How to add a little green to your pond

There are a variety of different water plants that can be incorporated into your aquatic garden. Many of the plants have interesting foliage and gorgeous flowers.

A water garden isn’t limited to a pond. Smaller containers like this one are perfect for a deck or patio.

Some water plants float while others rest at the bottom of the container and are tall enough to stick out of the water.

If you want a truly unique and easy gardening project, look no further than a water garden. All you need is something that can hold water.

“Any size pond will work. Anything that holds water can be a little water garden,” says Cindy Cook of Cook Water Farms in Roseville. 

Water-loving plants in pots can be grown in a pond of any size. A popular option is a whiskey barrel liner, which is a 20-gallon tub. 

These gardens aren’t limited to ponds in a lawn setting. Often people find ways to put them on their decks or patios.

Aquatic gardens are unique amenities for a backyard. They’re attractive, create a relaxing atmosphere and can increase a home’s value. They also allow a homeowner to have plants with interesting foliage and gorgeous flowers that neighbors won’t have in their yards.


Everything in a pond is 3D

There are four types of water plants: shallow water plants; submerged plants; floating plants; and water lilies and lotuses.

• Shallow plants are grown in pots and live in shallow water, roughly 6 to 10 inches deep. They stick out of the pond. These types of plants range from groundcovers to 8 feet tall.

• Submerged plants are the workhorses of a water garden. They live at the bottom of the pond and provide oxygen for the living things in the pond.

• Common floating plants include water lettuce and water hyacinth. These plants divide every 12 days and shoot off a baby plant. Water lettuce is green, while water hyacinth is green with a purple bloom. The large root systems of these plants are efficient filters and starve the algae you don’t want in the pond.

• Water lilies come in a wide variety sizes and colors. Most lilies like sun, but there are some that do well in shade. Water lotuses are like a self-contained pond. These plants are grown in a nine-gallon tub, one plant per tub. They have big leaves that stick up in the air like umbrellas. As long as you keep the tub filled with water, the plant does just fine. “They are heat and sun lovers,” Cook says.


Water gardens are becoming increasing popular, probably because they are among the easy to start and maintain. 

“You buy a plant that’s in a pot, and you put it in your pond, and it’s planted there. That’s all you have to do,” Cook says. Because of Minnesota’s short growing season, she recommends starting with mature plants.

She added the only aquatic plants not grown in a pot are floaters.

Even though the plants are living in water, you still need to fertilize them. How often you fertilize depends on the plant. Water lilies and lotuses are heavy feeders, so they probably should be fertilized every other week. 

Having a water garden is an easy way to have exotic looking plants that are dramatic. They’re a fun, easy form of gardening, and many consider them soothing, especially if there is the sound of running water.

Cook adds that another bonus is “you don’t have to have somebody water your plants if you go away.”


Hannah Burlingame can be reached at 651-748-7824 or

Rate this article: 
No votes yet
Comment Here