Backyard Ponds Plant Guide


Arrowhead 2-3′ Tall Flowers in July/August White Flowers


Submerged Plant (should come back every year)
Can be potted but can also just drop into the pond
On occasion sends tiny white flowers to the surface

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower 2′ Tall
Flowers August-October
Native Plant
Bright Red Blossoms


Cattail 4-5′ Tall
Flowers in June/July
Tolerates some shade
Good for large ponds
NOTE: Invasive if not contained

Chameleon Plant

Chameleon Plant 6-12″ tall
Flowers in May/June
Prefers partial shade
Perfect for most ponds
Can be invasive if not contained

Creeping Jenny

Creeping Jenny 2-6″ Tall
Flowers July/August Vigorous grower in and out of pond Good for edges of waterfall

Dwarf Bamboo

Dwarf Bamboo 18″ Tall Good for foreground planting

Giant Papyrus (TROPICAL)

Giant Papyrus (TROPICAL) 8′ Tall Has a pom-pom structure on top of graceful stems


Hibiscus 4′ Tall Flowers July/August Native to Maryland Red, pink or white flowers For large ponds Plant may need to be anchored so it doesn’t blow over


Lotus Blooms can be white, pink, yellow or red Flowers July through September Needs full sun

Yellow Iris

Yellow Iris 4-5′ Tall Also available in blue and white (2′) Spreads quickly Flowers in April Hardy NOTE: Invasive if not contained

Water Lily

Water Lily White, pink, yellow, peach, and red blooms Will grow in shade but only blooms with sun Fertilize monthly NOTE: tropical varieties available

Water Lettuce (TROPICAL)

Water Lettuce (TROPICAL) Prefers light to shade No blooms Spreads quickly NOTE: often becomes infected with aphids

Water Hyacinth (TROPICAL-will die in winter)

Water Hyacinth (TROPICAL-will die in winter) Flowers June to September Fish will eat roots! Very prolific surface spreader Good to bundle with fishing wire

Umbrella Plant (TROPICAL)

Umbrella Plant (TROPICAL) 5′ Tall Easy to winter indoors Tolerates some shade Likes moving water


Taro (TROPICAL) 2-4′ Tall
Several color varieties
No blooms

Dwarf Papyrus (TROPICAL)

Dwarf Papyrus (TROPICAL) 3′ Tall Has pom-pom structure on top of graceful stems


Calla (TROPICAL) 2′ Tall Flowers in May/June Beautiful pure white blossoms Easy to winter indoors


Thalia 6′ Tall Flowers July through September Good for large ponds Purple flowers cluster above foliage

Variegated Sweet Garlic

Variegated Sweet Garlic 10-15″ Tall
Flowers June through September
Good for all but the smallest ponds

Variegated Sweet Flag

Variegated Sweet Flag 2-3 ‘ Tall Leaves have sweet scent when broken Also in non-variegated Narrower leaves than iris

Pickerel Rush

Pickerel Rush 2-3′ Tall Flowers June through September Good for all but the smallest ponds


Pennywort 6′ Tall Good for streams / moving water NOTE: Invasive if not contained

Parrot’s Feather

Parrot’s Feather 6″ Tall
Good surface spreader
Feathery foliage closes at night
No blooms
Good for most ponds

Miniature Spearwort

Miniature Spearwort 1′ Tall Flowers May through August Delicate yellow flowers Blooms better if spent blossoms are removed

Lizard’s Tail

Lizard’s Tail 1-3′ Tall Flowers in July Tolerates shade Unique cream-colored spike blossom NOTE: Invasive if not contained


Horsetail 3’ Tall Tolerates some shade Prefers shallow water to moist soil

Golden Club

Golden Club 2-3′ Tall Flowers June through September Native plant Spreads quickly Good for shady spots

Forget Me Not

Forget Me Not 6″ Tall Flowers April through May Likes partial shade Likes streams and moving water

Corkscrew Rush

Corkscrew Rush 18″ Tall Stiff, spiral stems grow vertical and horizontal No blooms but interesting foliage


Clover 8-10″ Tall Fluffy, pretty plant for small ponds or foreground planting

Water Mint

Water Mint 1′ Tall
Flowers in August and September
Quick surface cover
Wonderfully aromatic foliage
Good for most ponds