13 Water Plants

These glorious plants and flowers love to get their feet wet.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Brighten Up a Bog

Caltha palustris, or marsh marigold, is a little beauty that is at home at pond’s edge or along a stream. In early spring hundreds of bright yellow, buttercup flowers dot the green carpet of foliage.

Add Drama to Damp Areas

Striking spikes of crimson calyces with pink to orchid flowers tower above deciduous, lance-shaped, hairy leaves in early to midsummer with Primula vialii.

Golden Arum

Golden Arum, Zantedeschia elliottiana, offers elegant heart-shaped leaves and waxy trumpet-shaped yellow flowers which makes it a bog-garden favorite.

Bog Garden Beauty

Gunnera, or giant rhubarb, boasts enormous puckered leaves and green flowers in the summer. This tropical, prehistoric plant is fast growing and forms a dramatic waterside specimen.

Iris Laevigata or Japanese Water Iris

The Japanese water iris, likes its roots 4 inches below the surface. Its blue flowers are held on tall stems, and it's best in a large pot.

Pond Iris

The yellow flag iris thrives along the margins of ponds and bears flowers with yellow petals with brown or violet markings.

Fragrant Lily

Perfect for small pools, the little or pygmy water lily — Nymphaea tetragona — bears fragrant white blooms from summer to fall.

Pretty In Pink

The water lily, Nymphaea ‘James Brydon’, has rounded bronze-green leaves that perfectly show off its rich pink flowers.

'Alabaster' Globeflower

Like buttercups, globeflowers are stunning in mass beside lakes, ponds, and streams. The cultivar 'Alabaster' bears pale yellow flowers in mid- to late spring.

Minimalist Elegance

One of the most common and easily identified of water-loving plants, cattails have long, strap-like leaves and brown flower spikes. Cattails can be found growing in dense stands in shallow water, or along the margins of deeper water.

Water Lettuce

Water lettuce, Pistia stratiotes, has velvety foliage that spreads like strawberry plants across the surface of water. The bright green leaves are deeply veined and resemble heads of floating lettuce providing shade for the pond and fish.

Pickerel Weed for Ponds

Pickerel weed, Pontederia cordata, is a lovely marginal with spikes of tubular blue flowers in late summer, and spear-shaped foliage.

Victoria Water Lilies

The pads of Victoria water lilies can grow up to 8 feet or more in diameter and have a raised lip around their perimeter.

Next Up

Tips for Watering Lawns and Gardens

Without adequate water, plants will suffer and eventually die. Supplies can run short as rapidly growing plants draw up moisture from the soil. It's important to know what to water and how.

Tips for Watering Your Garden

Keep your garden hydrated and healthy with these simple ideas for watering your plants.

When to Plant Garden Mums

Want your garden mums to survive winter? Learn tips for planting fall garden mums to help them return next spring.

Garden Plants and Flowers

Learn how to discover which plants underscore and help define a specific garden design style.

Choosing Plants for a Sensory Garden

A specially planted sensory garden heightens the experience of all of the senses, rather than concentrating primarily on sight.

How to Plant a Cactus Container Garden

Yee-haw! Turn a container into a desert landscape by filling it with prickly cacti and other succulent plants. 

How to Plant a Cactus Container Garden

Yee-haw! Turn a container into a desert landscape by filling it with prickly cacti and other succulent plants.

How to Plant a Kitchen Herb Garden

Have some extra space in your yard or garden? Plant a fresh and simple herb garden only steps away from the kitchen.