Plants That Live by Ponds

While ponds are certainly attractive enough on their own, luring birds and wildlife and providing a textural break in the landscape, plants that can be grown nearby enhance a pond's visual appeal. While many plants can't thrive in the water-logged soils near a pond, there are many species that will thrive in such conditions.

Scarlet Hibiscus

Ideal for gardeners who want to bring a real flash of color to their garden pond, scarlet hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus) is an attractive perennial noted for its lush, star-shaped leaves and its bright scarlet blooms. Scarlet hibiscus is native to the swamps and marshes of the American South, and the plant flourishes in moist soils. Scarlet hibiscus does very well by the side of a pond so long as its planted in full sunlight.


Native to North America, mistflower (Conoclinium coelestinum) is a low maintenance plant that produces blooms in a powdery, almost pinkish shade of blue. Mistflower is a water hungry plant that thrives in rich, moist soils. The plant is ideal for growing near a pond, and its clusters of blue blooms are a nice accent to the water. Some species are quite low growing, reaching heights of only 15 inches or so. Mistflower will grow in full sunlight to partial shade.

Lenten Rose

Originally native to Eurasia, lenten rose (Helleborus orientalis) is a popular evergreen that produces delicate, waxy white blooms in mid- or late winter. The plant is distinguishable for its early blooms and for its lush, green foliage. Lenten rose is ideal for growing near a pond, as the plant thrives in moist soil. Lenten rose does best in partial shade or even heavy shade. The plant is quite toxic when ingested, so care should be used when cultivating this plant in a household with children.

Keywords: pond plants, water plants, plant types

About this Author

Michelle Wishhart is a writer based out of Astoria, Ore. She has been writing professionally for five years, starting with her position as a staff arts writer for an alternative weekly paper in Santa Cruz. She has a B.A. in fine arts from the University of California in Santa Cruz and a minor in English literature.