Small Water Garden Plants

Create color and texture within a water garden by planting small water-loving plants. Grown in a wide range of shapes and sizes, each with its own distinct features, small water plants create just as showy display among the garden as do the large varieties. The bright blooms on some water garden plants stand over the water, while others rest on the surface. Thriving in full sun, water garden plants help to create a lush feel to the landscape.

Water Hyacinth

Water hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes) is a floating perennial plant grows on small, 6-inch spikes. The lavender to pale blue flowers, located atop of the upright spike, have a cluster-like form. The dark green, glossy and rounded leaves on water hyacinth has a rosette form and appear to be leather-like in texture. The leaf stems, also called petioles, are spongy and balloon-like to create a lush look to the water garden. Water hyacinth have dark purple to black roots that are long and feathery to hang submerged beneath the floating foliage. Water hyacinth requires full sun and warm temperatures to thrive. The USDA Hardiness Zones for planting are 8 to 11

Yellow Floating Heart

Yellow floating heart (Nymphoides pelatum) is a small water garden plant with fringed flowers that sit 2 to 3 inches above the water. Each flower is made up of five fringed petals that create a striking contrast with the deep green foliage. The rounded to heart-shaped leaves on yellow floating heart are glossy and emerge on their long stalks rooted from submerged stems. The edging on floating heart-shaped leaves is scalloped to give the leaf a wavy appearance. Versatile, yellow floating heart grows in a wide range of water depths from the edge to depths of 4 meters but grow best in water 6 to 18 inches deep. Yellow floating heart spread by deep runners and require full sun to thrive. It grows in all Hardiness Zones.

Water Poppy

Water poppy (Hydrocleys nymphoides) produces light yellow flowers that grow 2 to 2-½ inches long to stand above the water. Short-lived, water poppy flowers have a contrasting red and brown center. The shiny, dark green leaves of the water poppy are heart-shaped and thick. Ranging 2 to 4 inches long, the leaves of water poppies are attached to trailing, long stems. Water poppy prefer shallow water conditions, up to 6 inches, but withstand deeper conditions up to 15 inches deep. Water poppies have the ability to overwinter indoors in a shallow tub, as long as the environment is moist and well lit. Water poppies require full sun to flourish. The Hardiness Zones for planting are 5 to 10.

Keywords: small water plants, water garden plants, water hyacinth, yellow floating heart, water poppy

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer, designer and photographer in North Carolina. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate your indoor and outdoor living environment. Her articles have appeared in and and her photography has been featured in "Automotive News" magazine and