Best Pond Edge Plants – 2023 Pond Vegetation Guide

Best Pond Edge Plants – 2023 Pond Vegetation Guide

Have you been considering adding plants around your pond edge? Pond plants have become a popular addition to landscaping in recent years. Not only do they bring life and visual appeal to your pond, but they also play an important role in keeping your pondwater clean.

When it comes to choosing the best plants for around a pond, there are a few important pointers you won’t want to miss. In this article, we dive into all things pond edge plants – best of’s, how to’s, and more.

Why pond border plants?

One of the biggest problems homeowners face when it comes to water landscaping features – whether it’s a pond, fountain, or lake – is algae buildup. When introduced to a pond that has considerable algae buildup, the pond edge plants will bring balance to the nutrient and sunlight distribution, helping to control the algae.

Pond border plants can serve a number of different functions alongside algae control.

  • Erosion control
  • Improved habitat for fish, frogs, freshwater shrimp, and other water-loving wildlife
  • Improved water quality and clarity

What is the most common plant in a pond?

Pond plants are available in a large variety of species. It’s difficult to pinpoint which plant is the most popular – but some go-to species include, Pickerel Plant, Creeping Jenny, and Japanese Water Iris.

What is the most common tree to grow around ponds?

If you have the space, trees make a great addition to any pond or backyard water feature. The most obvious benefit is shade, but trees also do an even greater job of controlling erosion when their roots take hold in the surrounding soil. Here are a few of the most popular trees to grow around pond edges.

  • Willow
  • Juniper
  • Dogwood
  • Red Maple

How to Choose your Pond Edge Plant

The plants you choose for your pond should be selected based upon the environment you’ll be growing them. Be sure to consider your plant’s requirements for sun exposure and depth. It’s also worth considering the climate you’ll be growing your plants in. If you live in an area that gets all four seasons, it would be a good idea to choose pond plant species that can withstand fall and winter climates.

What plants are best around a pond?

Here is a list of the best-growing pond edge plants. Not only do these plants provide all of the environmental benefits listed previously, but they are also some of the easiest to plant. Let’s take a look at the top five pond edge plants.

1. Pickerel Plant

Pickerel plant comes in a variety of colors, but the most popular are blue, lavender, pink, and white. The gorgeous flower blossoms attract butterflies, bumblebees, and dragonflies. Keep in mind though, the pickerel plant, alongside most plants that grow around ponds, has been known to play host as mosquito habitat.

2. Water Iris

This plant is common in a couple different varieties – Japanese water iris and blue iris. Water irises are popular because of their elegant and classy, Japanese-gardenlike feel. They add incredible beauty to any environment and do extremely well in moisture-retentive pond edges. It’s not uncommon to find water iris in marshes, swaps, and other wetlands.

3. Native Grasses

Outside of the popular flower species, native grasses are the next most common choice of pond edge plant. Popular species include bulrush and soft rush. Native grasses grow well in shallow water and soft shoreline soil. They are a great choice if you are looking to control erosion or root out other invasive aquatic plants. Certain sedges and rush species have also been known to increase bird activity along the shoreline, as the added foliage provides great cover.

4. Horsetail Reed

This plant is a hit or miss for most homeowners – you either love it or you hate it. Horsetail reed is known for its bamboo-like stems and vivid green, gray-black color pattern. Horsetail grows well in a spectrum of soil types, but will generally spread in anything with high moisture content. If you choose to update your pond with horsetail reed, be sure to keep an eye on it – in the right environment, horsetail can spread like crazy.

5. Mosaic Plant

This pond-loving plant has a lily-like structure and grows best in the shallow borders around the edges of ponds. The leaves and flower of the mosaic plant float on the surface of the water, providing great habit for fish, frogs, and other amphibians. It’s also worth noting that the mosaic plant grows best in water temperatures ranging between 70 – 80˚F. As it’s best suited for tropical locations, it’s almost impossible to nurse this plant through any sort of harsh winter conditions.

How do you plant around a pond?

The actual “planting” of the plants is done in the same fashion you might plant a garden of peas or a flowerbed of pansies. There are, however, a few important considerations to make before planting your pond edge plants. 

  • Plant between rocks and coves, or around other structures. Placing your pond edge plants in areas you would find them in the wild will help make your pond look as natural as possible.
  • Keep plants that grow taller than 24” to a minimum. Tall plants provide great cover for wildlife, but can also quickly steal your view of the pond.
  • Use shrublike plants around your pond’s filter or any other obstruction you want to hide.
  • Don’t be afraid to prioritize variety! Your options for pond edge plants are endless, so don’t be scared to spice it up with multiple species.

Final Thoughts

Aquatic plants will undoubtedly add beauty and interest to any size or shape of pond, but the key is in choosing a variety of species that fit within your pond’s natural setting. Don’t be afraid to play around with a dozen different species of pond edge plants. Variety is the spice of life after all! With a little love and patience, it’s more than possible to transform your pond into a sight your guests won’t forget.

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