Ideas for plants around a pond

Updated February 21, 2017

Plants are an important feature not only in ponds for maintaining the health of water and fish but also around the ponds. Using aesthetically pleasing and size-appropriate plants on pond edgings helps to create a smooth transition between the garden and the water. Ideal plants are the ones that will maintain their interest throughout the year and are well adapted to the generally moist and wet soil around ponds. Some good plants that help to create a natural backdrop include well-proportioned grasses, annuals, perennials and shrubs. Plants used around ponds are referred to as marginal or bog plants.

Canna Tropicana

Canna tropicana (Canna) is also referred to as canna lily and Indian shot. The flowers are a native to the tropics and help to inject bright colour on pond borders with their brilliant orange blooms and large green-and-orange variegated foliage. Cannas thrive in well-drained, moist soil and need to be lifted in winter in colder areas to prevent rot. Dwarf canna varieties grow to about 3 feet in height, while the canna musifolia reaches about 10 feet. The flowers are produced from thick rhizomes that grow slowly but indefinitely. Cannas are easy to grow as long as they are provided winter protection in areas of severe cold and prefer areas of full sun.


Taro (Colocasia esculenta), also referred to as elephant ears, is a native plant of the tropical wetlands and swamps of Southeast Asia. The plant is a herbaceous perennial grown for its green, 2-to-3-feet long, heart-shaped foliage, which grows directly from large corms weighing up to 0.907 Kilogram. Taro is tolerant of the wet conditions around ponds and helps to give a distinct tropical look to the landscape. Taro plants can grow up to 8 feet tall under optimal growing conditions. The plant is often referred to as the potato of the tropical regions since the large corms are edible. All 200 different varieties of taro have tropical, ornamental leaves. Taro is a fast-growing plant and thrives in fertile, moist or wet soil.


Watercress (Nasturtium officinale) is especially well suited for ponds with a waterfall since it grows easily in moving water. Watercress is among the best plants for wet pond edges that stay moist to wet. Watercress is also referred to as water radish and water rocket and is commonly seen growing on pond and stream banks in its natural habitat. The plant has ovate, dark green leaves, succulent stems and blooms with small, light yellow-to-white flowers. Watercress spreads with the help of runners and is also an herb.

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About the Author

Irum Sarfaraz is a freelance writer with over 20 years of nonfiction writing experience in newspaper op-eds and magazine writing, book editing, translating and research writing. Sarfaraz is originally from Pakistan and has been published in both American and Pakistani newspapers and magazines. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature, and diplomas in nonfiction writing.