Adding plants to a garden pond is a great way to add texture, interest and additional movement to an already natural setting. Planting plants in a garden pond follows some similarities to traditional gardening in that close attention must be given to growing conditions and elements. But given that you don't have to spend time watering these plants, you'll have just that much more time to enjoy them.
Get the soil right. Use heavy clay, loam soil that is well-balanced with the proper nutrients to support proper growth. Make sure the soil is damp, but not overly wet before placing it into the container. Fill the container about two-thirds with the soil.
Locate the buds or "eyes" to determine the growing point of the plant. Place the plant's growing point towards the center of the container. Cover the plant with soil to the point where the growing point is just above soil level.
Cover the soil with a ½ to ¾ inch layer of pea gravel. Water the plant thoroughly. Lower the plants into the water at the proper depth. (Most plants can be initially placed at 6 inches and the adjusted as the plant grows. The depth will vary upon the plant type.) Position props like bricks on inverted pots underneath a plant, then adjust the support as needed to achieve the proper growing height.
Be mindful of the temperature when planting plants in a garden pond. Plant tropical water lilies and floaters when the water temperature is at least 70 degrees. Plant lotus and hardy water lilies in milder temperatures, around 50 degrees.