Grow aquatic plants for their natural ability to add oxygen and filter the surrounding water. Using these plants helps keep the health of a pond stable and also offers an attractive element to an otherwise bland sight. Pond plants range from fully submerged to emersed; whether below the surface or above, both plant types offer healthful benefits to every pond.
Find lemon bacopa (Bacopa caroliniana) growing in wet areas of fresh or brackish waters. Bacopa has the ability to grow beneath the water or on land in damp soils. Lemon bacopa flowers have four to five petals and come in blue. Grow this plant in areas that mimic its natural habitat: full sun and bog conditions. Applying organic fertilizers monthly promotes faster growth. Propagate bacopa by taking stem cuttings and separating clumps. In USDA zones 8 through 11, lemon bacopa comes back reliably as an ornamental or edible herb.
Grow waterlilies submerged in water 6 to 12 inches above their crowns. Waterlilies shade the pond, preventing too much algae from growing, while they clean ammonia and add oxygen to the water column. Their blossoms come in shades of white, yellow, red, blue and pink. Some are edible, while others are considered poisonous. Grow in full sun, still waters in soils rich in organic matter. Planting waterlilies in turbulent water or shady areas will prevent blooming. Hardy waterlilies overwinter in USDA zones 3 to 11 while tropical waterlilies work in USDA zones 9 through 11.
Grow papyrus (Cyperus papyrus) in pots to prevent it taking over your pond. In the wild, papyrus typically grows into large floating mats. These mats have the ability to travel miles across the water, making boat navigation difficult because they present an ever-changing landscape. The roots of the papyrus plant offer hiding places for fish and invertebrates as well as a place for them to lay their eggs. Their attractive foliage shades the pond, further preventing the water from overheating. In colder areas, take this plant indoors during winter. Papyrus prefers full sun. This plant is hardy in USDA zones 9 through 11.