Whether your pond is a small, ornamental water garden or an informal backyard fishing hole, plants are needed to keep it healthy and clean. A variety of pond plants will provide food and shelter for water fowl, fish and other aquatic life.
Marginal pond plants grow in and along the boggy borders of a pond in 3 to 6 inches of water. They are rooted in place with leaves that grow above the waterline.
Submerged plants are also rooted in place, but the vegetative growth occurs underwater. These soft-bodied plants are used to add oxygen to the water.
Floating plants are not rooted in place. They float on the surface of the water and have roots that extend into the water, absorbing excess nutrients that can cause an algae bloom.
Algae are simple, non-flowering plants that can be free-floating or condensed into hair-like strands. Often considered a weed when it exists in large quantities, algae is, according to Ohio State University, the "foundation of the aquatic food chain."
Some types of pond plants are invasive. Plants such as purple loosestrife and water hyacinth must be carefully monitored to prevent escape.