We've all seen those really beautiful ponds: not the ones entirely covered in green fuzz, but the ones with beautiful flowers, reeds, and vines that seem to naturally love the water. It's no surprise that a pond would be more enjoyable with the right plants around it — especially if those plants can help animals like fish and frogs thrive in it. Consider these water-loving plants when you want to work more greenery into your own pond:

Papyrus Plant

papyrus plant

With its distinctive thin leaves and tall reeds that end in a bushy bunch, papyrus is sure to make a nice background plant near or around your pond. It counts as a marginal plant, meaning that while it may love water, it doesn't actually need to grow in it. For that reason, keeping it close to the pond, but not actually in it, is the best plan. If your pond abuts something less beautiful, like a garage or a fence, a background display of fluffy papyrus can make it feel more like you are out in a larger natural area, making it a good strategic plant for creating a nice backdrop.

Water Lily

One of the most iconic pond plants, this beautiful flower can actually be a challenge to cultivate in a new backyard or garden pond. This is because it is a "deep water" plant, meaning that you are better off growing it in a pot with soil at first, throwing in some gravel to trap the soil, and then submerging the whole thing in the pond. The pay-off is a beautiful flower that floats a little in the water, with big lily pads for frogs to use in their journeys across the pond.



Well known for their compressed seed pods that become huge fluffy floating seeds when opened, cattails are great examples of bog plants, or plants that can thrive at the edge of a pond in a small amount of standing water. Their tall thin reeds are visually pleasing without taking up too much space. If you don't necessarily want all that fluff everywhere, you can always look for varieties that shoot up thin reeds without huge seed pods, like dwarf cattails.

Water Hyacinth

Unlike water lilies, water hyacinths don't put roots down into the soil, making them full-fledged floating plants. Gorgeous flowers and lush leaves make them a fun variety to have around, and they're relatively low-maintenance, too. Just make sure to really think about how many you want in your pond, because they tend to multiply quickly! If you allow your water hyacinths to grow out of control, the rest of the underwater plant life in your pond may be unable to get enough sunlight.

Creeping Jenny

creeping jenny

A nice, low-growing perennial, creeping jenny stays close to the ground and produces summer flowers in bright yellow. It's more of an edge plant than it is one to submerge, and many people find that it grows best in and around the rocky outcroppings they use to line their ponds. With many of the other marginal plants suggested being tall and thin, creeping jennies allow for a little variety and can really help make the edges of your pond a little greener and softer.

Sweet Flag

A tall, variegated grass-like plant (not technically a grass, but it looks like one), sweet flag comes in a few varieties but is generally a visually appealing addition to the edge of a pond. It can handle some water, but some varieties will prefer to be in moist soil rather than standing water. Either way, the light rustle of these plants when a breeze comes through, as well as the visual look of their long draping grass blades, make them a great option.

Marsh Marigold

marsh marigold

For those who want to make sure they get some nice sunny flowers around their ponds, the marsh marigold might just be the answer. This marginal plant thrives in damp soil but doesn't need to be in standing water itself. As a perennial, it allows you to get flowers year after year. It also looks particularly nice when alternated with creeping jenny plants around a pond. Best of all, marsh marigolds are known for being fairly low-maintenance, which means you can set them in your pond area and simply let them thrive near the water. It's always nice to not have to worry about at least one of your plants!

Using these plants, you can create a lush environment around your pond that's sure to promote positive animal life and still give a beautiful-looking style to your space. If your pond is artificial, these plants will soften its look and make it more similar to ponds found in nature. Having some beautiful flowers or grasses around will also be satisfying to see as a pond owner.