Pond Side Plants

Updated July 20, 2017

Pond side plants add a touch of elegance to backyard ponds when carefully selected and properly planted. Choose perennial pond side plants that are moisture-loving and prefer shade to partial shade. Pond side plants that have luxuriant foliage and bear unique, colourful flowers are ideal. These plants can add beauty and pleasure to your landscape for many years with minimal care.

Japanese Iris

Japanese iris is a perennial beardless iris that bears exquisite blossoms in a variety of striking shapes, colours and patterns. Cultivars can be single or double in colours of blue, pink, white, lavender or violet-red. Japanese iris has elegant, sword-shaped leaves that provide interest after blossoms are spent. Japanese iris grows in clumps when mature and blooms from early spring to midsummer. It does best planted in medium to wet organic soil that retains moisture, making it an ideal pond side plant.

Bleeding Heart

Bleeding heart is an old-fashioned perennial plant that has true heart-shaped blossoms in shades of purple, red, white or pink. It has delicate fernlike foliage and grows 18 to 20 inches tall and from 2 to 3 feet wide. Bleeding heart thrives best in full to partial shade and prefers morning sun. It grows readily in rich, well-drained soil and is hardy in zones 3 to 9. Bleeding heart loves moisture, making it an ideal plant to grow beside backyard ponds.


Astilbe is an ideal plant to grow at pond sides because it can thrive in either shade or full sun. It is fast growing and spreads easily when grown in moist soil. Astilbe grows to heights ranging from 12 to 48 inches, depending on variety. It has tall feathery plumes that come in colours of deep red, pink, white and lavender-mauve. Astilbe has either lacy green or bronze coloured leaves that provide interest throughout the growing season.

Maidenhair Fern

Maidenhair fern is a delicate ornamental plant that thrives best in zones 4 through 9. It is non-flowering and has green fronds on stems that can grow from 1 to 2 feet high. Maidenhair fern is a tropical plant that requires partial shade, moist well-drained soil and protection from strong winds. It grows in clumps, is non-invasive and requires minimal care once established.

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About the Author

Naomi Mathews has been writing since 1998. Her gardening articles appear on Garden Guides, ICanGarden and GardenHomeAccessories. Mathews also contributes to eHow and maintains two blogs. She earned a Certificate of Accomplishment in executive secretarial studies from Yakima Business College..