With gardeners looking for aquatic plants for ponds as well as containers and water features it is essential to look at the plants suitable for growing water in a garden situation.
The important aspect is to select plants suited for situation and especially in terms of the type of water we are looking at, moving water requires different plants to ponds and boggy areas.
Water plants include rushes, reeds, water lilies, lotus all well known, we also have plants that like bogs including Rodgersia, Gunnera manicaata and some Iris.
Lots of talk about native aquatic plants to provide habitat for native wildlife as well as being suited to local conditions and this is true, however many exotics will actually serve the same purpose.
So we list some of the most sought after water plants and suppliers.
Why grow aquatic plants
Plants that will grow in water include, exotic water garden plants, pond plants and native Australian water plants. With each type many reasons for growing them become apparent.
- Growing water plants is a great way to oxygenate water and provide a habitat for fish. Deep water plants grow with their roots totally submerged.
- Marginal aquatic plants grow at the edges of ponds and streams. They not only provide habitat but can also help stem erosion
- Ornamental or flowering aquatic plants include water lilies, lotus, water Irises, aquatic Cannas and a range of Australian native water plants can all be used to add color and help create a fascinating water garden
Some of the more unusual aquatic plants include
Aquatic cannas (canna glauca) are an attractive flowering canna that grows well near the edge of a pond. They look great in small clumps. Tall growing to nearly 2m aquatic cannas make great features.
Alocasia amazonica, Alocasia marcrohizos, and Colocasia esculenta are three marginal water plants grown for the foliage. Cyperus prolifer is a dwarf papyrus that does well in marginal positions. Fringed water lilies such as Nymphoides geminata and Nymphoides crenata are attractive flowering water plants.
Water Irises include the well know Louisiana Iris, a group of plants from the marshes of Southern North America. This group actually includes 5 species that have been extensively bred to produce what we now cal ‘Louisiana Iris’. Species include Iris, brevicaulis, Iris giganticaerulea, Iris fulva, Iris hexagona and Iris nelsonii.
Japanese water Iris ( iris laevigata) and English water Iris ( iris psuedacorus) as well as the Blue Flag Iris (Iris versicolor). The southern blue flag iris is Iris Virginica while Iris ensta is another Japanese species used widely in ornamental fish ponds.
Australian Native water plants include
- Alisma plantago aquatica
- Aponogeton queenslandicus
- Azolla filliculoides
- Azola pinnata
- Bacopa monniera
- Baloskiion tetraphyllum
- Baumea articulata, juncea, teragona and others
- Blechnum penna-marina
- Brasenia schreberi
- Calystegia sepium
- Carex fascicularis
- Choizandra sphaerocephala
- Crinnum pendunculatum
- Gunnera cordifolia
- Hydrocotyle verticulatta
- Juncus pallidus
- Ludwegia adscendens
- Myriophyllum papillosum
- Nymphoides crenata
- Potamogeton sulcarus and other
- Typha orientalis
- Vallisneria nana
- Villarsia exaltata
- Wolffia australiana