Best Plants for Water Gardens: 14 Gorgeous Options

Bill Taylor
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Do you have a water garden? You can add a bit of life and color to it.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the best plants for water gardens that will help you give your water garden that balance of beauty and energy that it deserves!

While water gardens can be quite beautiful and awesome from a practical standpoint (using up less energy and giving your kids a space to play in), they are also quite beautiful to look at when you’ve got plants in it.

If you’ve got one of these cool garden features, you will want to have plants in it. This is why we’re writing this article for you.

NameCategoryProduct
Aquagarden Water PumpBest OverallAquagarden Water Pump
TetraPond GreenFree UV ClarifierBudget PickTetraPond GreenFree UV Clarifier

1. Aquagarden Water Pump

Our rating: 9 / 10

Aquagarden Water Pump

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Tank or Fish Tank, Water Garden and Aquarium.

This pump is easy to install, with all necessary pieces included. One of the greatest benefits of this Aquagarden Water Pump for Ponds is that you can use it for multiple purposes – you can use it to circulate the water in your pond, as a fountain, or as an aquarium filtration pump or even as a water pump for your water garden.

It has a powerful 7.2W motor that draws less than 7W of power. It comes with a filter that’s extra-fine, for removing both large and small debris before they reach the pump.

2. TetraPond GreenFree UV Clarifier

Our rating: 8 / 10

TetraPond GreenFree UV Clarifier

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Pros:

  • UV rays kill the bacteria and algae in your pond's water
  • Clarifier needs to line the pond's surface
  • Can help reverse the effects of "green water"

Cons:

  • Some reviewers complain of inconsistent results
  • Not a permanent solution

If your pond has turned green, a clarifier can help you get rid of it. Based on customer reviews, the most popular clarifier is the TetraPond GreenFree UV Clarifier for Clean, Clear Ponds. The TetraPond range of UV clarifiers are easy to use. You just have to line the base of your pond with the clarifier. This helps the UV light to disinfect the water to clear up the green water.

As with most products on our website, we also picked out a few alternatives. We found that the TetraPond UV Clarifier alternatives are cheaper and provide the same results.

In this article, we review the benefits of using a UV clarifier and share valuable tips about using UV water clarifiers. We also reviewed the top-rated UV water clarifiers for ponds.

3. Pond Clarifier

Our rating: 5 / 10

Pond Clarifier

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Pros:

  • Able to be used in conjunction with your existing filter.
  • Doesn’t harm koi fish or any other fish.
  • Safe for all koi fish, goldfish, and plants
  • Made from all-natural products, including barley straw and flowers.
  • One application will be enough to last for a period of four to six weeks.
  • Risk-free and non-toxic.
  • Gets rid of bad algae, harmful bacteria, and other harmful microorganisms.
  • Ideal for use in garden ponds, water gardens, koi ponds, lily ponds, and more.
  • Safe for all fish, goldfish, and plants.
  • Made from non-toxic ingredients.

4. TetraPond Filter Zyme Filter Starter Tablets

Our rating: 2 / 10

TetraPond Filter Zyme Filter Starter Tablets

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Pros:

  • Safe for all water garden fish
  • Painless, quick, and easy to use
  • Safe for all types of ponds
  • Adaptable for use in aquariums
  • Tested and proven to be effective

Cons:

  • Not good for filtering large amounts of water
  • Not environmentally friendly

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What plants can I put in a water feature?

Fish? Absolutely! Water lilies? Also fine! However, either of these choices can slowly clog up the filters in those little water feature pumps, and clogs will lead to frustration.

Other plants can add color, sparkle, and sound, and they don’t pose the same threat of clogging. Here are some tips to make your water feature beautiful and fun.

Which plants soak up the most water?

Usually any type of ground cover or weed would be your answer. But, thanks to modern technology and water garden technology, there are a couple of plants that are better than others at absorbing water. Here are the top choices.

Swamp Milkweed (also known as a Butterfly Weed) : The reason that milkweed is so awesome is that it’s an important food for the Monarch butterflies that migrate to the United States in the fall. This will also attract a lot of bees!

The reason that milkweed is so awesome is that it’s an important food for the Monarch butterflies that migrate to the United States in the fall. This will also attract a lot of bees! Coral Sword : This plant provides great contrast and is useful for shady areas of the garden. It’s also much sturdier than other bog plants.

What are the best plants for a rain garden?

For a rain garden, you’re best suited with native aquatic plants such as cattails. Cattails grow without any help and will eventually form colonies in which it will attract a large variety of wildlife.

You can also plant reed canary grass in the rain garden. It will grow fairly quickly and fill in any areas of the garden that may be lacking plants. It’s an especially good choice for small rain gardens that have shallow waters.

You can also add a water lily to your garden to provide shade to any fish you may be raising.

What plants can survive best with limited watering?

Water lilies are usually the first plants that come to mind when people think of water gardens. But since these are plants that require lots of care, they’re not the right fit for people who are looking more for a water garden that requires limited maintenance.

Instead, hardy plants like the dwarf nymphoides or cabomba would be much better options. They’re more tolerant to low light and limited watering, and they look really beautiful as well! They also have a minimal light requirement, so you can still enjoy them even without direct sunlight.

Conclusion

Many of the results you get from your backyard pond comes from the plants. There is no doubt that the underwater and terrestrial plants will add color and definition to any water garden.

A water garden can be a great area for planting native plants. We wanted to share with you 14 of the best options when it comes to adding plants to your water garden. The list below provides you with everything from high-color, summer blooming varieties to those that provide good cover. Chose one or several depending on your needs and preferences.

What we based our picks on is the following:

Family – What family (genus) each plant belongs to.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Aquagarden Water PumpBest OverallAquagarden Water Pump
TetraPond GreenFree UV ClarifierBudget PickTetraPond GreenFree UV Clarifier