Plants to Put in Goldfish Ponds

Updated February 21, 2017

Aquatic plants can improve the habitat within a goldfish pond, providing cover for the fish, protecting them from potential predators, while at the same time helping to eliminate harmful chemicals produced by fish waste. Many plants are also attractive, adding a pleasant visual aspect to the pond. Because goldfish do not eat vegetation, many different types of plants are available for use within the goldfish pond environment,.

Plants with Floating Leaves

Several different species of plants with floating leaves can help provide adequate cover for goldfish within the pond and help to regulate the temperature of the water, especially in sunny areas. They also help deter the growth of algae. Within this category are several varieties of water lilies. They are generally used at a rate of one plant for every 10 square feet of the pond surface. The flowers of these plants are particularly fragrant and attractive.

Floating Plants

Some species of plants available for the goldfish pond habitat actually float on the surface of the water with roots trailing underneath. These plants move freely on the pond depending upon wind direction. They also act as oxygenators and provide shade for the pond. Water hyacinth, which produces a large spike of purple flowers, is easy to care for and prolific. Water lettuce and water poppy are also available for goldfish ponds.

Submerged Plants

Submerged plants are among the best for oxygenating a pond, which is important for the health of goldfish. Aquatic plants such as cabomba, water milfoil, dwarf sagittaria and vallisneria grow well within pond environments. Some of these species may proliferate quickly and should be grown in caged planters to control their spread.

Bog Plants

Bog plants or those that prefer moist or soggy soil can be placed along the margins of ponds. These include iris, cattails, sweet flag, various ferns, papyrus and canna. These plants are particularly good for planting along the far edge of a goldfish pond to provide a vertical aspect to the view of the landscape.


Several types of aquatic plants, including hydrilla, vallisneria, water lettuce and water hyacinth, that work well in goldfish ponds may be considered invasive species in your area. Contact your local cooperative extension office to determine if any given species you are considering is restricted or prohibited.

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