Water Gardening

Best Pond Plants For Small Ponds – Our favourite picks

Last updated on October 28th, 2020

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If you have a pond in your garden there are plenty of pond plants that you can grow right along the marshy perimeter to add vibrancy, structure, and varying heights to your garden. With each of these water-loving pond plants, you can mix and match accordingly to find what works best for you throughout the season.

Check out our article where we share some of our favourite floating pond plants here

Nymphaea ‘Pygmaea Helvola’

These plants are easily grown in wet soil and small ponds and are actually a miniature water lily. They do best with full sun but will still flower with showy yellow blooms if they only get a few hours of sunlight each day. The rhizomes for the plant are emerged and are overwintered quite easily. Known for the spectacular flowers, these aquatic perennials are best known for their stunning water lily blooms. You can feed them over summer with a proprietary aquatic fertiliser to promote the best blooms.

Orontium aquaticum

At its full maturity, it will reach a height and spread just shy of one meter so it doesn't get too big and can be the perfect addition to any smaller but deeper ponds you might have but will do equally well in a larger pond.

As an emersed perennial pond plant, it is slightly larger, as a medium-sized plant. It grows out of rhizomes in shallow ponds up to 2ft deep, is ideal as a margin plant and blooms between spring and summer. Said flowers are small, grow on the top of a club-shaped stalk but they are short-lived and should be pruned once they fade. The leaves grow outside of the surface and float and are dark green and velvety. 

Ranunculus flammula

This pond perennial loves partial shade or sun and is a nitrate removing plant ideal for ponds and streams. It goes well in ponds or along shorelines. The plant won’t get higher than 10cm on average. During July and September, you can enjoy stunning yellow blooms. The blooms are solitary, yellow flowers that come out of each stalk and have yellow petals and stamens. Eventually, you can see hairless seeds too. The leaves themselves are upright and form in clusters. This is a good choice for attracting amphibians as well and bees and birds.

Read next: Best raised ponds for pond plants

Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)

This particular plant will grow in dense colonies and eventually block out sunlight. A common floating water plant, it is ornamental and great for adding texture and enjoyment to your pond life. 

Water Lettuce (Pistia stratiotes)

Water lettuce forms floating mats, with long, submersed roots. It grows well in ponds and lakes, taking on a wedge and oval shapes and flowers June to September. It will reach about 15cm in length. It is known to take over ponds and cover the entire surface in tropical countries so some control may be needed in warmer parts of the Uk. However, in most parts of the UK because of the colder tempatures, this is usually not an issue. if it does spread this can cause oxygen deprivation so if you have fish in your pond, be cognizant of this and control the water lettuce and its spread. 

Corkscrew Rush (Juncus spiralis)

The corkscrew rush loves full sun or partial sun, no more than up to 4 hours of full shade. It flowers during the spring and summer. At its full maturity, it spans a height and spread of about 30cm. When you grow this plant you can enjoy white flowers juxtaposed by dark green, spiralled foliage. Being a water plant, you don’t have to deadhead the flowers which are an added bonus. Instead, you can sit back and watch the heat-tolerant plant fulfil its mounded shape. Its prefers moist soil which is why it can be grown as a marginal pond plant in shallow water.

Now that you have reviewed all of our favourite options you know that there are plenty of pond plants to choose from for any small pond you have in your garden. Requiring very little maintenance, these water-loving plants will add extra beauty to your garden.

Looking for deepwater pond plants? – see our top recommended plants

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