Pond plants are available in several class types based on their function or growth type. The types available are water lilies, marginal or bottom growing plants, floating plants and oxygenator plants. Establishing a pond with plants involves adding some fast growing varieties that will increase oxygen in the water, provide a habitat for fish, and reduce algae growth.
Elodea, also known as Anacharis, is a fast-growing underwater plant that produces narrow, curved leaves on long-stem branches. This plant is commonly grown in ponds as it provides an excellent source of water oxygenation. The underwater plant stems are a popular area for spawning fish to hide. Elodea is able to grow in water at a depth of 6 inches to 5 feet and prefers full sun or partial shade areas of the pond. The plant will grow in soil or float freely in the pond.
Hornwort is an underwater, fast-growing plant that produces bristly foliage with thin stems. The plant is placed just under the surface of the water as it does not require soil to grow. The hornwort plant is a good source of oxygen for the water and reduces algae growth by consuming algae nutrient sources in the water. Hornwort prefers full sun to partial shade conditions in the pond and grows to a height of 6 inches and width of 4 inches. While hornwort is a tropical pond plant, it is able to survive winter climates.
Floating Water Lettuce
Water lettuce is a floating plant that produces many light-green-colored leaves that are spongy in texture. The leaves are 1-6 inches in width and covered with hairs that grow in a spiral from the center. While the plant prefers partial shade light conditions, it is able to grow in full sun but will multiply in numbers faster in warmer water. Water lettuce is a very aggressive growing plant and should be controlled to prevent it from depleting the water oxygen levels. The plant produces flowers, but they are hidden among the leaves and rarely visible.
Red Lugwegia is a fast growing pond plant that is planted into the bottom of the pond. The plant grows to approximately 18 inches in height and produces stems of green leaves with a bright red underside. Red Lugwegia prefers to grow in full sun light conditions and shallow water. The top two inches of the plant will stick out of the water when planted at an appropriate water depth.
Frogbit, or Frog’s Bit, is a small growing floating plant that produces one to two inch wide shiny leaves that are heart shaped in size. The leaves have a spongy tissue that grows from the center and underneath. Frogbit looks similar to a water lily, however it produces small cup shaped flowers that are white in color. The plant grows well in full sun to partial shade light conditions and can be an aggressive grower that requires periodic thinning to prevent overgrowth.