Most shallow water and bog plants are simple. They need moist soil at all times and they must have some soil on their roots. Beyond that, feeding is nice and caring for the plants is, on the whole, simple. This wonderful array of plants is perfect when you are ready to take that next step and add a little water garden feature to your garden. Listed here is just a starter list of plants that are simple, easy to grow, and, on the whole, a no mess, no fuss plant.

Calla Lily

This large plant has leaves that can reach up to three feet tall. The trumpet shaped flowers can appear anytime from early May to late October and are followed by bunches of red berries that are, in themselves, very decorative. They can only winter over in very mild climates, but do very nicely if brought into your greenhouse or warm room. Thank you to leslied for the image.

ImageCardinal Flower

This wonderful plant is just covered with narrow bright green leaves that are crowned with bright red flowers in late summer. It can reach four feet tall and can only have 2 to 4 inches of water covering the crown. Thank you to Kell for the image.


Their flat simple leaves rise from the water and are followed by flower heads borne on wonderful fat stems. Grow cattail in shallow water and keep it in pots to keep it in check. This plant will quickly fill any area given to it - but it is well worth the effort. Thank you to gallivant for the image.


This ancient, hollow, bamboo-like plant can reach up to four feet tall. Not winter hardy in most areas, it will stand light frost only. Divide often and keep in check with pots. Once it takes an area, you will have trouble getting rid of it for a long time to come. Thank you to TamiMcNally for the image.


There are so many named varieties of iris that can take the water. Japanese Iris, Siberian Iris, and several water iris are all stunning and easy to grow. These plants will reward you with wonderful blooms, leaves, and a tropical feel in any garden. Thank you to Lilypon and Ensata Gardens for the image.


These large round leaves are held above the water line on fat stalks and look like the parasols of the olden days. This is the plant of ancient Egypt and a wonderful addition in any garden if you are willing to take the time to really care it. Thank you to trios for the image.


Not only is this a great plant for the shade, but it can also be grown in very shallow water. The plants must be a size that will let the leaves grow above the water line. Hosta is very well worth the effort if you have shade in the water garden. Thank you to bert for the image.

ImageSkunk Cabbage

Like the name suggests, this hardy bog plant with huge flowers gives off a very offensive odor when crushed. The hood above the flowers can be white or green and is a much better show than the flowers themselves. It is very easy to grow. Thank you to Prairepup for the image.

ImageSweet Flag

The iris-like leaves of the sweet flag is perfect for most gardens where you want the look of the cattail but not all the work and effort. There are green and white leaves that give a warm and pleasant look to any water garden. Thank you to poppysue for the image.


The classic tropical water plant, the Taro is prized in their native lands for food and décor. The huge leaves can reach spans of four feet and can stand just as high. It is not always hardy but the tubers are very easy to lift and store over the winter months. Thank you for Azalea for the image.

ImageWater Canna - Thalia dealbata

The canna-like leaves are stunning in the water garden. Maroon at the base and growing to heights of four to five feet, this is a wonderful accent plant. It is not winter hardy in most areas but it can be lifted, pot and all, and brought into the house. Thank you to shearpamela for the image.