Pond areas are home to a variety of plants, from grasses with no flowers to plants with large, dramatic ones. The plants live by the side of the ponds or right in the water in their natural environment; that same arrangement can be duplicated in a garden pond to create a quiet place to relax and enjoy.
Japanese Sweet Flag
Japanese sweet flag (Acorus gramineus) is also known as Japanese rush, grassy-leaved sweet flag and dwarf sweet flag. The plant is a wetland perennial with narrow, grass-like leaves that grow 6 to14 inches long. The plant will produce small flowers if it is grown right in the water. The plant's native habitat is the wetlands of eastern Asia. Plant Japanese sweet flag in full sun or partial shade, in a soil that is moist or in water that is 3 to 6 inches deep. If it is grown in a regular garden, water the plant very frequently; if the tips of the leaves start to turn brown, the plant is not getting enough water. The plant is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 6 to 9.
American lotus (Nelumbo lutea) is also known as yellow lotus and water-chinquapin. This water plant produces roots that can be as much as 8 feet underwater. Leaf stems grow out of the roots, each one containing one leaf up to 2 feet in diameter. The plant produces pale yellow flowers that grow up to 10 inches in diameter, growing above the leaves. The seedpods are a popular choice for dried flower arrangements. The plant's natural environment is the ponds in Eastern North America. Plant the American lotus in full sun and underwater. The plant is hardy from zones 4 to 11.
Alligator bonnet (Nymphaea odorata) is also known as fragrant water lily. The round leaves float on the water, each one growing 4 to 5 inches across, with a total spread of 4 to 6 feet. The plant produces small, fragrant flowers with white petals and a yellow center that measures from 4 to 9 inches in diameter. The flowers bloom throughout the summer, opening in the morning and closing up in the afternoon. Plant alligator bonnet in a pond in full sun. The plant is hardy from zones 3 to 11.