Plants accent water feature areas of a garden. If the soil is moist or gets significant splash or spray from the feature's waterfall or fountain, the plants must be able to thrive in those wetter conditions. If the soil is a standard temperature and moisture, then many houseplants or garden grasses will thrive in it, provided the lighting is sufficient. If live fish are in the plans for a pond or water feature, research the list of plants that are toxic.
Dwarf cattail thrives around low water, ponds and marshes. Perfect for planting at the edge of a garden pond, this grasslike perennial grows dark brown velvety flower spikes from amid long slender leaves. The cattail likes partial shade to full sun and flowers during summer through to the beginning of winter. This plant provides a good background for other lower growing plants; its flower spikes rising up as high as 90 cm (3 feet). The dwarf cattail works well in the pocketed ponds available for water features, their roots submerged in about 7.5 cm (3 inches) of water around the sides of the pond.
Striped bladderwort grows in low water and muddy soil, at marsh edges and around ponds. The bright yellow flowers bloom from July through to October. The flowers resemble the flowers of the snapdragons and the bladder trap that aquatic varieties tend to have works by prey touching the trigger hairs. The flowers of the bladderwort bloom in many colours and grow above the water, while the rest of the plant roots in the watery mud or shallow water. They are part of a grouping of flowers considered carnivorous or insectivorous; trapping and digesting protein when nutrients are scarce in their environment.
Watercress is a widely used vegetable plant; the stems and leaves are served in salads and soup. The leaves and stems of this perennial stay beneath the water line while they are growing. Liking sunny environments, watercress grows in fresh water and spreads quickly. It is considered to be one of the oldest vegetables that humans eat. Blooms are green and white and grow in clusters. The stems are hollow and float, keeping leaves on the surface or above. Watercress is also known by other names -- rib cress, long tails and biller.