How to Propagate Pond Plants


Pond plants not only add beauty and interest, they also keep a clean ecosystem within the pond by adding shade, using nutrients in the water, and keeping the algae levels down. If you have just a few plants and would like to propagate them, you can easily increase the amount of vegetation growing with a few simple procedures.

Step 1

Water lilies are by far one of the most popular pond plants. Their huge leaves and spectacular blossoms are a welcome addition on the water. Since the plant is growing under water in a pot, you can lift it and see that it is growing on horizontal rhizomes. As new rhizomes grow, they send out buds called eyes. You can cut off sections of the rhizomes that contain an eye and plant it in another pot filled with garden soil. Anchor it to the bottom of the pond with a rock. It will send up new shoots within a few days.

Step 2

The water poppy is another popular pond plant with its shiny round leaves and yellow flowers that look like the Iceland poppy. It sends out stolons or runners like a strawberry plant that establish new plants wherever it stops. You do not have to do anything to get this plant to propagate, as it will grow like a weed. You can snip off a little plantlet at the end of a stolon to take to a new pond. Just set it into a pot and sink it under the water.

Step 3

Cattails are a very familiar plant when it comes to pond scenery. Their tall seed heads and bending leaves are a distinguishing part of a pond. You can collect the seeds from the seadheads before they are blown into the wind, or you can dig up a plant and cut off some of the healthy rhizomes as long as they have a growing bud on them. Plant the cut sections either in the mud at the bottom of the pond, or in a pot filled with garden soil.

Tips and Warnings

  • Invasive plants like the water hyacinth have become a nuisance and are not recommended.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Plant pots
  • Garden soil (not potting soil)


  • Growing and Propagating Water LIlies
  • Wetland Plants
  • Southern Cattail
Keywords: pond plants, propagation, lilies cattails

About this Author

Based in Maryland, Heidi Braley, currently writes for local and online media outlets. Some of Braley's articles from the last 10 years are in the "Oley Newsletter," "Connections Magazine," GardenGuides and Braley's college life included Penn State University and Villanova University with her passions centered in nutrition and botany.