Water plants are a great way to beautify your pond. But fish pond plants don’t just add aesthetic appeal, they also play a very vital role in your pond’s overall health. Adding plant life to a koi pond is important in creating and maintaining a healthy ecosystem. Pond plants have many important roles within a pond’s ecosystem including purifying the water by reducing nutrients, filtering out sediments, breaking down toxic compounds, and digesting unwanted substances. Planting a wide variety of water plants will not only ensure balanced filtration, but will also provide a lot of visual interest.
There are a lot of options when it comes to selecting plant life, but here is a pond plants list that you might find helpful in narrowing down the field. Pond plants are an investment not only in the beauty of your pond, but in its health as well.
Best Water Plants for a Koi Pond
Of course you’ll want some water plants that grow in your pond. Floating plants are those that grow in or near the water’s surface. While water lilies were probably the first idea that popped into your head, there are actually a lot more choices than that. Here are three others that you may not have thought of, but would make excellent fish pond plants both because of their beauty and their beneficial attributes.
This free-floating plant is among the world’s most productive freshwater aquatic plants. Its bright green leaves provide some attractive foliage to your water’s surface. The plant bears a resemblance to an open head of lettuce, hence its name. Once established it will grow easily, but must be controlled. In little to no time, water lettuce can take over your pond’s surface and choke out oxygen.
As long as it’s under control, water lettuce can provide wonderful benefits including the absorption of nutrients as well as shade and spawning ground for your fish. It’s sturdy top also makes it a nice place for your resident frogs to hang out and sunbathe.
The feathery blue-green foliage of this unique-looking plant helps provide shade for your koi. Because of its ability to take root in wet soil above the water, this floating plant can even be used in waterfalls and streams.
It provides a lot of vertical interest with its stems growing up to 10 inches high.
The water hyacinth is a free-floating perennial plant that can grow as high as 3 feet. With delicate purple flowers and thick green leaves, it’s an eye-catching and attractive plant but it can also become invasive if not controlled. Often touted as the “world’s fastest growing plant,” water hyacinth can quickly take over the entire surface of your pond if you let it.
It is the roots of the water hyacinth that act as purifiers by absorbing impurities in the water. It is known to be very good at removing unwanted algae from your pondscape.
Plants Around Fish Pond
It’s equally important to have plants around the fish pond as it is to have them growing within it. In order to achieve a truly natural look, you’ll want a nice blend of plant life around your pond’s edges in order to create a complete habitat. Choosing the right plants to put around the fish pond will also go a long way in making the pond look like it was always there.
These tall plants provide a tremendous amount of vertical interest and can grow up to nine feet tall. Cattails provide an important wildlife habitat for local birds and small critters.
They also provide many benefits to your pond ecosystem as the stems are known to catch and slow water and help trap sediment and silt. New research has also revealed that cattails can remove polluting materials from the water surrounding their roots.
This spiky green plant will also provide some vertical interest. Horsetail has a very similar look to bamboo and is characterized by its hollow stem.
There are 20 different species of horsetail and its final height is dependent upon its species, though most grow to be around one or two feet tall. Horsetail does not produce flowers or seeds.
This salvia plant is long-blooming and easy to care for around your pond. Flowering in a beautiful royal purple, Meadow Sage will provide a lot of vibrant color around your pond.
It will also attract both honeybees and is known to be a favorite of hummingbirds to truly round out the backyard ecosystem you’ve created.
Pond Plant Maintenance
These fish pond plants are all relatively easy to maintain. Like fish, your plants will need nutrients to survive and an expert can guide you in providing plant food and nourishment. A big part of the maintenance of fish pond plants is simply keeping a watchful eye on them to ensure they’re getting enough sunlight and that they aren’t becoming overgrown.
The more plants you have, the more important it is to keep an eye on their condition. You must always keep an eye out for overgrown or dead leaves as decaying matter can rob your fish of oxygen. Try to make it a habit to check on your pond plants’ health at least once a week. Keeping a good mix of plant life will also help you sustain the overall health of your pond as the varying root sizes will provide varying benefits.
An expert will ensure that your pond has attractive fish pond plants that are easy to maintain or can even maintain the pond for you. California Waterscapes offers fish pond maintenance that involves a total cleaning in order to get your pond back to pristine condition.
A pond expert will also be sure to include the right mix of plant life to help your koi thrive. Water plants are such an integral part of your pond area and are an investment that should not be taken lightly. A pond expert will know what mix of plants look right together, how to plant them so that they become established and thrive, and how to make it all look like a natural addition to your landscape. At the end of the day, it’s both an art and a science that makes it just right.
We love incorporating beautiful and beneficial plant life into our pond designs. If you’d like us to help you select the best fish pond plants for your pond project, schedule a pond design consultation or give us a call at 818-244-4000 for more information.