Best 5 Small Plants for Small Ponds

Planning for keeping a small pond at home means keeping it decorated. The decoration of a small pond will be incomplete unless you put some small plants into it.  The pond can be small like a bucket of water or a large one like a mini pool. In any case the water gets proper ecosystem due to the presence of water plants. Not only for the beauty, but also for the balance of oxygen in the water, the plants are needed. Aquatic ecosystem depends a lot upon the presence of the water plants.

Not only the water remains in healthy state but also the life around the pond stays healthy due to the effect of small plants. The oxygen emission along with the scenic beauty keeps the surroundings fresh and healthy.

Why to use Small Plants for Small Ponds:

The oxygenation- this is the most important factor for planting small plants in the small pond of your garden. You can use other means of oxygenation in your garden pond, but keeping some plants in the pond makes the process organic. When the oxygenation is done properly, there is more chance for the fish and other water animals to survive in a better environment.

Usually the natural ponds survive as a ecosystem on its own. They have their own hierarchy of consumers. But when you create an artificial pool, there will be no such system. But it can be formed by the presence of small trees. Insect population can be controlled by the presence of mini plants. The fishes present in the pond helps to grow the plants, as they feed on the insects which again feed on the plants.

The controlling of algae is also done by the mini plants. The excess of nutrients are filtered by the small plants as well as the water of the pond is shaded by them. The excess of sunlight may cause the increase in the number of microorganism. This is how the water remains clearer and fishes, birds, insects and other visitors remain happy and safe.

How to get mini plants into your pond:

You can enjoy the proximity of plants when you will plant then into your pond. This process is quite entertaining and enriching, but you should know the steps to follow before you will be able to see the flourishing pond garden.

  • The pond should get at least 6 hours of sun every day. So situate it in such a place.
  • Bury an impermeable basin or performed liner where the water will be kept.
  • Fill it with tap water, as chlorinated water is not good for aqua-life or plants.
  • Get a pump so the water does not stagnate.
  • Find different variety and texture of small plants to fill your pond.
  • Choose nice foliage plants than flowering ones, as they tend to last longer.

Best 5 Small Plants for Small Ponds

Now we can help you choose a few plants which may enhance the beauty and aesthetics of your small pond as well as benefit the health of pond life.

Water lettuce

This is a tropical water plant. It grows well in warm water which means the temperature of the water can be from 72 to 86 degree F. This plant cannot survive in frost.


  • This one has a very distinctive appearance which is its speciality.
  • The leaves are velvety soft and covered with fine hairs and so the water does not wet them. The colour of this plant is light green.
  • There are numerous roots so the look under water is much feathery. The length of the root is near about one foot under the water.
  • The roots appear in light shade at first but later the colour becomes purple or black later. The plant easily floats on the water as it traps the air in its body and thus becomes lightweight.
  • The reproduction of the plant is done by stolon, and then a rosette appears on the new plant. The new plants stay connected with the parent plant.
  • The plants reproduce much quickly and the pond is soon covered with it. It produces tiny flowers which are much simple in look.
  • The flowers are hidden under the leaves and these are located at the middle of the plant. There are female flowers underneath and the male flowers grow on a whorl above.
  • This is more like an aquatic weed which grows in ponds, lakes and rivers where the water is not flowing fast.
  • This plant does not stay alive in the cold weather, so if you wish to keep it in your pond and your place experiences harsh winter, then you must make arrangement for replace the plants after winter. Also you can keep the plants inside the house when winter arrives.

Also you can keep it in fish bowl where it will be able to survive through the winter. The bowl should be filled with rainwater and it should be kept in southern light or under bright sunlight.

Creeping Jenny

This is a favourite among pond owners, as it grows easily on rocks and logs. It grows on the edge of water and it brings a flash of bright green around your small garden pond. Another reason for it being popular is it is quite low maintenance and easy to manage.


  • This one grows only from 1 to 3 inches in height and thus you do not have to worry about seeing a mess around your small pond. It never creates crowd or overtakes any other pond plants.
  • The Creeping Jenny or Lysimachia Nummularia, as the scientific name goes, is a sustainable one and does not die out soon.
  • This one is glossy in look and it is a perennial kind of plant. It creates a carpet with its low growing stems and lime green oval leaves. In summer it gets yellow flowers which cover its stems.
  • It needs full sun to survive and the richness of sunlight makes its flowers yellower. If it is kept in shady spots then it will turn in a dark shade of green.
  • They grow in water side and in damp boggy areas. While planting it in pond you must take care of breaking the clumps so the plant grows effortlessly.
  • As already mentioned, this is a hardy creeper and it can sustain in harsh weather. You must trim the foliage to keep it in shape and also keep the other plants in your pond separated from this one.

This plant has wound healing capability and it is believed from the medieval times that it can be applied to fresh or old wounds. The Chinese medicine for gallstone uses this plant as an ingredient.

Cardinal Flower

This small plat comes with outstanding vibrant colour of scarlet. The flowers attract large variety of insects which act as pollinators. Even hummingbirds like this bright hued flowers very much.


  • These plants grow really well on damp soils and thus you can decorate your small pond with these flower plants. You can keep it in the mini pots or directly on the ground.
  • Shady environment is great for this plant. They grow only 1 to 4 feet in height.
  • They are sustainable and hardy, and grow in wet as well as warm climate.
  • These plants come with deep burgundy shaded foliage. Summer heat does not decline the growth of this plant and it offers its blooms even in the time of summer.
  • This is basically a wild flower found mostly in USA like Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Iowa etc. The flowers are trumpet shaped and the insects navigate around the tall neck of these flowers.
  • They do not have a medicinal value as the stem and leaves are toxic.
  • To grow them you need fertile and moist soil. Organic matters mixed with soil will help this plant to grow. The plants grow best in Spring season.
  • You need to water them regularly if it does not rain regularly. Compost can be added to the soil when there will be need to add manure.

If there is a chance of snowing in winter try to keep these plants covered, as it is not capable of handling snow that much. Early summer is the blooming season for this plant. After blooming season you must clip the stems. Seeds of this plant are commercially available, and they are kept in dried and sealed condition for up to three years.

Sweet Flag

This plant is also known as golden Japanese sweetflag. This is just the right kind of plant to be kept near garden ponds. This is a flexible plant and it grows nicely when its’ toe is dipped into the pond water.


  • It can be called a marginal plant. Partially submerged position is great for this plant. It comes with light green foliage and bright yellow stripes.
  • The plant can stay beautiful throughout all seasons, and some even can sustain the winters.
  • The name has been coined by the sweet fragrance that it emits when it is cut or bruised. The leaves look like grass blades.
  • The flowers grow in spikes and the colour is greenish brown. The plant can grow in large or in small clumps, and make the pond look beautiful in all seasons.
  • If you want to keep the dwarf varieties by the side of small ponds, then that is also available. The plant can take full sun, and it will equally bloom in shady places.
  • The flowers of this plant are green in colour and they are slightly arched in shape.
  • This is a native plant of China and Himalayas. Earlier it was used by the tribes to clean the drinking water.

It has some medicinal value too, as it is believed that if anyone wants to get rid of nicotine addiction then he should chew a piece of stem. Also this process can be applied to alleviate infectious diseases. The flavour is used in beer and jam. The plant spreads vegetative and not by seeds. The root tips can be broken and carried away by ice to long distances. But this way it does not grow on water bodies. It needs moist and fertile land to grow.


This is another variety of submerged plant and it looks great on any small pond as it is a free floating plant. For a very small pond like bucket pond or bowl pond you can keep it at the bottom. That way it will not spread throughout the pond.


  • As a submerged plant it is a great oxygenator and purifier. Thus it keeps the water healthy.
  • They prevent algal growth and helps in the purifying process. The scientific name of this plant is Ceratophyllum.
  • It grows on fresh-water and plant can sustain in all kind of weather.
  • This can grow fast and thus can be called an invasive species. It has allelopathic nature which means it emits chemicals that prevents growth of any other kind of plants.
  • It can be grown in any part of the world and thus it is said to have cosmopolitan distribution. Other than Antarctica this plant grows anywhere and everywhere as it finds all kinds of climates suitable. Due to the high production it is available at low cost.
  • Aesthetically this is a beautiful plant, and that is a reason for its popularity. It adds colour to your pond and as it floats it makes the garden look nice.
  • Not only that, it also works on purifying the water of pond and tank. This plant photosynthesizes and thus adds to the oxygen quotient
  • Scavenger fishes find the debris of the plant as their food.
  • The water stays cleaner as the fish waste is used by these plants. The algae bloom will be controlled due to the allelopathic nature of this plant and that is another way of keeping the pond clean.

This plant does not have true roots but the leaves act as anchors and help the plant to stay on the water. The leaves look like needles and they contain both male and female flower in the same plant. Thus the generation is easy. The flowers are brown in colour.


There are various other varieties of pond plants which you may find attractive. Some are floating, some are marginal and others are sub-marginal. No matter how small or large your pond is, it will always be beautiful with the addition of some green foliage. So check the list of pond plants and get some adequate ones for your pond.