Pond Care of Aquatic Plants


Aquatic plants add color and interest to your landscape pond, but they also help keep the pond healthy. Pond plants help prevent algae growth, provide cover for fish and other wildlife and maintain an overall healthy miniature ecosystem right in your backyard. Aquatic plant needs differ from that of other plants in your landscape, and if you properly care for them, they thrive. While care requirements depend on the exact plant variety, many pond plants share similar needs.

Step 1

Plant aquatic plants into pots as opposed to directly in the pond bottom. Fill pond basket planters with a heavy soil then cover the soil surface with small pebbles so the soil and plant does not float out of the basket.

Step 2

Set plants at the proper depth for the plant variety. Set upside-down pots or bricks under the pond baskets to elevate plants to the depth recommended on the plant label. Plants labeled as submerged varieties must sit under the water surface, while those labeled as floating must have at least part of their stems and foliage above the water level.

Step 3

Fertilize the plants once every four to six weeks during the spring and summer when they are actively growing. Insert pond fertilizer tablets into the soil in the plant pots, following the package rate recommendation for the particular plant type.

Step 4

Bring tender plants indoors before the first frost of winter. Leave cold tolerant plants in the pond as long as you are leaving the water in the pond for winter. Set plants in a dark area that is cool but not freezing and water enough to keep the soil moist, allowing the plants to go dormant over winter. Always verify the exact winter needs for the particular pond plant, though, as they may differ between varieties.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not overplant the pond. Floating plants should cover no more than 70 percent of the water surface, advises the University of Minnesota Extension office.

Things You'll Need

  • Pond baskets
  • Heavy soil
  • Pebbles
  • Bricks
  • Fertilizer tablets


  • Oregon State Extension: Create a Garden Pond for Wildlife
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Water Plant Selection, Implementation and Maintenance
Keywords: aquatic plant care, growing pond plants, water feature 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.