Plants for the Side of a Pond

Within your pond you plant floaters and oxygenators; these plants root and grow in the body of water. The edge of your pond, though, requires plants that tolerate the constant damp to their roots. Landscaping the side of your pond prevents predators, such as herons, from stealing your fish. These edge plants also provide a natural transition from water to land.


The perennial canna plant may reach heights of 6 feet. Best suited to zones 7 through 11, the canna plant sports orange flowers and broad, variegated leaves. Use the canna plant for medium to large ponds; smaller ponds may not provide enough nutrients. The canna plant tolerates damp soil and partial shade, but will grow in full sun. It will also flourish as a marginal plant. Pot it up and submerge the pot just inside the water's edge. Support the plant either with a shelf built within the pond or set the pot on cinder block.

Japanese Iris

Japanese iris flowers sprout from graceful stems and grow up to 3 feet. The plants, suited to zones 6 through 9, grow well grouped close together to create a striking border for your pond. Plant them in full sun or partial shade. The Japanese iris is suitable for any size pond.


The chameleon is a bright, showy plant with broad leaves bordered in a reddish orange color. White flowers bloom in early summer. Plant the chameleon in sun or partial shade. Watch the leaves as the sunlight causes color changes in the heart shaped foliage, hence the name. The chameleon is a versatile plant and will grow in zones 3 through 8. Use for a marginal plant, an edge plant or put it in a container and partially bury the pot in the soil near the pond. The plant, which grows to be approximately 1 foot tall, adapts easily to different growing conditions.

Bog Lily

The bog lily grows well in zones 9 through 11, and can be used as a marginal plant or planted at the side of the pond. It has spiky leaves and grows to 2 feet tall. The flowers have thin pink and white petals that arc outward, resembling the offspring of spider plants. It's a fragrant plant that prefers full sun. Planted close together, the bog lily forms a striking border.

Keywords: plants for the side of the pond, marginal plants, pond plants at the edge

About this Author

Shelly McRae resides in Phoenix, Ariz. Having earned her associate's degree from Glendale Community College with a major in graphic design and technical writing, she turned to online writing. Her credits include articles for, and several non-commercial sites. Her work background also includes experience in the home improvement industry and hydroponic gardening.