Pond Planting Instructions


Adding a pond to your landscape provides a focal point to your garden design. Plants help the pond remain healthy while also being attractive. There are three primary plant types in most ponds. Submerged plants grow under water and add oxygen to the pond. Deep water or floating leaf plants provide shade that helps inhibit algae growth. Floating plants aren't rooted and provide natural filtration as they float just under the water's surface. Plant these three types correctly in your pond and enjoy the natural beauty of your water feature.

Submerged and Floating Leaf Plants

Step 1

Fill a pond basket, which is a planter with holes in the sides, with a heavy potting soil formulated for use in ponds. Basket size depends on the size of the plant but a 6-inch diameter pot is suitable for most single plants.

Step 2

Sow the plant in the basket at the same soil depth it was at in its nursery pot. Plant rhizomes, such as those for water lilies, at the depth recommended on the plant label. Generally, most rhizomes are planted 1 inch beneath the soil surface.

Step 3

Place a 1-inch layer of small pebbles over the top of the soil in the basket to prevent fish from digging up the plant's roots.

Step 4

Set the basket in the pond at the depth recommended on the plant label. The top of submerged plants, such as hornwort, must sit beneath the water surface. Floating leaf plants, such as lilies, must be set at a depth where the leaves can easily float on the water surface. Place bricks or rocks under the plant's basket to adjust the planting depth in deeper waters.

Floating Plants

Step 1

Remove the floating plants from their packaging. Floating plants are usually sold bare-rooted in sealed plastic bags filled with moist peat moss or other organic material.

Step 2

Rinse the roots under lukewarm running water. Remove all traces of the peat moss from the roots and leaves of the plants.

Step 3

Set the plants in the pond, submerging them under the water. Allow the plants to float freely; they do not need to be rooted in pots.

Tips and Warnings

  • Some aquatic plants may be considered invasive in your area. Purchase plants from local nurseries or check with your county extension office before ordering mail-order plants to ensure the plants are safe in your area.

Things You'll Need

  • Pond basket
  • Soil
  • Pebbles
  • Rocks


  • Texas A&M Extension: Water Gardening Plant Life
  • Iowa State University: Water Gardens--Aquatic Plants
Keywords: pond planting instructions, planting landscape ponds, aquatic plants

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.