Best Plants for Aquatic Gardens

16 Best Plants for Aquatic Gardens

What can be more soothing and exciting than coming home to a peaceful and serene environment after a long tiresome day?

Imagine sitting in a nature-filled backyard, sipping your favorite drink as you watch the sunset. At a far end is a pond filled with beautiful aquatic plants and pets, on the other side is a waterfall with rocks and beautiful flowers on the sides.

Arguably, most people have water gardens in the backyards, but just do not know which plants they can incorporate to bring life and beauty in their patios.  

Although numerous plants can be planted in your garden or urns/pots, it’s important to note that not all these plants will thrive in the aquatic environment.

Therefore, you need to take the extra mile and enlighten yourself on the types of flowers and plants that will suit your ponds, urns, or flowing streams.

Fortunately, I have simplified the work for you by listing the various plants and flowers that will kiss your backyard with nature and bring a whole new life.

1. Lotus

Lotus can give your garden an outstanding appeal with its elegant bloom.  Unlike other plants that float on the water surface, lotus blooms rise above the water surface and therefore classified as emergent.

They can grow up to 6 feet tall depending on the type, and the blooms flourish throughout summer. The leave is bluish greenish and flowers appear in different colors that perfectly complement the leaves. 

2. Cardinal Flower

Lobelia cardinalis, commonly known as a cardinal flower, can be planted on the sides of your water garden. They have a bold shade of crimson red and therefore, can be a good center of attraction to the hummingbirds and butterflies.

How beautiful is it to have pretty flowers on your water garden, with a fulfilling sound of water flow and the chirping birds!

They can grow up to 3 feet tall and bloom well during late summer.

Popular Cardinal Flower Seeds

3. Water Lilies

Water lilies are a must-have plant in your water garden. With their beautiful floating flowers, water lilies can grow up to 6 feet, depending on their type. 

These types include the hardy, the tropical, those that bloom during the day and at night.

4. Japanese Primrose

The Japanese primrose thrives well in dumpy acidic soils, therefore consider planting them on the sides of your pond.

This plant can grow up to 18 inches tall and will do well in a partly sunny to a full shaded area.

The attractive whorls of flowers come in shades of deep to soft pink, purple, red, and white, given that the plant self-sores, these flowers can bring a delightful mix of all these colors.

5. Japanese Water Iris

This orchid-like flower is the most elegant among the iris family. Common for its large ruffled petals, this flower starts to bloom in the early to mid-summer.

The charming flower can grow up to 3 feet tall with colors ranging from blue, lavender, pink, white, and violet-red which are best grown on the sides of the water garden.

6. Phlox

This flower is a hardy perennial and can thrive well if grown in rocky soil. Having strong roots, this beautiful plant can be ideal for your waterfall area because it can dig deep into the rocky soil.

The flowers appear in clusters of different colors, including pink, lavender, purple, and white. With its firm grip, the flower can bloom in the best part of summer. Plant it in a full sun area away from any shade.

Best Rated Phlox Seeds

7. Perennial Hibiscus

The hardy plant is best grown on the sides of your water garden. It can grow up to 8 feet tall and when flowering can reach 12 feet.

It is also referred to as dinner plate hibiscus because of its large gorgeous flowers. They start blooming in the late spring up to fall. They flower in exemplary colors of maroon to maroon black.

This plant is a heavy feeder, so when planting, consider adding manure for a healthier bloom.

8. Tiger Lilies

The exceptionally strong plant has bright flowers with brown spots and curves backward, giving it the name ‘tiger lily.’ Tiger lilies can grow up to 5 feet tall and bloom in summer.

The perennial flower comes in dramatic colors of orange, red, and yellow. Its well planted in partial shade to a full sunny area. 

9. Rain Lilies

Most people confuse the rainy lily with the crocus flower because of its similarity in size and shape.

This is a perennial flower bulb that blooms mostly during the heavy rainy seasons. Even though the bulbs generously flower during the rainy seasons, the delicate flowers last only for a few days.

Rain lilies can grow up to 1 foot tall with beautiful blooms flushing in colors of pink, yellow, purple, and white.

Grow these fairy lilies along your pond where they can get the full sun.

10. Marsh Marigold

These are herbaceous perennial wildflowers that grow naturally on the margins of riverbeds and marshland.

Having a hollow stem with pretty yellow tone flowers that float in water, marsh marigold can be a beautiful addition to your water garden.

Top Selling Marsh Marigold Seeds

11. Canna Lilies

This amazing plant is easy to grow and maintain; it can grow up to 6 feet tall. They can add a tropical feel to your garden with their foliage and large flowers.

The canna lily’s foliage has different colors, mostly ranging in green, maroon, bronze, among other variegated types. The flowers may appear in shades of red, yellow, and orange. 

12. Water Hyacinth

This plant can be gorgeous if planted in the right environment. To maintain its growth and avoid disturbance of other plants, do regular thinning for a more defined pond.

Each plant can have about twenty flowers; these beautiful artistic purple flowers grow to about six inches above the foliage.

Water hyacinth requires a full sunny area to propagate and flourish well. The flower can last through summer to fall.

13. Goats Beard

This beautiful plant can be a great addition to your water garden. It can grow up to 6 feet wide and 3 to 6 feet tall. It will thrive best in a shady area with some little sun. 

Goatsbeard will brighten your backyard in late spring through early summer with its tall, fluffy, creamy white blooms.

14. Pitcher Plant

There are about 80 types of pitcher plants, and it is important to note that not all are suitable for gardening. Genus Sarraceniab can be the best type to plant because it easily adapts to most of the environment. However, it is essential to know which species will do well in your area. 

You can plant it on the sides of your pond as it does not need rich soil to flourish. Pitcher plant eats insects and other small animals to get its nitrogen nutrients for growth; this is why it is classified as a carnivorous. It thrives well in a full sun area.

It blooms during spring with beautiful colors of yellow, red, purple, or green flowers.

First Class Pitcher Plant Seeds

15. Louisiana Iris

With a diverse range of species and beautiful colors, this plant will give your water garden justice. It can grow up to 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide. 

The flower blooms in early spring with a range of colors including blue, purple, yellow, pink, white, and sometimes a combination of the core colors due to interbreeding.  

16. Hostas Plant

Hostas plant is one of the easiest plants to grow and require minimum care. They will mostly thrive well in a shaded area, although this will largely depend on the type of the leaf the plant has

If the foliage is thick, then this calls for a mostly shady area, but if its lighter, then best plant it in a sunny area.

Their leave range in colors of green, creamy white to a mix of both. The flower color is mostly light purple.


A water garden is a substantial addition to your back or front yard. Apart from beauty, it adds to your space; it also brings peace and ambiance to the general living.

The addition of plants and flowers will attract the growth of unwanted organisms like algae, mosses, among others. Therefore you will be required to take measures that will prevent the growth and spread of all these.

These measures might not necessarily be chemical additions. Consider adding some plants like the water lettuce and water lilies, which naturally fight algae.

Additionally, you can decide to add fish in your pond as they will naturally help in cleaning your water garden.

Did you find your best choice on this list? Which plants will you add in your water garden? Do you know any other plants for the water garden apart from these? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

VERY BEST WATER GARDENS by Natures Best WaterGardens