Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

Landscape Ideas for Small Fish Ponds

By Callie Barber ; Updated September 21, 2017

Small fish ponds can be landscaped to create a beautiful focal point to your garden and surrounding yard. Around the pond, plant colorful flowers and bushes to create an inviting border. For an exotic landscape design, tuck orchids into river rocks and boulders. Use stones to surround the pond to create a contrast with the water and plants while covering up the pond liner.


For an attractive backdrop around your small fish pond, plant dwarf spruce, cedar trees and other evergreen trees. Plant these around the pond or behind one side of the pond for a bold and dramatic landscape design. Another landscape design for your pond is to plant low-growing shrubs surrounding the pond and around the landscape. Hydrangeas, which can withstand full sun to partial shade, are an ideal and hardy bush to use around the pond.

Water Plants

Water plants will add color and texture to your small pond. Great for filtering out debris in the pond, water plants create a habitat for fish and aquatic life. For a classic design, plant deep water plants like lilies and lotus. For floating water plants, use duckweed and water ferns. For a dramatic and bold design, plant orchids in the soil around the water pond. Alternatively, you could place container-grown orchids around the pond.


Use river rocks or stones to surround the fish pond. Creating a border will camouflage the pond liner while creating a beautiful design around the pond. Layer and stack the stones at least 5 to 10 inches for a sturdy design. Make sure the stones are situated correctly to prevent them from slipping into the pond. Large boulders can also be added for a focal point in your landscape.


For an inviting and soothing addition to your fish pond, add a waterfall above the pond. The water, which will cascade into the pond, will aerate and ventilate the pond’s water, which keep fish and plants healthy. Use stone such as slate to create the waterfall. Install a pump and water feature as the main unit of the waterfall, with river rocks and plants close by for added coverage and a creative design. To showcase your pond, install lights around the waterfall. Submersible spotlights and colored LED lights will accent your pond landscaping as well as light up the water plants.



About the Author


Callie Barber has been writing professionally since 2002. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate indoor and outdoor living environments. Her articles have appeared on Travels.com and GardenGuides.com. Barber holds a Bachelors of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina.