plants.
Shallow Water or Marginal Aquatic Plants help create a beautiful and natural transition from more shallow water to the edge of your pond. They also work very well for hiding pond equipment, piping and cords.

With a huge variety of heights, colors, textures and flowers, shallow water plants provide beauty and contrast for your pond.

These plants like only 1-12 inches of water, depnding on the variety. Some of them will also serve as cover for your pond.

Choose these aquatic plants according to your taste - just keep in mind that many shallow water plants spread quickly so you'll want to start with only 2 or 3 of each of your favorite varieties, spacing them out for growth.


Related Pond Articles:

The Nitrogen Cycle of a Garden Pond



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